Monday, November 21, 2011

Hot From the Oven, Maddio's Moving Forward With Franchise Expansion

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.

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Bill said...

There is construction on an outparcel in front of a shopping center with a Publix in East Cobb that could be Maddio's. It has been a Mexican restaurant, and most recently a Chinese restaurant, but it's getting redeveloped and a drive-thru window was put in as well.

Anonymous said...

Maddio's is OK, but that's about it. It does not have anything really unique about it and you can feel the "corporateness" oozing out of walls.

tamara said...

I've been to Maddio's tons of times, because my friends and I play trivia there. Otherwise, I don't think I would go super often. I do give them props for carrying vegan cheese and offering a GF crust option; I definitely appreciate the former. However, the same night as the new franchise in Woodstock opened, the prices and menu at the Toco Hills location changed (prices went up.) Service used to be a big priority for them and everyone was so sweet that I always had a great experience. Not so anymore, and the food doesn't seem as good.

Anonymous said...

total crap.

Anonymous said...

total crap.

TheJohnP said...

I've been a couple of times, it was decent enough and fast. Can't say I'd go seek it out as a first option. Being so close to Shorty's, I'm surprised it would be a first choice for anyone.

But if in a busy center with other places having long lines for lunch, I'd probably go to Maddio's.

Now I'm curious about that pasta place that opened up next to the coming soon La Parilla. Wonder if that's any good.

Anonymous said...

I looked at the pasta place's menu and it seems a lot like FIGO with higher prices.

As for the La Parilla...what on earth is taking so long? Wasn't is supposed to be open in April?

G.G. said...

You describe Uncle Maddio's as "the only restaurant of its kind locally," but I'm not clear, from the article, what makes it special...? Are these little personal pizzas like Your Pie?

jkeene said...

I visited the Toco Hills location a couple of times and was not impressed. It wasn't particularly bad, but the quality is about what you would expect for a quick service pizza.

Atlantan99 said...

Hey Grant,

You are right, the concept is fairly similar to Athens-based Your Pie, a chain with roughly a dozen locations open or in development across four states. To date, there is one location open in Roswell but all others in Georgia are further out, three in Athens.

Thanks for the question and for reading the blog.

Anonymous said...

Toco Hills Location Now Open!!!
La Parrilla is excited to announce that Toco Hills location is Now Open!!!

Thank goodness!

Anonymous said...

3714 Roswell Rd

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