EricS.

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Through booms and busts, Pizza Inn has continued to innovate, even as its parent company has expanded into the fast-casual segment.

pizzainn-famiyPizza Inn has come a long way since Joe Spillman opened his first location in 1958 across from the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. But the road has been a pretty rough one. The pizzeria proved immediately successful and had already expanded into other locations when franchising began in 1963; aggressive growth accelerated in the late ’60s, and by the ’80s there were nearly 800 Pizza Inns in the United States. But when Spillman sold the company in the 1980s, overreaching debts caused Pizza Inn to fall into bankruptcy, which it eventually emerged from in 1991, becoming publicly traded in 1994.

Today, more than 300 locations still stand in 15 states and several foreign countries, but Pizza Inn Holdings changed its name to Rave Restaurant Group in 2015. Now the company is one of the fastest-growing leaders in the fast-casual pizza space, thanks to its Pie Five concept.

“One of the great attributes of our brand has been that, although we’ve struggled in areas, we didn’t let the product suffer in the process,” former CEO and president Charlie Morrison told PMQ Pizza Magazine in 2011. “That’s kept the brand around for such a long time.” With three types of stores—buffet/dine-in, a delivery/carryout operation and an express—the company also evolved to encompass a range of concepts.


Morrison pointed to several Pizza Inn innovations over the years: in specialty pizzas (such as the bacon cheeseburger pizza in the ’90s), the pizza buffet concept (Pizza Inn began buffets in the late ’60s), and the “pizzert,” a pizza-style dessert introduced in 1986.

By Tracy Morin

pizzainn-food

10 Comments

  1. December 21, 2015 at 8:08 am

    Proud to be in the Pizza Hall of Fame. It’s a privilege to make and serve the best food on the planet – pizza. For over 50 years we have enjoyed every minute of putting a smile on our customers’ faces, and spreading the joy that is pizza. As we like to say, you can’t have a bad time around a good pizza. This induction as a Hall of Fame Pizzeria is an honor to all of our employees and our franchisees who have been getting up every day to make this brand great. Thanks PMQ Magazine for this recognition for all those who work so hard.
    Randy Gier
    Chief Eating Officer

    • EricS.Reply
      December 21, 2015 at 9:32 am

      Thanks Randy! It was our pleasure to place Pizza Inn amongst our Hall of Famers!

  2. January 19, 2017 at 12:27 am

    […] freshly made pastas, sandwiches, and desserts.  Pizza Inn was recently inducted in to the Pizza Hall of Fame by PMQ Magazine. Pizza Inn is a subsidiary of RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: RAVE) based […]

  3. February 3, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    […] well as freshly made pastas, sandwiches, and desserts.  Pizza Inn was recently inducted in to the Pizza Hall of Fame by PMQ Magazine. Pizza Inn is a subsidiary of RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: RAVE) based in […]

  4. February 3, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    […] freshly made pastas, sandwiches, and desserts.  Pizza Inn was recently inducted in to the Pizza Hall of Fame by PMQ Magazine. Pizza Inn is a subsidiary of RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: RAVE) based […]

  5. August 15, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    […] as well as freshly made pastas, sandwiches and desserts. Pizza Inn was recently inducted into the Pizza Hall of Fame by PMQ Magazine. Pizza Inn is a subsidiary of RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: RAVE) based in […]

  6. October 3, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    […] as well as freshly made pastas, sandwiches and desserts. Pizza Inn was recently inducted into the Pizza Hall of Fame by PMQ Magazine. Pizza Inn is a subsidiary of RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: RAVE) based in […]

  7. QaplaReply
    October 6, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    I worked at Pizza Inn from 1972 through 1988. I enjoyed it. I miss the old Pizza Inn’s we had in our town.
    Our store was a franchise – so, along with the buffett and the piezzert, we made our own crackers for the salads with the thin crust dough …. they were a big hit.

  8. October 25, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    […] as well as freshly made pastas, sandwiches and desserts. Pizza Inn was recently inducted into the Pizza Hall of Fame by PMQ Magazine. Pizza Inn is a subsidiary of RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: RAVE) based in […]

  9. October 30, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    […] as well as freshly made pastas, sandwiches and desserts. Pizza Inn was recently inducted into the Pizza Hall of Fame by PMQ Magazine. Pizza Inn is a subsidiary of RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: RAVE) based in […]

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