Pizza Inn Inc. said it will launch a new concept this week called Pie Five Pizza Co., offering upscale pizzas that can be customized and cooked in less than five minutes.
The company said it plans to franchise the new 1,800-square-foot, 60-seat concept, which is far smaller than its typical 4,000-square-foot Pizza Inn buffet restaurant.
Pie Five Pizza, which debuts Friday in Forth Worth, Texas, also will sell wine and beer, unlike Pizza Inn.
Pie Five sells only one size of pie, with a 9-inch diameter, for a base price of $6.49. The menu has 10 specialty pies and a create-your-own option. The pizzas are cooked in less than five minutes through the use of a conveyor-belt convection oven.
“This is true gourmet pizza prepared to the customer’s wishes without the wait,” Charlie Morrison, president and chief executive of The Colony, Texas-based Pizza Inn Inc., said in a statement.
At the end of its latest third quarter, Pizza Inn operated or franchised 298 locations, including buffet restaurants, delivery and carryout units, and express branches.
The customizable pizza segment, which allows customers to create their own pies and watch them being cooked, has seen growth as the conveyer-belt convection-oven equipment has become more widely available.
One such chain, Top That! Pizza, debuted six months ago in Tulsa, Okla., and recently announced plans to expand to the Middle East in a 20-unit franchise deal.
Top That! Pizza was developed by Jeff and Lori Walderich, who are licensing the concept via Beautiful Brands International of Tulsa. Two additional units are under construction and scheduled to open later this year.