Pie Five Pizza Co. announced today that it has awarded up to 10 franchise units to accomplished restaurateur Mark Mehrizi. He and business partner Ford Lankford plan to open their first Pie Five in the Lexington, Kentucky, market in the summer of 2015.
Mehrizi, whose career spans more than two decades of foodservice and franchising experience, set his sights on Pie Five after learning about the chain’s rapid growth across the country. Having been a successful franchise owner of Frankfort’s Pizza Inn restaurant since 1991, Mehrizi says it didn’t take long to determine that Pie Five Pizza—a subsidiary of Pizza Inn Holdings Inc.—would be the perfect fit for the local marketplace.
“As a bustling college town whose health care, retail, and cultural centers serve the entire Bluegrass Region, Lexington is the ideal market for fast-casual pizza,” Mehrizi says. “I have no doubt that this area will immediately embrace Pie Five and its ingenious approach to serving handcrafted, freshly made, individualized pizzas, salads, and desserts.”
A University of Kentucky alumnus, Lankford brings years of financial expertise to the enterprise. He had been researching Pie Five’s business model for about a year before Mehrizi approached him to join his venture. He says the knowledge and professionalism of Pie Five’s executive team, combined with a simple concept that puts quality dining and fast, friendly service front and center, helped solidify Lankford’s decision to come aboard.
“I love pizza, plain and simple, so when I learned about Pie Five’s ‘make it, bake it, and take it’ model, I was instantly blown away. I’ve seen the restaurants in action, and these guys are game-changers in the industry,” Lankford says. “You get your pizza the way you want it, it’s the same price no matter how many toppings you want and it’s all ready in less than five minutes. It’s an unbeatable combo and it’s no wonder it’s sweeping the nation.”
At Pie Five, guests can choose from more than a million combinations of personal pizzas and a variety of specialty pie choices, all for one price. The rapidly expanding chain is capitalizing on growing consumer demand for fresh dining options and artisan pizzas in stylish environments without the wait.
“Pie Five is growing strong from coast to coast and now that we’ve partnered with two of Lexington’s finest, we’re ready to introduce our concept to the people of the Commonwealth,” says Randy Gier, chief executive officer of Pie Five Pizza. “Mark has an exceptional track record at Pizza Inn, and both he and Ford understand our brand values and share our passion for providing impeccable customer service. We’re honored to have them both as members of our franchise team.”