Fast-Casual Pizza Co. Eyes More Units, New States

Michael Cho, of counsel, in Palmieri Tyler's Hospitality,  Food & Beverage practice group, was quoted in a July 21st issue of the Orange County Business Journal about the growing marketplace in the region for pizza.  

One example is Pieology Pizzeria, which has cooked up ambitious plans to double in size by year-end and has hired a Yum! Brands Inc. veteran to help it get there.

The Rancho Santa Margarita company has 25 locations in California, Oregon, Colorado and Texas and plans 26 to 33 more in current markets and in three new states—Ohio, Minnesota and Utah.

According to Cho, who specializes in restaurant development, as Pieology grows, it faces well-heeled competition.

Shopping centers are seeking “hipper, more foodie” options.  It’s not hand-tossed or Neapolitan, but it’s still a good pie, and pizza has very good margins,” he said.

Other fast-casual pizza chains are expanding here.

Seattle-based Mod Pizza opened in Irvine in December, and a second location is slated for Laguna Hills.

“We’d love to have six to eight in Orange County,” said co-founder and Chief Executive Scott Svenson.

It has 16 locations in Washington, Oregon and California and plans 19 more by the end of the year. Most will be company-owned.

Mod is backed by $15 million in investor funding.

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