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Meet the some of the fastest-growing concepts in the competitive fast-casual pizza niche. Most emphasize a made-from-scratch crust and the use of locally sourced and high-quality ingredients that result in a premium pie.
Founded in 2008 by Drew French, Athens, Ga.-based Your Pie is not far behind Uncle Maddio’s unit count, with 18 locations, mostly in the Southeast. Next month, Your Pie will open its 19th restaurant, a corporate location that will feature a new design and updated menu.
Last year, the chain’s franchising arm won an undisclosed investment from Atlanta-based private-equity firm Georgia Oak Partners. French, who is founder and president, is now a franchisee, with ownership in five units.
• Units: 18 in Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and South Carolina
• Units by end of 2014: 27, plus the new markets of Alabama and North Carolina. All but one location will be franchised.
• Signed franchise agreements in development: 10 to open within a year and a half
• Menu news: The new flagship restaurant to open in mid-May will have a new design and menu presentation, including the addition of chopped salads and more quality products. The housemade dough and brick-oven pizza baking process won’t change, but Your Pie is fine-tuning its craft beer offerings.
“We’re trying not only to change the way people think about pizza, but also to change the way they think about fast casual,” said French.
• What gives it an edge: Passion. “We developed the brand from a blank canvas,” said French. “We’ve got the most passion and most experience.”