Pie Five to Introduce Fast Casual Pizza to the Commonwealth

Pie Five to Introduce Fast Casual Pizza to the CommonwealthTrend-setting chain announces 10 locations coming to Lexington, Louisville

Pie Five to Introduce Fast Casual Pizza to the CommonwealthAttention, pizza lovers across the Bluegrass State. Your quest for perfect, made-to-order pizza at a great price is about to end.

Pie Five Pizza Co., the nation’s leading fast-casual pizza brand, announced today that it has awarded up to 10 franchise units to accomplished restaurateur Mark Mehrizi. He and business partner Ford Lankford plan to open their first Pie Five in the Lexington market in the summer of 2015.

Mehrizi, whose career spans more than two decades of food service and franchising experience, set his sights on Pie Five after learning about the trend-setting chain’s rapid growth across the country. Having been a successful franchise owner of Frankfort’s Pizza Inn restaurant since 1991, it didn’t take Mehrizi long to determine that Pie Five Pizza – a subsidiary of Pizza Inn Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZI) – would be the perfect fit for the local marketplace.

“As a bustling college town whose health care, retail and cultural centers serve the entire Bluegrass Region, Lexington is the ideal market for fast-casual pizza,” Mehrizi said. “I have no doubt that this area will immediately embrace Pie Five and its ingenious approach to serving handcrafted, freshly made, individualized pizzas, salads and desserts.”

A University of Kentucky alumnus, Lankford brings years of financial expertise to the enterprise. Coincidentally, he had been researching Pie Five’s business model for about a year before Mehrizi approached him to join his venture. The knowledge and professionalism of Pie Five’s executive team, combined with a simple concept that puts quality dining and fast, friendly service front-and-center, helped solidify Lankford’s decision to come aboard.

“I love pizza, plain and simple, so when I learned about Pie Five’s ‘make it, bake it and take it’ model, I was instantly blown away. I’ve seen the restaurants in action, and these guys are game-changers in the industry,” Lankford said. “You get your pizza the way you want it, it’s the same price no matter how many toppings you want and it’s all ready in less than five minutes. It’s an unbeatable combo and it’s no wonder it’s sweeping the nation.”

Pie Five to Introduce Fast Casual Pizza to the CommonwealthAt Pie Five, guests can choose from more than a million combinations of handcrafted personal pizzas and a variety of specialty pie choices, all for one low price. Add one of our hand-made salads and desserts, prepared fresh every day, and the entire meal will be prepared in less than five minutes. The rapidly expanding chain is capitalizing on growing consumer demand for fresh dining options and artisan pizzas in stylish environments without the wait.

“Pie Five is growing strong from coast to coast and now that we’ve partnered with two of Lexington’s finest, we’re ready to introduce our concept to the people of the Commonwealth,” said Randy Gier, chief executive officer of Pie Five Pizza. “Mark has an exceptional track record at Pizza Inn, and both he and Ford understand our brand values and share our passion for providing impeccable customer service. We’re honored to have them both as members of our franchise team.”

Pie Five has been named among Fast Casual’s 2014 Top 15 “Movers & Shakers,” a 2012 Hot Concepts winner by Nation’s Restaurant News and one of “10 Hot New Restaurant Chains from Established Brands” by Forbes.com. The company currently has 29 locations in nine states (Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia) with more than 400 announced company-owned and franchise units under contract in 16 states and Washington, DC.

A complete menu and more information are available at piefivepizza.com.

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Pie Five to Introduce Fast Casual Pizza to the CommonwealthPie Five Pizza is recognized as the leader in the rapidly growing fast casual pizza category.  Since opening its first store in 2011, Pie Five is showing the nation’s pizza lovers that they can get a quality, custom-made pizza the way they want it, five minutes at a time.  Pie Five is a subsidiary of Pizza Inn Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZI), based in the Dallas suburb of The Colony, Texas. Pizza Inn Holdings is an owner, franchisor and supplier of more than 275 restaurants operating domestically and internationally. Pie Five Pizza Co. is the leading brand in the rapidly growing fast-casual pizza space, offering individual handcrafted pizzas with fresh ingredients made to order in less than five minutes. For more information, please visit piefivepizza.com.