Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint recently initiated expansion into the Dallas, Texas market. This will mark the first Texas location for Uncle Maddio’s.

The restaurant brand is dominating the fast-casual pizza market. In 2013, it will average two new location openings per month. At the last three grand openings, customers were lined up for hours before the store opened.

With sold-out markets in Atlanta; Louisville, Kentucky; Savannah, Georgia; Jacksonville, Florida; and Tallahassee, Tennessee, Uncle Maddio’s is the fastest-growing fast-casual pizza franchise.

To kick off its growth into the Dallas market, franchisee representatives met with 75 local area entrepreneurs earlier this month.

As the culture of eating out changes, the restaurant industry is driven to meet customers’ evolving demands. Lately, there has been a shift in how and what people want to eat, with an emphasis on fresh, organic ingredients, as well as options to suit a large and growing population with gluten intolerance and food allergies.

Customers want these choices, and at the same time, they want quality, expedient service, and budget-friendly prices. With a proven success model and eager customers hungry for more, Uncle Maddio’s founder and chief pizza maker Matt Andrew (also former cofounder and president of Moe’s) knew it was time to give the world fast-casual pizza.

Known as the “Chipotle of pizza,” Uncle Maddio’s launched the fast-casual pizza market three years ago with the opening of its first store in Atlanta. By the spring of next year, there will be 20 restaurant franchises open and 125 more in development throughout the Southeast.

Uncle Maddio’s answers the call for more choices and better food with what Andrew calls “braggable food” and an innovative menu that gives customers more than three million pizza combinations. 

Its menu contains three types of crusts (white, wheat, and gluten-free), six sauces, seven cheeses (including Daiya vegan cheese), and  47 different fresh toppings, including locally-sourced vegetables delivered fresh daily, free-range, and hormone-free chicken, organic greens, and handmade meatballs and sausages. 

In addition to pizza, It serves toasted panini sandwiches and gourmet salads.

Entrepreneurs seeking to operate a franchise should know that Uncle Maddio’s boasts a fun working environment and provides comprehensive start-up and ongoing business and marketing support.

Uncle Maddio’s is backed by an executive management team with more than 50 years of experience, as well as consistent, strong branding and aggressive social-media marketing strategy. The store footprint accommodates both traditional and non-traditional sites.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Fast Casual, Growth, News, Pizza, Uncle Maddio's