After almost 60 years in business, Pizza Inn is introducing a new prototype for a non-traditional licensing model called Pizza Inn Express, or PIE for short, that will give customers “a fast, seamless experience when picking up their favorite hot pizza.”
Geared toward convenience stores, but also an airport or entertainment venue option, the licensing deal for PIE will allow customers to order and pay at a kiosk for grab-and-go or pick up their food at a designated spot. Pizza Inn says it has a strong presence in the southeastern part of the country where the convenience store segment has the nation’s highest grouping of independent operators. The company expects to have its first prototypes operating early this year.
“Convenience stores are a $575-billion industry, with 70 percent of sales attributed to in-store purchases,” said Scott Crane, CEO of Pizza Inn’s parent company, Rave Restaurant Group Inc. “This could be a game-changer for Pizza Inn as we tap into new markets and expansion opportunities for our flagship brand. We’re already seeing great interest from existing and potential franchisees who see this model as a new way to serve customers the same iconic, quality pizza they have come to expect, but in a faster setting.”
“The PIE kiosk is attractive to non-traditional operators because it allows them to move quickly, be more nimble, and react to changes in customer traffic and facilities, all at a minimal investment,” said Bob Bafundo, president of Pizza Inn. “It’s a branded concept that’s attractive enough to be the permanent centerpiece in a travel center or airport, yet nimble enough to provide the same benefits traditional operators get from a food truck.”
With a domestic comparable store retail sales increase of 1.4 percent from the same period of the prior year, Pizza Inn says it continues to ride a growth trajectory with positive sales and development that is keeping Rave’s turnaround plan on-course. PIE was developed as a new strategy to compliment the expansion and refresh initiatives at Pizza Inn.
Founded in 1958, Pizza Inn is an international pizza chain featuring traditional and specialty pizzas, as well as freshly made pastas, sandwiches and desserts. Dallas, Texas-based Rave owns, franchises and supplies more than 300 Pizza Inn and Pie Five restaurants operating domestically and internationally.