Pie Five Pizza Co. has awarded 26 franchise units to Quality Restaurant Concepts LLC, headed by restaurateurs Fred Gustin and Kurt Guttshall. The agreement will bring the brand to three new states across the Deep South – Alabama, Mississippi and Chattanooga, Tenn.
According to a news release, Gustin and Guttshall currently own and manage 60 Applebee’s franchised restaurants across the Southeast.
"We’ve been scouting these Southern states for quite some time, and I just don’t think we could have found a better pair to carry our brand into the market than Fred and Kurt," CEO Randy Gier said in the release. "They understand our concept and share our passion for providing impeccable customer service; and thanks to their experience at Applebee’s, they know these areas backwards and forwards."
Gustin and Guttshall expect to open their first restaurant in the Birmingham, Ala., market by early 2015.