Thursday, August 20, 2020

[NEWSFLASH] Uncle Maddio's Pizza Closes Two More Units, One Left in Metro Atlanta

The Uncle Maddio's Pizza locations in Smyrna and Acworth have closed.  The restaurants, both of which occupied 2,400 square foot inline spaces, reportedly closed within the past few days with each space now being marked for lease by their respective owners.  Franchisees Mike and Cajgie McGaha- Dickey opened the Smyrna location in July 2015, followed by the Acworth location in November 2017. 

The Smyrna location - 4340 East West Connector - was located in the Sprouts Farmers Market anchored Olde Ivy Village shopping center at the corner of South Cobb Drive and East-West Connector.  In Acworth, Uncle Maddio's was located at 3245 Cobb Parkway in a three suite strip center at Cobb Parkway's intersection with Acworth Due West Road.  

Surprisingly, both locations remain listed as open on the Uncle Maddio's website with customers invited to "Order online now!" despite the fact that both are closed and their phones have been disconnected.  Additionally, the Smyrna and Acworth Uncle Maddio's facebook pages remain active but have not been updated since late April.  

The Dickeys each came with decades of restaurant experience, Mike with Darden and Cajgie with Applebee's, yet both were drawn to Uncle Maddio's, despite the brand's struggles which while not crystal clear in 2015, were definitely obvious by 2017.  

“Besides the great-tasting food, we were so impressed by the speed of growth and success of the brand that we knew we had to sign on,” said Mike Dickey at the time of the Smyrna opening. “We know Atlantans love Uncle Maddio’s and we can’t wait to meet our new guests in Smyrna,” he added.  

Despite the pedigree of having been started by Matt Andrew, co-founder of Moe's Southwest Grill, Uncle Maddio's may be one of the finest examples of a failed franchise in recent history.  

The first Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint opened at Toco Hills shopping center in 2009.  Looking to recreate the success of Moe's [a 400+ unit chain by 2009], Andrew started franchising Maddio's in 2010.  

According to online records, there are currently only sixteen Uncle Maddio's in operation across seven states. [Included in the 16 is a "temporarily closed" unit at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.]  At its height, the chain had 38 units open, and as of the Smyrna opening, claimed to be "on track to have 300 restaurants open in five years with 1,000 units in development" with new units reportedly opening every 10 days.  

Last April, Uncle Maddio's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with the filing indicating the company had estimated assets less than $50,000, and liabilities between $1 million and $10 million.

While there was no known press release or formal announcement that the company had "emerged" from bankruptcy, the company is once again selling franchises, according to a pop-up on the company website.  The pop-up, headlined "NOW AWARDING FRANCHISES," is a bold move considering so many units have closed and the franchises that remain open are, according to several well placed sources, not doing well and in some cases are "barely hanging on."  [The company was reportedly restricted from selling new franchises during the bankruptcy process.]

The Acworth and Smyrna closures leave the Atlanta-based pizza franchise with just one location in metro Atlanta, in Tucker, near Northlake Mall.  Elsewhere around the state, there are two other locations open, one in Canton, the other in Warner Robins, as well as the aforementioned "temporarily closed" unit at Hartsfield Jackson.  

To date, 46 Uncle Maddio's franchises have closed. 

Are you surprised to see so many Uncle Maddio's failures?  Have you ever been to an Uncle Maddo's Pizza?  What would you like to see open in the now shuttered Uncle Maddio's locations in Smyrna and Acworth?

Please share your thoughts below.  

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nooo. I don't want the Maddio's to close on Toco Hills. :(
Hopefully it doesn't!

Sean K said...

To the comment above...Toco Location has been closed for some time. Maybe you mean the one at Northlake?

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