Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

JAN 2014

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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58 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • JANUARY 2014 sidebar text pizza, including cheeses, sauces, veggies and meats, displayed behind a food shield. Pie Five features a far broader array of ingredients than what patrons fnd at typical takeout/delivery pizza places, says Jobe. Sure, there are the classic ingredients, such as pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, olives and so on. But for the adventurous, the chain also has less traditional options, such as pulled pork (best paired with barbecue sauce) and buffalo ranch sauce (great with chicken). Customers work with a team member to choose one of four crusts — including a gluten-free option — sauce and toppings. Alternatively, they can order off the specialty pizza menu, which includes traditional offerings like margherita and veggie pizzas as well as more innovative fare. The Pie Ferno, for example, is a thin-crust pizza with spicy marinara sauce, pepperoni, banana peppers, jalapeños, mozzarella, provolone, cheddar and crushed red pepper. Such variety fts squarely within the fast-casual ethos of creating the exact meal each customer desires. "It's all about the guests and what they want," Jobe says. "As we've evolved the concept, we've seen the opportunity to add more favors. We've seen some limited-time pizzas that may have had a sauce or ingredient that proved to be popular and put it on the menu every day. When you're all about cus- tomization and doing what the guests want with their pizzas, then you need to have more variety to make people happy." While customers may be spoiled for choice, Jobe says the chain keeps it simple in one important aspect: cost. Pie Five uses a fat-pricing strategy, setting a price point of $6.79 per pizza. "You can order one of our signature pies or you can build your own, which means you choose your crust, your sauce and your toppings," says Jobe. "The uniqueness of Pie Five is that, either way you decide to do it, it's all one price." Once diners get their pizza, they can sit down to enjoy their food in a relaxed, slightly quirky environment. Stores feature appealing and decidedly nonquirky large photographs of food preparation, like vegetables being cut and dough being kneaded. On the more amusing end, wall art also in- cludes black, white and red faux diagrams of conveyor belts, funnels and tubes used for high-tech pizza making. The walls also feature a periodic table of toppings, with shorthand for different ingredients: Mz for mozzarella, P for pepperoni, Ps for pork sausage, and the like. While the chain has maintained this lighthearted approach, the graphic identity and atmosphere have evolved in its newer units. Whereas Pie Five used to sport an industrial look with lots of exposed metals, it now incorporates natural woods and warmer colors into the design scheme. "Part of the change was the evolution of the concept itself," Jobe says. "We had moved a few things around in the display kitchen line. Nothing major, but since we were going and we were so early in the process, we thought internally and based on our guest feedback that we should use the op- portunity to create a warmer environment that doesn't seem just like a pizza kitchen." Pizza Meets Fast-Casual Kitchen Even though the pizza-kitchen feel isn't what the Pie Five team is going for, the kitchen still plays a big role in the store's environment. Like many other fast-casual concepts, chain profle ● ● Key Leaders: Randy Gier, chief executive officer; Madison Jobe Sr., vice president and chief development officer; Flynn Dekker, chief marketing officer; Chris Smith, vice president of operations ● ● Kitchen Design Consultant: Bob Witken, director of construction and development for Pie Five ● ● Architect/Designer: ID Studio 4 and Hub City, Dallas Productions ● ● Equipment Dealer: C&T Design, Canal Winchester, Ohio KEY PLAYERS Top: Pie Five has embraced the energy that front-of-house cooking brings to its establishment and has placed its double-stack pizza oven and floor mixer in plain sight of customers. Bottom: The heart of Pie Five's operation is a double-stack convection conveyor oven. The chain has developed dough recipes that allow the oven to cook both thick and thin crust pizzas in just two minutes.

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