Pizza Inn Creates Express Concept Tailored for C-stores
DALLAS — After nearly 60 years in business, Pizza Inn is launching a new prototype for a non-traditional licensing model called Pizza Inn Express, or PIE for short.
The brand, known as "America's Hometown Pizza Place," will give customers a fast, seamless experience when picking up their favorite hot pizza, according to the company, adding that PIE was developed as a new strategy to compliment the expansion and refresh initiatives at Pizza Inn.
"Convenience stores are a $575 billion industry with 70 percent of sales attributed to in-store purchases," said Scott Crane, CEO of Rave Restaurant Group Inc., parent company of Pizza Inn. "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."
PIE is geared toward convenience stores, but is also suitable for airports and entertainment venues, Pizza Inn noted. The prototype allows customers to order and pay at a kiosk for grab-and-go or pick up their food at a designated spot.
The first PIE locations are expected to begin operating within the next 90 days.
"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."
The Colony, Texas-based Pizza Inn Express is primarily located in the Southeast, which has the highest grouping of independent c-store operators.