THE COLONY, Texas—Despite current struggles, the future of Pizza Inn looks bright, said CEO Ronnie Parker in a letter to shareholders issued June 8.
According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Parker wrote that the chain's comparable-store sales in 2004 have moved into positive territory, and that for its most recent six weeks, comp-sales are up 2 percent.
"We believe these improvements can be attributed in large part to the brand positioning and subsequent advertising campaign first initiated in July 2003," Parker wrote. "There is, however, more to accomplish in the area of marketing."
That includes, Parker added, new TV, radio and print campaigns to be unveiled this month, plus a heightened focus on community marketing efforts.
Parker said that a recent 15 percent reduction in Pizza Inn corporate staff will save about a million dollars, which will be passed back to franchisees via reduced prices at its Norco distributorship. The price cuts took effect June 1.
Though comp-sales are trending positive, Parker said new store openings (31) have outpaced closures (35) slightly this year. The chain plans to open 14 units in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ends this month. Seven units have opened during the period.
At its upcoming franchisee convention this month, Pizza Inn will unveil its new restaurant remodeling and reimaging program. Parker expects it will be "a key component to improving store level sales at individual locations."