Friday, February 24, 2017

MOD Pizza Secures Space in Hopes of Getting Slice of Kennesaw Market

New-to-market pizza joint destined for Kennesaw 

MOD Pizza, an industry leader in the "create your own pizza" segment, has signed its first Atlanta area lease.  MOD Pizza will open in Kennesaw at Kennesaw Marketplace, at the corner of Cobb and Barrett Parkways. The pizza joint will occupy a 2,390 square foot space, originally leased to competitor Pie Five Pizza. Pie Five retreated from the Atlanta market last year and abandoned their plans to develop a number of locations while still keeping open existing restaurants in Newnan and McDonough.  

MOD, which stands for "made on demand," was founded in Seattle in 2008 by husband and wife Scott & Ally Svenson* and today includes about 200 locations across 20 states and a few in the United Kingdom.  

Last month, MOD Pizza announced it had signed its ninth franchisee: Southern Pie, LLC.   The franchise group, led by Robbie Hill and his daughter, Kimberly Hill Hayden, will develop MOD stores in Georgia and Alabama.  The Hills are multi-industry entrepreneurs who have built and operated successful construction and healthcare companies, and also operate a number of Bojangles’ franchises in the southeast. 

Sources say that Southern Pie may open as many as three MOD Pizza restaurants in the coming months but that the Kennesaw restaurant will likely be the first to open.  

Other possible MOD locations could include Fuqua Development's Peachtree Corners Town Center across from The Forum in Norcross or Decatur Square from developer  S. J. Collins Enterprises.   

An 11 inch pie is the standard, and most commonly ordered size of pizza at MOD.  While the exact price differs slightly by location, the standard pie is often about eight bucks and comes with unlimited toppings.  

MOD enters the Atlanta market at a time when competitor Blaze Pizza is preparing its local debut with a location in Decatur and competitor Pieology recently closed its only area location in Alpharetta.  

MOD and Pasadena, California based Blaze are the two largest players in the "create your own" quick serve pizza industry, each with about 200 locations.  Rancho Santa Margarita, California based Pieology is a close third with over 130 locations.  Last summer Pieology acquired Carlsbad, California based Project Pie, a competing concept started by James Markham. Markham has played a major role in the entire industry, having co-founded MOD (2008)* and later co-founded Pieology (2011), before starting Project Pie (2012.) 

Athens based Your Pie started in 2008, and according to its website, has 39 locations, with 11 more "coming soon."  

Although not listed on the website, a Kennesaw location of Your Pie is in the works.  

Brothers Jacob and Justin Patterson took over the Roswell Your Pie in 2015 and have said they plan to open a number of new locations in the coming years, including one in Kennesaw.  

Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint, started by Moe's Southwest Grill co-founder Matt Andrew, already has a Kennesaw location on Chastain Road.  Uncle Maddio's started at Toco Hills in 2009 and began franchising in 2010.  Unlike Blaze, Pieology, Your Pie and MOD, Uncle Maddio's has seen numerous franchise failures with reports of at least 18 closures, and 27 active units.  

Are you excited for the opening of MOD Pizza in Kennesaw?  Have you been to MOD Pizza before?  Where else would you like to see MOD Pizza open?

Please share your thoughts below.  

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