What Chipotle did for Mexican food and Five Guys did for burgers and fries, the Pie Five Pizza Co. is hoping to do for pizza.
"Pie Five is unchartered territory for fast-casual pizza," said Jeff Mengel, who has been awarded the rights to develop up to 12 franchise units in the Baltimore metropolitan area. "We think it will change the way people will order their pizza in the fast-casual space."
Along with expected sauce, cheese and toppings options, customers at Pie Five have a choice of four different crusts - including a gluten-free option. "Customers will have every opportunity to have it every way they want," said Mengel, who operates four Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchises in the Baltimore area.
Five Guys and Pie Five are not related. The “five” in Pie Five refers to the number of minutes the company says it takes to prepare a customized pizza.
"What we are doing is individualized and personalized," said Madison Jobe, chief development officer for Pie Five. All of Pie Five's pizzas are meant for one person. The pizzas are between nine and ten inches, according to Jobe. "We've found that's about the right size for most individuals."
Based in the Dallas suburb of The Colony, Texas, Pie Five Pizza Co. operates 10 stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The first franchise operation was opened in April in Salt Lake City.
Mengel, who grew up in Glen Burnie and graduated from Mount Saint Joseph High School, said that he's currently searching with a broker for Pie Five locations and hopes to have the first Baltimore-area unit opened in early 2014.