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Pie Five 1Q same-store sales drop 14.7%

Fast-casual pizza chain works to improve speed and convenience

Rave Restaurant Group Inc. is working to make pizza faster and more convenient at its fast-casual Pie Five concept after same-store sales fell 14.7 percent in the first quarter ended Sept. 25, interim CEO Clinton Coleman said Wednesday.

The Dallas-based company is also parent to the Pizza Inn buffet brand.

"We are implementing several new service, product and marketing initiatives to address these poor traffic trends at Pie Five, including the recent launch of online ordering,” Coleman said in a statement.

The Pie Five system’s average weekly sales fell 12.8 percent in the quarter as well, the company said.

“The company believes that increased competition within the fast-casual segment and general industry softness contributed to weakened trends within the Pie Five system,” the company noted, adding that new restaurants entering the comparative store base had lower average sales than in earlier years.

In order to stem sliding sales, Coleman said the company is working on several initiatives at 92-unit Pie Five.

"At Pie Five, we are focused on making it faster and more convenient for our customers to get a consistently great personalized pizza,” he said.

Coleman added that domestic same-store sales at Pizza Inn increased 0.2 percent in the first quarter.

“I'm pleased that Pizza Inn is performing relatively well in a tough dine-in restaurant environment, and the performance of recent new and remodeled franchised restaurants indicates a potential for establishing a sustainable growth path for the brand," he said.

Rave’s first-quarter loss widened to $1.5 million, of 14 cents per share, from $557,000, or 5 cents per share, the previous year. Charges were taken from expenses related to restaurant closings. Revenue rose 6.3 percent, to $15.5 million, from $14.5 million the previous year.

In the first quarter, franchisees opened six new Pie Five restaurants. The company closed one owned location, and a franchised unit also shuttered in the quarter.

Rave has more than 300 restaurants across the Pie Five and Pizza Inn brands.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless 

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