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Pizza Inn, Pie Five parent continues to struggle

Rave Restaurant Group’s revenue and store counts keep shrinking, even as many chains experience a late-pandemic boost.
Pie Five
Photo: Shutterstock

The restaurant recovery many chains are seeing appears to be eluding Rave Restaurant group, the parent company of fast casual Pie Five and buffet brand Pizza Inn.

The Dallas-based operator on Thursday reported total revenue for its third quarter ended March 28 decreased by $500,000 to $2.2 million, compared to the same period the year before.

Rave’s net income for the quarter was $400,000, compared to a net loss of $4.5 million a year ago.

“We are pleased that the heroic efforts of our management, franchisees and team members have resulted in another profitable quarter amidst a pandemic and significant government restrictions,” Rave CEO Brandon Solano said in a statement, noting that “much work remains” for the brands.

The restaurants’ unit counts continue to shrink as well. Pizza Inn ended the quarter with 137 U.S. locations, down from 142 restaurants in its second quarter. Pie Five ended Q3 with just 35 units, after closing two locations since its last earnings report. In 2019, Pizza Inn had 155 units and Pie Five had 58.

Solano said his restaurants will focus on innovation, operational consistency, tech upgrades and cost controls to speed future growth.

“In Q3, Pizza Inn launched garlic-buttery crust systemwide,” he said in a statement. “Based on our research, this is a big consumer idea that holds significant opportunity. We also believe the value and variety of the Pizza Inn buffet can capitalize on pent-up consumer demand for real, authentic, in-person dining experiences with families and friends.”

Solano teased “another buffet innovation” slated to be announced later this month.

Pie Five launched a new pan pizza as well as a new pricing strategy during Q3.

“This month, we expect to introduce a differentiated pizza innovation with strong freshness/better-for-you cues, becoming the first among major fast-casual pizza brands to do so,” Solano said. “We have partnered with a well-known brand in a growing segment of the foodservice industry for this upcoming launch.”

Earlier this year, Rave cleared its second Nasdaq delisting notice in six months. The operator had run afoul of the stock market’s $1 minimum price bid requirement. As of mid-day Thursday, Rave’s stock was trading at $1.30 per share.

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