Pizza is the in thing for this company. Pizza Inn operates a chain of franchised quick-service pizza restaurants, with more than 300 locations in the US and the Middle East. The eateries feature a menu of pizzas, pastas, and sandwiches, along with salads and desserts. Most locations offer buffet-style and table service, while other units are strictly delivery and carryout units. The chain also has limited-menu express carryout units in convenience stores and airport terminals, and on college campuses. Pizza Inn's domestic locations are concentrated in more than 15 southern states, with about half located in Texas and North Carolina. Chairman Mark Schwarz owns more than 35% of the company.
In 2011 the company opened a new fast-casual concept, Pie Five Pizza, in Fort Worth, Texas. Pie Five lets customers select toppings as they progress down an ordering line before high-tech ovens bake the nine-inch pizzas in two minutes.
The company is focused on franchising as a means to expand and operate its chain of pizza parlors. Local operators pay royalties and other franchising fees for the right to use the Pizza Inn brand name and other intellectual property. Pizza Inn also supplies its domestic franchisees with food and foodservice equipment through its Norco Restaurant Services subsidiary.
Pizza Inn is concentrating its expansion plans on international markets, specifically in the Middle East. In Bahrain, the company plans to open a dozen locations through a franchising agreement with United Food Company. Pizza Inn does have two corporate-run pizza parlors in Texas used for training and product testing. – less