What is in this article?:
- Project Pie expands, launches franchise program
- Creating a unique look
The brand plans on creating a unique looks for each of its new restaurants.
Creating a unique look
The second Project Pie restaurant is scheduled to open in early February in the San Diego neighborhood of Hillcrest. At about 2,300 square feet — slightly larger than the 1,800-square-foot unit in Las Vegas — the San Diego unit will serve as a template for future locations.
A third company-owned location is under construction in Boulder, Colo., with the target opening set for mid March. The company plans to open seven restaurants in 2013, with locations also planned in New York; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco.
Meanwhile, the company has signed an agreement with International Family Food Services Inc., based in Manila, to develop 50 locations in the Philippines.
Markham said Project Pie is also close to finalizing franchise agreements for development in Atlanta; Austin, Texas; and possibly San Diego. “We’re going to do corporate and franchise in some markets to seed the market ourselves,” he said.
With franchising underway, Markham said the company has developed four interior design options, with the goal of creating a unique look for each restaurant.
Markham is also planning to open units in recycled shipping containers that are powered by hydraulics and run on vegetable oil. The units can be set up quickly in nontraditional locations like festivals or sporting events.
The company is testing a café concept within a shipping container called Boxd in Carlsbad, Calif., offering waffles and waffle sandwiches. Markham said the setting will also work for Project Pie, although mostly likely in three shipping containers modified to stand together so customers can walk the service line.
Markham said he sees an open runway for fast-casual pizza, despite the number of competitors already grappling for attention.
“You will start to see some of them falling off because they won’t be able to handle the operational piece with quick growth,” he said. “What will make the difference, in the end, is who will be able to execute properly.”