Pieology Pizzeria hired former Panera Bread executive, Clay Sanger, as its chief operating officer. Leveraging nearly 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Sanger previously served as senior vice president of operations for SusieCakes Bakeries, as well as simultaneously held the role of regional vice president of operations for Panera Bread and the Panera Bread company-owned concept, Paradise Bakery & Café.
“We are thrilled to add an industry veteran of Clay’s caliber to our talented leadership team as we continue our nationwide expansion,” says Carl Chang, Pieology founder and CEO. “We are committed to setting every member of the Pieology family up for success and we’re confident Clay will help to add a new level of operational efficiency to the growing Pieology organization."
At Pieology, Sanger will oversee both company and franchise operations, which include franchise development, real estate, training, ops support, store design, and construction. As COO, he is responsible for developing operations processes, structuring well-balanced teams, and coaching personnel to help them achieve their respective goals. With nearly 130 Pieology restaurants in operation and 70 more projected to open by the end of 2017, Sanger’s overarching role is to ensure the consistent delivery of excellent food quality, outstanding guest service and pristine restaurant facilities system wide.
“I am honored to join the Pieology team, whose mission and values reflect the highest commitment to quality and people development, and I firmly believe that our product is by far the best in the fast casual pizza segment,” Sanger says. “I’m looking forward to working closely with Pieology’s talented team members and enthusiastic franchisees, who are collectively dedicated to providing a memorable guest experience that will help us continue to grow into an enduring and beloved brand.”
Pieology is steadily expanding its U.S. footprint, with well over 750 commitments throughout the country in various stages of development. In 2016 alone, Pieology received a strategic minority investment from Panda Restaurant Group (Panda Express) and began segment consolidation with the acquisition of Project Pie. With these industry-first developments, Pieology has further strengthened its position as the category leader while significantly accelerating company growth.