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Pizza chain gets in fast-lane with express concept for c-stores and airports

Pizza Inn is looking to expand via a kiosk format focused on non-traditional development.

The nearly 60-year-old fast-casual chain" is launching a new prototype called Pizza Inn Express, or PIE, that is designed to give customers a fast, seamless experience when picking a hot pizza.

Geared towards convenience stores, but also an airport or entertainment venue option, Pizza Inn Express will allow customers to order and pay at a kiosk for grab-and-go or pick up their food at a designated spot. Pizza Inn has a strong presence in the southeastern part of the country where the convenience store segment has the nation's highest grouping of independent operators. The company expects to have its first prototypes operating within the next 90 days.

"Convenience stores are a $575 billion industry with 70% of sales attributed to in-store purchases," said Scott Crane, CEO of Pizza Inn parent company, Rave Restaurant Group. "This could be a game-changer for Pizza Inn as we tap into new markets and expansion opportunities for our flagship brand. We're already seeing great interest from existing and potential franchisees who see this model as a new way to serve customers the same iconic, quality pizza they have come to expect, but in a faster setting."

Founded in 1958, Pizza Inn is a subsidiary of Dallas-based Rave Restaurant Group, which owns, franchises and supplies more than 300 Pizza Inn and Pie Five restaurants operating domestically and internationally.
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