Franchisees buy Rapid Fired Pizza

Logo courtesy of Rapid Fired Pizza

Fast food chain Rapid Fired Pizza has been bought up by a few of its franchisees, the company said on Friday.

Pie Guys Restaurants, with industry veteran Mike Kern as CEO and Chairman and Chip Hurst as Director of Development, acquired the 33-unit concept for an undisclosed amount.

Kern previously served as CEO and CMO of Long John Silvers and VP of Brand Marketing for KFC. Hurst has extensive experience in commercial real estate.

Rapid Fired Pizza founder Ray Wiley, who launched the chain in 2015, will continue with the brand as a franchisee, operating locations in Ohio.

The Kettering, Ohio-based chain is known for making pizza to order in 180 seconds or less. The Rapid Fired menu also includes salads, breadsticks, desserts, beer and wine.

Pie Guys is based in South Carolina and operates three Rapid Fired locations in the state.

“Having been part of large brand chains built on a franchisee model, as well as frontline day-to-day operations, we understand how to work with franchisees as partners to drive brand growth and mutual success,” said Kern said in a statement.

The new owners said they would focus on unit growth and brand building, with plans for franchise development in the Midwest, Southeast and Texas.

Rapid Fired plans to open five new locations over the next 12 months, while expanding into non-traditional locations such as grocery stores, stadiums and student centers.

The chain will retain its headquarters in Ohio while new owners consider moving it to South Carolina, the chain said.

Rapid Fired has outperformed many chains in the struggling fast-casual pizza segment recently, according to data from sister company Restaurant Business Technomic.

The chain saw sales growth of 5.4% in 2020 from the previous year, with total sales of around $ 25.2 million, according to Technomic.

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