• Pizza Patron signs five-store franchise deal

DALLAS -- Antonio Swad, founder of the four-store Pizza Patron chain, has signed a development agreement with Gary Shultz to open five more Pizza Patrons in Tarrant County, Texas.

"I believe this is the premier food concept for targeting the Hispanic community," Shultz said in a release. "With Antonio's past success in the food business ... this should be an extraordinary success."

In January, Swad sold his 81-store Wingstop chain, a wings-based concept ranked fifth on Entrepreneur Magazine's "Top 25 Franchises" list, to Houston-based Hartz Restaurant International, Inc. He now wants to take Pizza Patron, a 17-year-old Dallas brand, to a national presence through franchising.

"We expect that in a relatively short time we will be known as the Hispanic pizza brand," said Swad. "It is our intention to not only deliver high-quality, high-value meals to Hispanic families, but also strong career opportunities. All our store managers are bilingual Hispanics who also live in the communities they serve."

Pizza Patron features festive and fun carryout-only pizza stores that are based in Spanish speaking or predominately Hispanic neighborhoods. The menu is value oriented, offering freshly prepared pizzas at very low price points.

Whole and half pizzas are offered at prices as low as $4.99 for a large pizza with cheese and one topping and $3.49 for the same half pizza. A large deluxe pizza with everything is only $6.99.

The chain's dough is made fresh throughout the evening, its pizza sauce is prepared fresh in the stores from crushed Roma tomatoes, and it uses only 100 percent mozzarella cheese.

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