SPARTANBURG, S.C., Oct. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Rapid Fired Pizza LLC, a high-growth fast-casual pizza restaurant brand, announced today that Pie Guys Restaurants LLC has acquired the company. Industry veteran and Rapid Fired Pizza owner/operator Mike Kern will be CEO and President, with Chip Hurst serving as the new Chief Development Officer. After divesting ownership of the brand, Rapid Fired Pizza founder Ray Wiley will continue as a licensee, operating locations in Ohio as a testament to his continued belief in the brand. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This acquisition was based on Rapid Fired Pizza's brand strength and proven market concept.
Rapid Fired Pizza is headquartered in Kettering, Ohio, and has more than 30 restaurants in six states. Founded in 2015, Rapid Fire Pizza offers "amazingly good, amazingly fast" handcrafted pizzas, each individually sized, made to order, and cooked in 180 seconds or less. Guests can create their perfect pizza or choose from a selection of artisan and limited-edition pizzas. The menu also features an array of fresh handcrafted and custom salads made to order. Breadsticks, desserts, and an impressive selection of local and craft beer and wine are also available.
Pie Guys Restaurants LLC is based in South Carolina and led by Mike Kern and Chip Hurst, co-owners and operators of the Rapid Fired Pizza Spartanburg, Greenville, and Easley South Carolina locations and area developers for Rapid Fired Pizza in South and North Carolina.
Kern has enjoyed a successful career in the chain restaurant industry. He previously served as CEO of Long John Silver's, Inc., CMO of Long John Silver's, Inc., and Vice President of Brand Marketing for KFC. He has owned and operated over 30 Long John Silver's and A&W All American Food restaurants. Hurst brings over two decades of experience in commercial real estate development in a variety of industries, including chain restaurants.
With their combined insights and experience developing world-class franchises, the duo hopes to fuel Rapid Fired Pizza's next chapters of growth and expansion.
"Having been part of large chain brands built on a franchisee model, as well as running the front lines of daily operations, we understand how to work with franchisees as partners in driving brand growth and mutual success," said Mike Kern.
"This acquisition was based on Rapid Fired Pizza's brand strength and proven market concept," said Chip Hurst. "We quickly recognized that the fast-casual pizza space has short- and long-term growth potential as evidenced by market entries and overall segment growth."
Rapid Fired Pizza's new owners are poised to enhance and optimize the brand proposition to participate in the overall sector growth by increasing relevancy and market share. They believe that the quality of the brand's offerings and strong consumer relationships have resulted in a loyal following and differentiates the franchise from the competition.
Above all, the investors are focused on continued expansion and building brand recognition. Plans for the brand include franchise development throughout the proven existing footprint of the Midwest, Southeast, and Texas. The brand is slated to open five new locations within the next 12 months, including restaurants in Anderson and Greenwood in South Carolina, Parkersburg in West Virginia, and Indiana and Texas. Headquarters will remain in Kettering, Ohio, while options for relocation to South Carolina are evaluated.
The brand also aims to grow the non-traditional market by adding a brand presence in grocery stores, stadiums, and student centers. Rapid Fired Pizza enjoys an existing relationship with a grocer in Ohio and has contracted with a second grocer to develop a similar brand partnership in South Carolina.
About Rapid Fired Pizza
Founded in Kettering, Ohio, Rapid Fired Pizza opened its first store in September 2015. Today, the company continues to offer delicious craft and custom pizzas in 180 seconds and fresh craft and custom salads. The company is fast-growing, with 33 stores open in six states. For more information, visit rapidfiredpizza.com.
About Pie Guys Restaurants LLC
Pie Guys Restaurants LLC is led by Mike Kern and Chip Hurst, co-owners and operators of the Rapid Fired Pizza Spartanburg, Greenville, and Easley South Carolina locations and franchise area developers for Rapid Fired Pizza in South and North Carolina. Kern brings over 30 years of franchise restaurant experience, and Hurst brings 20 years of real estate development experience in various industries.
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SOURCE Rapid Fired Pizza