With an updated look, a return to its product roots, and a royalty-free franchise incentive program beginning September 1, Pizza Inn (Nasdaq:PZZI) has announced an expansion campaign designed to add several new restaurants nationwide over the next year.

The latest of the new prototype restaurant opens Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas. The company-owned restaurant, at 4833 South Hulen in Fort Worth, across from Hulen Mall, features a game room and party room as well as the signature buffet and salad bar.

The new prototype gives a nod to the company’s rich history with the return of the original icon of the national chain, JoJo, along with a refocus on the restaurant’s core product line that includes its popular pizza buffet, pizzerts, pastas, soups, and salad bar.

“We are experiencing our strongest growth in years, especially in those areas where we have introduced the new prototype,” Morrison says.

“We decided to look at where our successes had been over the years and put all of our energy on building up those areas. This new prototype brings back the personality of the restaurants and already the early response has exceeded even our own expectations.”

As an incentive to potential franchisees, on September 1 Pizza Inn will begin offering a program in which new franchisees pay no royalties the first year, 2 percent the second year, and 4 percent beginning the third year.

In addition to new locations, existing Pizza Inns nationwide will be encouraged to incorporate the new look and operations into their restaurants.

“This is the future of Pizza Inn,” Morrison says. “It allows us to showcase our heritage as well as the variety and quality of our food in a fun, family atmosphere.”

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Finance, Growth, News, Pizza, Pizza Inn