Press Releases

Jun 9, 2014

Meatball Smashers, Pizza From Scratch, Pizettas—It’s All at the Airport; HMSHost Launches PZA

HMSHost develops new pizza restaurant as part of its brand portfolio

BETHESDA, MD—Mmm, do you smell that? More mouth-watering with every step through the terminal. Sizzling cheese atop tangy tomato sauce; maybe some oregano. Is that a pizza in the oven? Or maybe some meatballs? Travelers will be wondering as their noses lead the way to PZA, HMSHost’s latest restaurant. PZA means fresh; it means hand-made; it means bursting with flavor; and it even means speed. HMSHost developed PZA with the traveler on-the-go in mind, with several locations to open at airports and motorways in which it operates.

PZA serves hand-made pizzas—the dough balled and stretched right before guests’ eyes, and rising with bubbled-crust edges. Layered with savory cheeses such as ricotta, fontina, and pecorino, and topped with a mosaic of greens. Roasted vegetables, marinated portabellas, torn basil—so many flavors; and all sold by the slice. Gone are the days where travelers could choose from just a slice of cheese or pepperoni. Pizza has entered a new age at PZA, with features such as the Buffalo Pizza Chicken, with roasted chicken, fontina, blue cheese and celery; the Uptown, with fresh mozzarella, caramelized onion, roma tomatoes and basil pesto; or the Garden State, with roasted local vegetables, ricotta and basil pesto, among other creative combinations.

But PZA is so much more than a pizza joint. Meat lovers will thrill at its twist on traditional meatballs. Meatballs, the newest stars in a rapidly expanding comfort food trend, make their debut as a ball of flavor in PZA’s meatball smasher. The meatball smasher, sold in two sizes (6-inch and the 12-inch super smasher) burst with the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients, from the classic beef and chicken, to the spicy red, basil pesto, traditional tomato, and roasted garlic and Parmesan sauces, to the array of fresh cheeses such as blue and goat.

The morning traveler is not left out of this latest pizza craze. Some PZA locations also serve breakfast with a lively smattering of PZA zest, featuring the A.M. Pizzetta, a montage of baked egg and bacon smothered in pecorino cheese. Ham and cheese calzones also make a perfect breakfast meal, or the Little Bomber, exploding with pepperoni, tomato sauce, mozzarella and pecorino can start any day off right. PZA also serves other related favorites including Stromboli, fresh salads and sandwiches.

“PZA offers travelers a new perspective on some of their all-time favorites,” said HMSHost Vice President of Restaurant Development Frank Sickelsmith. “We’re excited to implement these new recipes and have travelers experience some new flavors on their tried and true.”

HMSHost will be opening PZA restaurants at several locations in the coming months including Peter J. Camiel Service Plaza on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Brady’s Leap Plaza and Portage Travel Plaza on the Ohio Turnpike, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, and Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, among others.

About HMSHost
Global restaurateur HMSHost is a world leader in creating dining for travel venues. HMSHost operates locations all over North America, and is part of Autogrill Group, the world's leading provider of food & beverage services for people on the move. Visit for more information.