The first location is set to open in Garden City, Kansas, in October, with additional stores already in development, Bafundo said.
Pie Five finished the year with 72 franchised stores and one company-run location. Bafundo said the refranchising of the system allowed Pie Five to partner with existing franchisees to develop and test sales-driving initiatives.
“By closing underperforming Pie Five locations and transferring company-owned locations to franchisees, we've been able focus our efforts on branding initiatives and the success of our franchisees,” Bafundo said in a statement.
As a company, RAVE’s revenue declined by $2.5 million to $2.8 million in Q4 compared to $5.3 million for the year-ago period. Net income lifted $4.4 million to $3.3 million versus a net loss of $1.1 million in Q4 2017. RAVE’s total consolidated revenue declined 42 percent for the year to $15.1 million, year-over-year. Net income was up $14.4 million to $1.9 million versus a net loss of $12.5 million last year.
RAVE’s Pizza Inn concept turned in a solid quarter with total same-store sales increases of 2.5 percent. Domestic comps upped 0.3 percent. The positive gains marked six consecutive quarters of growth for Pizza Inn.
“We attribute the increased restaurant traffic and sales momentum to new initiatives such as online ordering, all-day buffet, and remodeled franchise locations. We believe this momentum is continuing in fiscal 2019,” Bafundo said. “We are closely monitoring the effects of Hurricane Florence on our North Carolina and South Carolina stores but, despite weather challenges, we are optimistic about a seventh consecutive quarter of growth in Pizza Inn comparable store retail sales."
Pizza Inn also opened its first three Pizza Inn Express units, known as PIE. The kiosk locations give RARE a pizza business model for virtually every footprint, Bafundo said.
Pizza Inn’s domestic footprint increased by one store to 153 in the quarter. International units finished the year at 58. “At Pizza Inn, we are experiencing renewed interest in our traditional buffet model and see strong interest in our PIE kiosk model from prospective licensees,” Bafundo said.