WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A better way of experiencing pizza is sweeping the nation. By mid-2014, residents inside and outside the Beltway will find out why. Pie Five Pizza Co., the nation's leading fast casual pizza chain, announced today that it has awarded 38 franchise units to ALC Hospitality, a restaurant management company owned by Alyse Cohen, who will bring the trend-setting concept to Northern Virginia, Southern Maryland and the District of Columbia. At Pie Five, guests can choose from more than a million combinations of handcrafted pizzas and a variety of specialty pie choices prepared in less than five minutes on one of four crusts. The rapidly expanding chain is capitalizing on growing consumer demand for fresh dining options and artisan pizzas in stylish environments without the wait. Cohen, a savvy restaurant owner/operator that grew up in the hotel/hospital industry, identified Pie Five after doing extensive research on the rapidly growing fast casual restaurant industry. "There's no doubt that the fast casual space is hot, because it's perfect for on-the-go consumers as well as for families that want to go out for a great meal without breaking the bank," said Cohen. "I chose to pursue the Pie Five concept because of the superb quality and flavor of its pizzas, its streamlined operational and build-out process, and the fantastic management team behind the brand." Cohen, a Georgetown graduate who grew up in Frederick County, recruited Dan Stevens to be the management arm of the team. The 35-year veteran of the restaurant and hospitality industry owns Stevens Management, which consults on several restaurant projects and is partners in two of the top-performing locations in the Houlihan's system. "Alyse is a very talented professional that has done her homework and has an excellent vision for introducing and growing the Pie Five brand in the Washington, DC area," said Madison Jobe, chief development officer for Pie Five. "Dan adds a wealth of operating experience and knows the importance of delivering a consistent, high-quality product to every guest, every time. We're very pleased to be teaming with the ALC Hospitality team as they take the Nation's Capital by storm."
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. Pie Five CEO Randy Gier was named one of the 2013 "Top 10 Trendsetting Executives in Pizza" by Pizza Marketplace.Cohen plans to open her first location by the summer of 2014. "I can't wait to get our first Pie Five units up and running," she said. "First of all, who doesn't love pizza? And better yet, who wouldn't love the ability to create their own perfect, individual pizza with all the toppings they want, all for one great price, and get it made-to-order in less than five minutes? It's an unbeatable combo, and it's unique to Pie Five." Pie Five has 13 locations in Texas, two each in Kansas and Utah, and one in North Carolina. More than 150 franchise units are currently under contract in Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington, DC. ABOUT PIE FIVE PIZZA CO. Pie Five Pizza Co. is a subsidiary of Pizza Inn Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:PZZI), headquartered in the Dallas suburb of The Colony, Texas. Pie Five is a trend-setting, fast-casual concept offering individual handcrafted pizzas with fresh ingredients made to order and prepared in less than five minutes. First introduced in 2011, Pie Five Pizza currently has 18 locations in four states with more than 150 announced franchised units under contract in 11 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, please visit www.piefivepizza.com.
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