Lima, Ohio-based East of Chicago Pizza has announced expansion plans in markets throughout Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.

Specifically, the company will increase its presence in Cleveland, Akron and Canton, Ohio, where it already has a footprint. Additionally, East of Chicago will explore new developments in Indianapolis and Lexington, Ky.                                  

“We’re seeing a strong demand for our pizzas, especially for our signature pan pizza,” said Tony Collins, EOC president. “What we’re hearing from our franchise owners is that they’re seeing a lot of new customers who enjoy a particular style pizza and once they find out they can get a great pizza from us that satisfies their specific tastes, they’re hooked.”

EOC specializes in five styles of pizzas, including its signature pan crust, New York-style hand-tossed thin crust, thin and crispy crust, new extra large square crust and Chicago-style crust. EOC tops them all with its proprietary cheese blend. The diverse menu will help drive the company’s growth, Collins said.

EOC also is extending store design models, providing new franchisees opportunities to select the concept that best fits their market.

“In metro areas the delivery-carryout model works great, but sometimes in downtown areas or in smaller towns, the dine-in model might be the better choice,” Collins said. “By giving franchisees concept options their opportunities to succeed soar. Plus operationally we’ve always been strong in both dine-in and delco systems and new franchisees will benefit from our experience and direction either way.”

Heading the development with Collins is Mike Williams, vice president of operations, a 16-year EOC veteran and former Marco’s marketing executive, and Steve Dartt, recently named director of development.

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