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Pie Five’s 1Q same-store sales fall 17.3%

Parent Rave says 4 units opened, 5 closed in period as it works on economic model

Rave Restaurant Group Inc.’s Pie Five fast-casual pizza brand suffered same-store declines of 17.3 percent in the first quarter, the company reported Wednesday.

The Dallas-based Rave, which also owns the Pizza Inn buffet brand, said total systemwide sales for Pie Five were also down 17.3 percent in the first quarter ended Sept. 24.

“Our turnaround plan for Rave is on-course with Pizza Inn showing positive comparable sales and unit growth in the pipeline, while Pie Five successfully exits underperforming markets and works to improve its underlying unit economics," said Scott Crane, Rave CEO, in a statement.

Pie Five closed 18 restaurants, half of them company-owned, in the spring.

In the first quarter, Pie Five opened three new franchised units and one new company-owned restaurants, but five franchised restaurants were closed. The Pie Five total as of Sept. 24 was 83 units.

“International and nontraditional development are showing great promise for Pie Five," Crane said, citing a recent debut at San Francisco International Airport. “We just opened an airport location at SFO Airport,” he said, “and its initial sales are fantastic.” Crane said weekly sales at company-owned Pie Five locations have improved, but the company is “continuing to focus on lifting the core unit economic model.”

The company in its earnings released said it “continues to believe that increased competition within the fast-casual segment and general industry softness has contributed to weakened trends within the Pie Five system.”

For the first quarter, Rave narrowed its net loss to $356,000, or 3 cents a share, from $1.5 million, or 14 cents a share, in the prior-year period. Revenues fell 13.8 percent, to $13.2 million from $15.3 million in the same quarter last year.

“We have made great strides in streamlining corporate overhead to become more efficient operationally while improving the bottom line,” Crane said.

During the first fiscal quarter, the number of Pizza Inn domestic units declined to 159, while international units remained steady at 60 units. Pizza Inn domestic same-store sales increased 1.4 percent from the same period last year.

“There is a great deal of excitement around the Pizza Inn brand right now,” Crane said, adding that he was “seeing franchisees reenergized and looking to add more units.”

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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