Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint is finally expanding, for better... or worse. Matt Andrew, co-founder of Moe's Southwest Grill and Tony Lewis, one of the first Moe's and later Mama Fu's franchisees, teamed up to launch Mattio's Pizza Joint which was later renamed Maddio's Pizza Joint and most recently Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint. The addition of the "Uncle" was likely caused by Maddio's Pizza in Tarentum, Pennsylvania.
After opening in Toco Hills in early 2009, talk turned to franchising about eighteen months later when I reported last June the business would begin to offer franchises. Earlier this month, the first franchised and first out of state location opened in Louisville, Kentucky and a few days ago, another franchised location opened in Woodstock, Georgia. Ironically enough, the Woodstock location is located right next door to Moe's.
The aforementioned name changes were minor, but what surprised me was seeing that "Subs," originally the third menu item touted in promotional materials and branding, was replaced by "Paninis." I'd had their subs a couple times and was never impressed, so perhaps they've wised up and are gonna let the Subways of the world do subs and have opted for a more niche offering in paninis.
Toco Hills recently underwent a massive renovation that saw the addition of Menchie's, Mirko and La Parrilla, among others, and also saw Uncle Maddio's finally get their patio made over. It was at this event that talk of franchise expansion and upcoming locations was mentioned. In addition to the Louisville and Woodstock locations, new restaurants are said to be opening in Buckhead, East Cobb, Vinings, Savannah, Charlotte, North Carolina and Greenville, South Carolina. Additionally, other territories have been "awarded" in Raleigh, North Carolina, Knoxville, Tennessee, Columbia, South Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida. As of this past January, a total of 10 franchise partners are said to be involved with 30 stores in development.
While it has been difficult to find information regarding when future locations will be opening and or if specific sites have been selected, I'm told the "Vinings" location will be located within Akers Mill Square. The shopping center is anchored by a newly expanded Toys R Us Superstore and an LA Fitness and sources indicate the Maddio's will open in the former WineStyles, towards the rear of the center. Merchant's Walk in East Cobb is likely not the "East Cobb" location as it is managed by Edens & Avant, who also manages Toco Hills and is said to have wanted Maddio's out of Toco Hills. The location I'm most curious about is the Buckhead location where there seem to already be plenty of pizza options from Varsanos's Pizzeria to Pizza Hut, Nancy's Pizza to Tartufo Pizzeria.
While Maddio's is the only restaurant of its kind locally, The Colony, Texas-based Pizza Inn is expanding its fast casual offering Pie Five. Pie Five is strikingly similar to Maddio's, with custom made pizzas starting at about $6.49 for a 9" pie, the one key marketing difference is that Pie Five, as its name suggests, guarantees its pizzas in five minutes, whereas Maddios promises six minutes. The difference is small, but in the fast casual segment, every minute counts, and this could be the difference between success and failure. The stakes are great though, as according to the Uncle Maddio's website:
Pizza is a huge market – $32 billion sales per year.
It’s the second most consumed food on the planet.
Approximately 3 billion pizzas are sold in the US each year.
93% of Americans eat pizza at least once per month.
Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza each day.
As it stands now, both chains are relatively small with only a handful of locations open and each with additional locations in development. Pie Five opened their first location in Fort Worth, Texas this past June, and has since added locations in Irving and Dallas. Second locations are now in development in both Fort Worth and Dallas with Pie Five planning to have a total of nine locations open by next June.
Have you been to Maddio's? Do you think Maddio's is another Mama mess in the making or the next Moe's ? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.