Pie Five Pizza Co. announced that it has awarded 38 franchise units to ALC Hospitality, a restaurant management company owned by Alyse Cohen, who will bring the concept to Northern Virginia, Southern Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

At Pie Five, guests can choose from many combinations of pizzas and a variety of specialty pie choices prepared in less than five minutes on one of four crusts.

Cohen, a savvy restaurant owner and operator who grew up in the hotel and hospital industry, identified Pie Five after doing extensive research on the growing fast-casual restaurant industry.

“There’s no doubt that the fast-casual space is hot, because it’s perfect for on-the-go consumers as well as for families that want to go out for a great meal without breaking the bank,” Cohen says. “I chose to pursue the Pie Five concept because of the superb quality and flavor of its pizzas, its streamlined operational and build-out process, and the fantastic management team behind the brand.”

Cohen, a Georgetown graduate who grew up in Frederick County, Maryland, recruited Dan Stevens to be the management arm of the team. The 35-year veteran of the restaurant and hospitality industry owns Stevens Management, which consults on several restaurant projects and is partners in two of the top-performing locations in the Houlihan’s system.

“Alyse is a very talented professional that has done her homework and has an excellent vision for introducing and growing the Pie Five brand in the Washington, D.C., area,” says Madison Jobe, chief development officer for Pie Five. “Dan adds a wealth of operating experience and knows the importance of delivering a consistent, high-quality product to every guest, every time. We’re very pleased to be teaming with the ALC Hospitality team as they take the Nation’s Capital by storm.”

Cohen plans to open her first location by the summer of 2014.

“I can’t wait to get our first Pie Five units up and running,” she says. “First of all, who doesn’t love pizza? And better yet, who wouldn’t love the ability to create their own perfect, individual pizza with all the toppings they want, all for one great price, and get it made-to-order in less than five minutes? It’s an unbeatable combo, and it’s unique to Pie Five.”

Pie Five has 13 locations in Texas, two each in Kansas and Utah, and one in North Carolina. More than 150 franchise units are currently under contract in Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Fast Casual, News, Pizza, Pie Five Pizza