For the second time this month, a successful Five Guys franchisee has joined forces with the leader of the rapidly growing fast-casual pizza space.
Pie Five Pizza Co., a subsidiary of Pizza Inn Holdings Inc., announced that it has awarded up to 12 franchise units to Jeff Mengel, who will bring the trend-setting concept to his native Baltimore.
“We’ve been looking for more than a year for the next category killer in the fast-casual space, where we could get in early like we did with Five Guys,” Mengel says. “I’m a very strong believer in the fast-casual segment because busy people with active lifestyles want to eat on the go, but they still expect high quality. Pie Five has perfected the model in the pizza space, and I have no doubt they are poised for explosive growth.”
Mengel is the managing partner of four Five Guys locations in the Baltimore area. Three of the four operate among the top five in gross sales in the local market, and all four operate above the brand’s system average. Mengel’s partnership group with fellow franchisee Jeff Percey has won two of the chain’s top awards: “Top Franchisee – Highest Average Unit Volume” and “High Sales Volume in a Traditional Location.”
Two weeks ago, Percey announced that he would be introducing Pie Five to the Richmond, Virginia, market.
“Jeff Mengel and his operating team have proven that they know how to operate at a very high level in the fast-casual space,” says Madison Jobe, chief development officer for Pie Five. “They understand the importance of delivering a consistent, high-quality product to every guest every time, and they are intimately familiar with the Baltimore restaurant market. We are delighted that Jeff is now part of our team, and we look forward to revolutionizing the pizza experience in Charm City.”
At Pie Five, guests can choose from more than a million combinations of handcrafted pizzas and a variety of specialty pie choices prepared in less than five minutes on one of four crusts. The rapidly expanding chain is capitalizing on growing consumer demand for fresh dining options and artisan pizzas in stylish environments without the wait.
“Among consumers, demand is high for customized meals across all segments; so when I first heard about Pie Five, I was immediately drawn to the idea of getting a made-to-order pizza with whatever toppings I wanted in less than five minutes,” Mengel says. “Then, when I saw what an experienced and impressive leadership team they had, along with their fantastic operations and business model, I was convinced they had a breakthrough concept that could be replicated in Baltimore and around the country.”
Pie Five has been named one of “10 Hot New Restaurant Chains from Established Brands” by Forbes.com.
Pie Five currently has 10 locations in Texas and one location in Utah. The addition of the Baltimore market brings the total announced franchise restaurants under contract to 97 in Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.
The first Baltimore-area restaurant is projected to open in early 2014.