Pie 5 to Take a look at Pizza Inn as Digital Model

Quick informal Pie 5, the pizza idea impressed by Chipotle, is receiving assist from sister chain Pizza Inn to construct quantity in its kitchens.

The model plans to package deal Pizza Inn as a digital idea in 5 places. Brandon Solano, CEO of mother or father firm RAVE Restaurant Group, mentioned the pilot will “leverage Pizza Inn’s ‘latent model fairness’ in areas with out Pizza Inn protection to drive quantity and four-wall economics.” The take a look at will begin throughout the firm’s second quarter, which is throughout the fall season.

The transfer comes a couple of 12 months after RAVE unveiled essentially the most vital menu transformation in Pie 5’s 12-year historical past. The replace centered on differentiated pizzas for people and the elimination of enormous sizes. Solano on the time mentioned the quick informal was additionally “making operational and hospitality enhancements to personalize customers’ dine-in expertise whereas lowering third occasion supply friction.”

Pie 5’s home same-store gross sales elevated 5.4 % in fiscal 2023 year-over-year and 0.6 % within the fourth quarter.

As of June 25, the chain had 27 eating places after closing 4 models and opening none all year long. RAVE mentioned the online lower was “primarily the results of the closure of poor-performing models.” That is the bottom Pie 5’s unit rely has been since Q1 2015 when it had 24 shops.

The chain as soon as had 100 models within the U.S. in early 2017, however retailer rely has been falling ever since. There is a practically 60-unit distinction between 2017 and 2023:

Finish of Fiscal 2023: 27

Finish of Fiscal 2022: 31

Finish of Fiscal 2021: 33

Finish of Fiscal 2020: 42

Finish of Fiscal 2019: 58

Finish of Fiscal 2018: 73

Finish of Fiscal 2017: 84

The primary Pie 5 restaurant opened in June 2011 in Fort Price, Texas. A few 12 months and a half later, the idea signed its first franchise growth settlement. The model takes after Chipotle, by which pizzas are created on the path of shoppers in an meeting line format. Usually, Pie 5 shops are primarily based in endcap or in-line areas of between 1,800 to 2,400 sq. toes. Eating rooms can match 65–85 folks and there is patio seating when out there. Gross sales are primarily on-premises.

Regardless of the stunted development, RAVE plans to maintain participating operators.

“We intend to proceed creating franchised Pie 5 Models domestically,” the corporate mentioned in an SEC submitting. “The speed at which we will proceed to develop the Pie 5 idea by franchise growth is set partly by our success at choosing certified franchisees, by our capacity to determine passable websites in applicable markets, and by our capacity to proceed coaching and monitoring our franchisees. We intend to proceed to give attention to franchise growth alternatives with skilled, well-capitalized restaurant operators.”

Pizza Inn completed its fiscal 2023 with 157 places. Of that, 123 have been within the U.S.—77 buffets, seven delco shops, and 5 Pizza Inn Specific outlets. The chain’s comp gross sales grew 10.3 % in fiscal 2023 year-over-year and 9 % within the fourth quarter.