21 Dec
pie5 by Junk Food Critic
pie5, a photo by Junk Food Critic on Flickr.

I have a friend that thinks a LEXUS is a damn fine automobile, but a TOYOTA is kinda cheap.

Even though I remind him TOYOTA OWNS LEXUS and they share many of the same parts. That a Lexus IS a Toyota – just with nicer features.

I say this because I absolutely love PIZZA INN. Always have. Probably always will.

What does that have to do with PIE FIVE?

PIE FIvE is owned by PIzza Inn. It is their new “fast casual” concept. Think “SUBWAY” but with pizzas.

What is AMAZING to me is that I have been to PIE FIVE half a dozen times and I have asked people there in line what they think about it. Most people tell me how fresh and awesome it is to get a pizza in five minutes.

When I bring up PIZZA INN to them, those same people say things like “Oh man…that place sucks….” or “they still have those??”


I have eaten enough pizza that I can tell you where it’s from blindfolded. And PIE FIVE is PIZZA INN. Period.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it.

But what bothers me is how tarnished the image of PIZZA INN seems to be in the hearts and minds of people I talk to. So much so that the company had to reinvent themselves as PIE FIVE in order to compete?

I give MAD PROPS to Domino’s for doing a whole campaign on “hey our pizza sucked and we are fixing it!” It worked for them. They took the hit, owned up to the mistake, and the public responded by showering Domino’s with attention and orders.

But Pizza Inn has always made pretty fine pizza. I try and frequent them as often as I can. This means alot of driving, since there are few locations by me. And maybe that is the problem. But if they are willing to spend so much money developing a new name/brand, surely that money could have gone to some renovations or better advertising…ala Domino’s?

The other issue I have is price. For 6.49 I can build my own pizza, but as you can see there are FIVE PEPPERONIs on that pie. Which seems PALTRY. A soda is 1.79 or 2.29. So you are getting out of there with a 9″ pizza and drink for about TEN BUCKS.

TEN BUCKS can get you ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFET at Pizza Inn, including drink, salad, pasta, wings, breadsticks, and dessert.

I saw a family of six ahead of me in line on one visit. The total for them all was around
36 bucks because each person had to have their own pie.

I am sure Pie Five is loving it, but as a consumer it seems like I am over paying for the novelty of having this mini pizza pop out of this super-duper-easy-bake-oven.

Bottom line is, Pizza Inn is just the better value.

So I am really torn on this concept. I applaud Pizza Inn for coming up with a way to keep themselves in the game. The Pie Five pizzas are quick, tasty, and over priced.

I just think with a heritage name like PIZZA INN, they would have tried to re-energize their original brand instead of trying to create a new one. Especially since it’s the same pizza.

Viva Pizza Inn!

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Pie Five Pizza Co. on Urbanspoon


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