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CEO Hopes Pizza Inn Watchers Rave about Name Change


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Pie Five is Rave Restaurant Group's growth brand. The parent company was called Pizza Inn Holdings.

“Names are important. Names communicate to people what you’re about, what your aspirations are,” said Randy Gier, CEO of the former Pizza Inn Holdings. “We’re no longer tired, old, sleepy Pizza Inn.”

The company changed names today (Jan. 9) to Rave Restaurant Group, with the Nasdaq stock symbol RAVE, to reflect the rise of Pie Five, its three-year-old fast-casual pizza chain, now with 31 units.

“We’ll have more than double that in the next six months. It should be around 100 by this time next year,” Gier predicts. They want investors to take a fresh look at the company, and are seeking new capital.

Rave’s stock hit $8.15 the day of the name change, up 2.64 percent from the $7.94 close the day before. Its 52-week low is $5.38; high is $8.63.

Pizza Inn itself, Rave’s other operating company, has been around for 57 years, “but it’s had some, let’s just say, tough times,” Gier said. Even Pizza Inn is looking up, though, Gier said, with 34 consecutive weeks of comparable-store revenue growth.

“We can’t find a time going back to 2007 when we’ve seen that kind of performance,” he said. “That’s the thing about our industry. Never write off a brand. People love the brands in our industry, they just need something to cheer for.”

There are 181 domestic Pizza Inns and 71 international.

Gier, who became CEO two years ago, admits he’s got a bit of initial public offering envy. “It is interesting with these IPOs comint out there. I’ve been reading an article about Shake Shack, with a potential billion-dollar valuation, and they’ve got only 63 restaurants? I think, ‘I’ve got 63 Pie Fives in a few months.’”

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
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