COMMERCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Papa Romano's Pizza has merged its operations with Mr. Pita restaurants, a 35-unit Sterling Heights, Mich.-based chain.
 
Casey Askar, chairman and chief executive officer of Papa Romano's, has assumed the role of chairman and CEO of Mr. Pita. Frank Lombardo, president and founder of Mr. Pita, has been named president of Papa Romano's while continuing to serve as president of Mr. Pita, overseeing day-to-day operations of both chains.
 
Askar purchased the 50-plus-unit Papa Romano's chain from former owner and founder Ronald Hancock in February 2007. Since acquiring the chain, he has renovated and updated stores, opened three new locations and purchased seven formerly franchised Papa Romano's locations that now operate as company-owned stores.
 
He also relocated the company's corporate headquarters from Farmington Hills, Mich., to Commerce Township.
   
Lombardo, a former Little Caesars franchisee, launched Mr. Pita in 1993. The chain operates 35 locations throughout Michigan as well as 11 Pita Wagons that visit work sites throughout southeast Michigan to sell Mr. Pita products.
 

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