The brand, owned by NASDAQ-listed RAVE Restaurant Group, has signed an international development agreement with the director of Al Forno Pizzeria Italian Restaurant in Auckland, Ginny Singh.
The deal will see Singh become the principal master licensee and development partner for Pizza Inn in New Zealand. Prior to becoming a director of Al Forno, Singh had been a restaurant general manager at both KFC and Burger King.
Under the agreement, Pizza Inn will join forces with Singh to build ten Pizza Inn restaurants, which are a pizza buffet concept like the Pizza Hutt of old, with the first expected to open in Auckland later this year.
QSR restaurants have had a challenging time under the pandemic, with those not offering delivery suffering the most, while pizza delivery chains like Domino’s and New Zealand-founded Hell performed better.
However, Singh said his company, GJ Restaurants, was “eager” to bring the new chain to New Zealand.
“Hospitality is recovering and this is a great time to bring an iconic American brand which aligns with our passion for authentic, high-quality pizza,” Singh said.
Dallas-headquartered RAVE has Pizza Inn restaurants in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Palestine and Honduras.
“Our new fiscal year is off to a great start with a net increase of two Pizza Inn restaurants in the US and our opportunity to be a leading pizza brand in New Zealand,” RAVE president and chief executive, Brandon Solano, said.
“Our franchisees all share a common dedication to creating a high-quality product and dining experience with our house made dough and 100% house-shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese. Ginny will bring that same commitment to pizza lovers in New Zealand.”
RAVE owns, franchises, licenses and supplies Pizza Inn and fast-casual pizza brand Pie Five Pizza restaurants operating in the US and internationally.