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Emerging Brands

New owner shakes up ops at Crazy Dough’s Pizza as it readies for growth

Georgia Franchise Group is using a commissary approach to produce the concept’s labor-intensive dough.
Photograph courtesy of Crazy Dough

A concept named Crazy Dough’s Pizza better have some crazy-good dough.

Todd Broaderick, president of Atlanta-based Georgia Franchise Group, which completed its acquisition of the six-unit chain this week, is working to put systems in place to ensure the concept’s award-winning but labor-intensive crust can be scaled up for growth.

Crazy Dough’s, which began in Boston in 1999, has hired a third-party baker in Atlanta to create its dough, and it opened a 1,000-square-foot commissary kitchen in Duluth, Ga., where the dough is hand-stretched and char-grilled before being packaged and sent to stores.

There are currently two corporate-owned Crazy Dough locations in the Atlanta area, with two more slated to open in coming months and a franchising push on the horizon. Using the commissary allows the stores to operate with small footprints, without dough-making equipment, char-grills and venting hoods, Broaderick said.

“It made more sense to put all of our efforts into the commissary,” he said. “It allows us to go into some really small footprints where a typical pizza place could never get into.”

Doug and Melissa Ferriman opened the first Crazy Dough’s Pizza in Boston in 1999. Under the acquisition deal, they’ve now become franchisees of the fast-casual chain.

The concept sells pizza by the slice and in whole or half pies.

Brad Evans, who formerly worked in operations for Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, now serves as vice president of operations for the growing pizza chain.

“Doug’s really great at what he does,” Evans said. “What I wanted to do was take what was in his brain and make it operational for someone outside of Doug.”

In addition to preparing the dough off-site, new stores will have stacking side-by-side ovens, allowing operators to churn out more pizza more efficiently.

“It seems really simple, but it just changes the whole flow and dynamics of our line and the amount of volume,” Broaderick said.

The chain has partnered with several third-party delivery services and is creating an off-premise pickup area in new units.

Crazy Dough’s new owners are trying to work out the operational kinks before bringing on more franchisees.

“I wanted to show the commitment of opening our own stores, which this is allowing us to do,” Broaderick said. “It’s a little slower growth plan. We’re learning a lot in different markets. … If we hadn’t done that, people would be learning on the fly with us.”

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