THE COLONY, Texas, July 1, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Austin will soon welcome its first wave of Pie Five Pizza restaurants, marking the next area of expansion for the leading brand in the rapidly growing fast-casual pizza space. Pie Five Pizza Co., a subsidiary of Pizza Inn Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:PZZI), announced today that it has awarded 12 franchise units to seasoned entrepreneurs Sudesh Patidar and Chirag Patel. Austin will be Pie Five's second Texas market, after its Dallas-Fort Worth home base. The agreement spans Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties. Patel has been a successful Subway and Smoothie King franchisee in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. Patidar, his business partner, is an engineer by training and has previously owned and operated multiple Candy World stores in the DFW area. "Pie Five's model is focused on providing personalized service, so there was an immediate comfort factor there for me on the operational side," said Patel. "As we did our homework on the concept and the management team and resources behind it, we became convinced that Pie Five is the most promising company in the fast-casual segment today. We are equally certain that Pie Five will be an overnight sensation in Austin." Pie Five has been named a 2013 Top 50 Restaurant Brand of the Year, a 2012 Hot Concepts winner by Nation's Restaurant News and one of "10 Hot New Restaurant Chains from Established Brands" by Forbes.com. "Austin has been a priority expansion market of ours from the beginning, so it was imperative for us to team-up with very capable and experienced franchise partners," said Madison Jobe, chief development officer for Pie Five. "We're honored that Sudesh and Chirag think so highly of our brand, and we look forward to working closely with them as they introduce the good people of Austin to the Pie Five experience."