Pie Five Pizza Co., a subsidiary of Pizza Inn Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:PZZI), has awarded the first multi-unit franchise agreement in the state of Florida. The deal with one of Florida’s most successful entrepreneurs, L. Gale Lemerand, will introduce the fast-casual brand that was named a 2012 Hot Concept of the Year winner by Nation’s Restaurant Newsto the state with aggressive growth plans to develop 10 units across the Orlando, Gainesville, Melbourne and Daytona markets.
“One of the hottest concepts in America is coming to Florida,” said Randy Gier, CEO of Pie Five. “Pie Five is making a bold entry into the state with a great business leader, and soon local residents will get a taste of our award-winning pizza dining experience.”
Lemerand is a sole owner or partner in 29 restaurants in Florida. They include 17 Stonewood Grill & Tavern restaurants, five Peach Valley Café locations, four Houligan’s sports bars, as well as Perkins Family Restaurant and Bakery, a tapas restaurant called The Dish and Ormond Wine Company. He previously owned one of the country’s largest insulation companies that he sold to a Fortune 200 company.
Also known as a prominent philanthropist, Lemerand is one of the biggest donors to the University of Florida where a scholarship fund, the street to Gator stadium, the athletic center, the football practice field and a number of other gifts bear his name.
“Gale’s success speaks volumes,” Gier said, “not only for his national business expertise and his impressive restaurant achievements, but also for his community involvement. Pie Five is proud to be a part of Florida’s future with him leading that presence.”
At Pie Five Pizza, guests can choose from more than a million combinations of hand-crafted pizzas and a variety of specialty pie choices prepared in less than five minutes on one of four crusts.
When Lemerand visited several Pie Five locations in Texas, he was ready to bring the concept to Florida in a big way. “I thought, ‘How can you make a really good pizza in five minutes?'” he said. “They’ve got it nailed. It’s a great pizza and a great product.”
He was also impressed with Pie Five’s infrastructure. “They have all the staff, all the assets and all the knowledge of being in the pizza business for so many years,” Lemerand said.
With nine corporate-owned locations in Texas and multi-unit franchise agreements for Utah and Charlotte-N.C., Florida joins the lineup in one of the fastest-growing restaurant sectors.
Lemerand plans to open multiple locations in Florida to meet growing consumer demand for fresh dining options and artisan pizzas in stylish environments without the wait. He is looking at several potential sites to develop in both cities and plans to announce the location of his first Pie Five restaurant in the next 60 days.
Pie Five is a subsidiary of Pizza Inn Holdings, Inc. headquartered in the Dallas suburb of The Colony, Texas, Pizza Inn Holdings, Inc., is an owner, franchisor and supplier of a system of restaurants operating domestically and internationally. Pie Five Pizza Co. is a fast-casual concept offering individual pizzas made to order and cooked in less than five minutes. Founded in 1958, publicly traded Pizza Inn Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:PZZI) franchises approximately 300 restaurants and directly owns and operates 13 restaurants. For more information, please visit www.piefivepizza.com.