Pie Five Pizza Company is making its debut in North Carolina with franchisee Michael Understein. He was introduced to the brand while on a business trip to Dallas.

"I ordered my pizza, and it was really good," Understein said. "But I just stayed and watched the crowd. I watched how customers were coming through the door, customizing their orders and getting their pizzas by the time they reached the checkout. It was fresh, it was delicious, and it was individualized for every guest."

Understein has restaurant experience under his belt. He brought the Panera Bread concept to North Carolina and grew it to 14 locations as a joint venture partner helping to fuel the brand's expansion across the state. Prior to that he held positions as vice president of operations for Hard Rock Cafe and vice president of operations for Applebee's International.

Understein, along with business partner Josh Keaton, has been awarded one of the first franchise agreements for the chain in a multiunit deal to open up to 10 Pie Five locations.

His first Pie Five location will open at 1915 Matthews Township Shopping Center, Charlotte, N.C., this summer and he is already in negotiations for a second site.

Read more about franchising and growth.

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