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FDD Talk 2017: What You Need to Know About the Pieology Franchise Opportunity (Financial Performance Analysis, Costs and Fees)

by Franchise Chatter on June 18, 2017

in Fast Casual Restaurant Franchise, FDD Talk 2017: Food Franchises, Franchise Earnings, Pizza Franchises



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In this FDD Talk 2017 post, you’ll learn the following:

  • Section I – Background information on the Pieology franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
  • Section II – Estimated initial investment for a Pieology franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2017 FDD
  • Section III – Initial franchise fee, royalty fee, marketing fee, and other fees for a Pieology franchise, based on Items 5 and 6 of the company’s 2017 FDD
  • Section IV – Presentation and analysis of Pieology’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2017 FDD, including information on the:
  • average weekly gross sales, average gross sales per 4-week period, and average gross sales for the trailing 13 periods during the fiscal year ended December 26, 2016 for the 5 company-owned Pieology Restaurants that had been in operation in established Pieology markets (all in California) for at least two years as of the end of that fiscal year
  • average weekly gross sales, average gross sales per 4-week period, and average gross sales for the trailing 13 periods during the fiscal year ended December 26, 2016 for the 18 franchised Pieology Restaurants that had been in operation in established Pieology markets (all in California) for at least two years as of the end of that fiscal year

Section I – Background Information

13 Things You Need to Know About the Pieology Franchise

New Company President

1.  In early May, Pieology announced that it had hired former Smashburger President and CEO Michael J. Nolan to serve as Pieology’s new president. Nolan brings with him more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry, ranging from development strategy to executive-level management, with a reputation for growing national and international brands.

2.  Carl Chang, Pieology’s Founder and CEO, said that he is “confident that [Nolan’s] expertise and leadership will continue to propel Pieology forward.” Chang plans to hand over leadership of day-to-day activities to Nolan while Chang takes a more passive role as a board member of Pieology.



Acquisition of Rival Project Pie

3.  In June 2016, Pieology announced that it had acquired rival pizza chain Project Pie for an undisclosed amount. At the time of acquisition, Pieology had around 100 locations in the U.S. and one location in Guam, while Project Pie had 30 restaurants in the U.S. and abroad.

4.  Chang said buying Project Pie is the first of what could be more acquisitions of rival chains. According to Chang, the fast-casual pizza market is saturated with restaurants that have opened recently, creating opportunities for stronger chains to snap up smaller ones.

5.  Acquiring Project Pie will allow Pieology to enter neighborhoods where the company does not yet have a presence. Project Pie locations in the U.S. will be rebranded as Pieology.

Named One of Top 15 Movers and Shakers by Fast Casual

6.  Pieology received a 2017 Fast Casual Top 100 Movers & Shakers Award in late May 2017. With 76 brands in the running, Pieology made the Top 15 and landed at 14th place overall.

7.  Chang also made Fast Casual’s list of 2017 Top 24 Executives for his contributions to the fast-casual sector of the restaurant industry. Fast Casual’s awards recognize brands’ overall growth and sales, in addition to effective use of technology to enhance customer service and willingness to take risks in the name of brand elevation.

Launched New Thick Crust

8.  In April, Pieology launched its new PieRise Thick Crust, which is optimized for takeout and delivery, and is the first of its kind to be introduced within the DIY pizza market. Pieology Chef Scott Weaver worked in conjunction with Pieology’s franchisee leadership council to develop the PieRise Thick Crust’s recipe, which offers a solid foundation for Pieology’s signature sauces and abundance of toppings.

9.  Chang said that prior to the nationwide launch, the company tested the new crust in select markets and received positive reviews.



Company History

10.  Pieology was founded in 2011 by Carl Chang, who is the brother and former coach of professional tennis player Michael Chang. Chang was inspired to open Pieology after feeling that pizza was no longer special and had become a “convenience food or coupon food.”

11.  Pieology differs from other pizza places because it allows customers to customize their pizza (a concept similar to Chipotle) – from wheat crust to gluten-free crust to vegetarian pizzas to dairy-free cheese. Chang also encourages each location to use locally-sourced ingredients that are special to the area. For example, California Pieology locations use garlic from Gilroy, California, “the garlic capital of the world.”

12.  Since it was founded in 2011, Pieology has continued to expand throughout the U.S. and today there are over 150 locations across the country.

Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500

13.  Pieology has not yet ranked on Entrepreneur’s annual Franchise 500 list.

Section II – Estimated Costs

  • Please click here for detailed estimates of Pieology franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2017 FDD (updated).

Section III – Initial Franchise Fee, Royalty Fee, Marketing Fee, and Other Fees

  • Please click here for detailed information on Pieology’s initial franchise fee, royalty fee, marketing fee, and other fees, based on Items 5 and 6 of the company’s 2017 FDD.

Section IV – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2017 FDD) and Analysis



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