Pizza De la Comunidad LLC signed a development agreement with Pizza Patrón to enter the San Diego market with 11 locations over the next three years.

Restaurant industry veteran Pete Tucker formed Pizza De la Comunidad LLC with an investment group of local San Diego business professionals including Robert Rubio, of the Rubio family, founders of Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill. The group is looking for locations throughout San Diego County and hopes to have their first location open in the first quarter of 2011, Tucker says.

"We are excited to introduce this concept to the San Diego area," Tucker says. "It is an innovative brand that marries a terrific pizza with a familiar Latin vibe for a price that is unmatched in the industry. By locating stores within the Hispanic communities that we will serve, we can create a place where language, culture, and great food can come together. We are very excited to be a part of the Pizza Patrón family."

Tucker has more than 25 years of restaurant industry experience, with General Mills Food Group, Chi-Chi's Mexican Restaurant, and Einstein Bros. Bagels. 

"San Diego is a natural growth market for our brand," says Guillermo Estrada, president of Pizza Patrón. "We are thrilled to have an experienced developer like Pete Tucker in our franchise system. This strategic alliance is part of the company's plan to develop the southern California region, and Pizzas de la Comunidad will play an important role in the opening of a new region that is one of the most important Hispanic markets in the U.S."

Approximately 93 percent of Pizza Patrón restaurants in the U.S. are owned and operated by franchisees. Pizza Patrón plans to have 750 stores nationwide within a decade.

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