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Problems deepen for onetime fast-casual leader

pie five pizza exterior

A 17.4% free fall in same-store sales for the Pie Five fast-casual pizza chain tripped franchisor Rave Restaurant Group into a header at the end of 2016, leaving the two-chain company with a quarterly loss of $7.9 million on revenues of $14.8 million.

Rave lost $4.8 million in the same three-month stretch of 2015.

The company attributed Pie Five's problems to fierce competition in the fast-casual market and "general industry softness."

The results were the glum financial news from Pie Five, once a pacesetter in the fast-casual pizza market. Rave’s new CEO, Scott Crane, said his team is developing “bold new strategies” to stem the damage, and mentioned the specific step of reviewing underperforming markets.

He also revealed that Pie Five is exploring “new sales channels,” but did not provide details.

Rave’s older brand, the venerable Pizza Inn chain, posted a comparable-store loss of 1.2% for the quarter ended Dec. 25.

Pie Five added seven restaurants during Rave’s fiscal second quarter, bringing the chainwide store count to 99.


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