Several struggling pizza chains, such as Pie Five and Pizza Inn, are bouncing back with greater gusto to reclaim their share of the market! Many have shown a marked improvement in recent quarters. why-were-major-pizza-brands-shutting-shop
Image from

Why were major pizza brands shutting shop?

The coronavirus pandemic was especially hard for the restaurant industry, forcing several food businesses to pare down operations if not shut shop entirely. Labor shortages, broken supply chains, and insufficient demand plagued the food industry during the period. While some of these issues continue to haunt food businesses, many have shown a marked improvement in recent quarters and are raring to make comebacks! what-is-the-rave-restaurant-group
Image from

What is the Rave Restaurant Group?

The Rave Restaurant Group is a Dallas-based company that owns pizza chains Pizza Five and Pizza Inn. They specialize in personal pizzas that are served in a fast-casual environment. Pie Five held 33 locations in the United States in 2021, while Pizza Inn boasted 252 nationwide and 38 international locations in 2020. The two brands, once widely loved, showed dwindling numbers even before the pandemic struck. But the coronavirus only made it harder for Rave Restaurant's ventures to pull through. The two brands, however, are now showing immense promise. what-is-the-secret-behind-rave-restaurants-renewed-ambitions
Image from

What is the secret behind Rave Restaurant’s renewed ambitions?

The Rave Restaurant Group declared a net income of $6.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2022 recently. This is a massive improvement from the $0.9 million net income it showed for the same period last year. In addition, the group reportedly bought back $500,000 of its shares last quarter and another $1.1 million worth this quarter.

"After nine consecutive quarters of profitability, we are transitioning from a turnaround to a stable company primed for growth," said Brandon Solano, CEO of RAVE Restaurant Group Inc., in a press release. "Our fourth quarter and fiscal year show significant same-store sales growth at both Pizza Inn and Pie Five, net income growth, EBITDA growth, and strong operating cash performance," he added further.

According to Restaurant Business, Pizza Inn's same-store sales have increased by 13% on a three-year basis. The company revealed that the pizza purveyor's domestic comparable store sales were up by 13.5% in the fourth quarter compared to last year. whats-on-the-cards-for-rave-restaurant-groups-pizza-inn
Image from

What’s on the cards for Rave Restaurant Group’s Pizza Inn?

For the first time since 2021, Pizza Inn has opened new buffet locations. The Rave Restaurant Group also recently updated Pizza Inn's logo, going for a new, more modernized look that would complement their new retail strategy. All of this investment is directed towards ensuring an improvement in the dine-in experience for customers as well as a contemporary aesthetic that would speak to a younger target audience.

While the restaurant industry abandons dine-in, the company continues to lean into a differentiated strategy, focusing on the value and variety of Pizza Inn's buffet while opportunistically capturing delivery and carry-out. "We know our customers are hungry for a connection and an 'experience' with their family, not just Covid-esq functional feeding, and we are well positioned to deliver that need," Solano said. what-are-some-of-the-other-improvements-at-pizza-inn
Image from

What are some of the other improvements at Pizza Inn? 

Remodeling efforts by the brand include new menu items at affordable prices. One dish on the menu that has been grabbing eyeballs lately is the Cheese-Filled Pretzel Crust. A decadent, melted cheese sauce oozes out of the soft pretzel crust as soon as you bite into it. The new buffet format also features fresh-made specialty pizzas with 100% house-shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese and house-made dough. Other product rollouts include the NYXL and House Pan Pizzas, along with longstanding favorites such as Taco Pizza, and Bacon Ranch Pizza, among others.

This new menu item is going to provoke fond memories of hanging out at a mall food court with friends while enjoying a pretzel dipped in cheese, said Chaz Black, RAVE Restaurant Group's Associate Vice President of Marketing, whats-on-the-cards-for-rave-restaurant-groups-pie-five
Image from

What’s on the cards for Rave Restaurant Group’s Pie Five?

Pie Five has received more than just a few setbacks in the recent past, and some of them continue to pose challenges for the company. The brand has shut about half of its locations since 2018. The Rave Group is hoping to revive the brand by making changes to the menu and remodeling its operational strategy to draw in new customers while hoping to hold on to loyalists. For instance, it is believed that the brand is planning to eschew large pies in favor of other menu items, but all within the Pizza Making space.

"Pie Five is undergoing significant investment and changes. "After six months of testing, we are currently launching the most significant menu transformation in the brand's history, focusing on differentiated pizzas made for the individual and eliminating large pizzas," said Solano, adding, "We are also making operational and hospitality improvements to personalize consumers' dine-in experience while reducing third-party delivery friction."

How has Pizza Inn managed to keep its concept fresh?

The short answer to this question might just be in the concept of the buffet. The brand has survived in people's imaginations in the United States for decades and continues to sustain itself despite recent difficulties due to its commitment to innovation. Some menu items, such as the Taco Pizza or the Bacon Ranch Pizza, have had people flocking to the pizza joint for years.

"Our customers know they will be warmly welcomed when they walk through the door, and the buffet is going to be stocked with a wide variety of fan favorites and brand-new pizzas. The great thing about buffets is that they have value in the eyes of our customers. For one low price, they can try every pizza we have and then top it off with dessert, a side salad or pasta," said Black.

Moreover, Pizza Inn is now pushing for technological and logistical advancements by partnering with DoorDash, UberEats, and GrubHub so that they can bring their pizzas directly to your doorstep. This certainly puts out positive Financial Projections that will continue to reflect in their Total Revenue!