Los Angeles–based fast-casual restaurant, The Pizza Studio, will expand into San Diego County after signing a multi-unit development agreement for 20 new locations with veteran restaurant entrepreneur George Katakalidis. The first location will open in downtown San Diego in January 2014, with a second location in Kearny Mesa, Califronia, opening in March 2014.
“Pizza Studio has a fantastic product and operational setup and I could not be more pleased to be their partner in San Diego County,” Katakalidis says.
Katakalidis is a veteran in the restaurant industry with over 25 years experience. As a young man he played professional soccer until he was 28 and received a bachelor of science degree in business administration and management from California Coast University. After ending his soccer career, he founded fast-casual restaurant chain Daphne’s Greek Café in 1988 and was managing 83 corporate locations before selling it in 2010. He then started a new restaurant concept called Taverna Blu with locations in Del Mar and at the Spectrum in Irvine, California. He signed the multi-unit agreement with Pizza Studio in September 2013.
The Pizza Studio is a fast-casual franchise concept that invites guests to create their own custom pizzas. A wide assortment of crusts, specialty sauces, meats, and roasted vegetables are offered at affordable prices. The company is known for its variety of flavors of their proprietary thin crusts with unlimited toppings of sauces, cheeses, nitrate-free meats, and roasted vegetables for each custom-built pizza creation.
Katakalidis has an aggressive plan to bring Pizza Studio to San Diego County. After opening his first two locations in the first quarter of 2014, he has plans to have his third and fourth locations open by the end of the year. All 20 locations will open within five years.
Since its founding in 2012, The Pizza Studio has signed development agreements with several experienced multi-unit operators for 95 units across the country and projects there will be announcements for 150 signed units by the end of the year.