Home Base: Atlanta
Key Player: Founder Matt Andrew
The Story: Matt Andrew still can’t believe pizza is one of the last major categories not transitioned into the fast-casual segment. As one of the founders of Moe’s Southwest Grill, which followed and chased fast-casual pioneer Chipotle, he is quite familiar with the segment.
After cashing out of Moe’s in 2007, Andrew went to work making sure he wasn’t following anyone in the fast-casual pizza space. With Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint opening in January of 2009, he wasn’t first, but he wasn’t far behind.
His pizzas cook a little slower than everyone else’s at six minutes, but the time doesn’t worry him. “We believe our model is just perfect for us,” he says, adding his concept has the most expansive menu outside of pizza, including eight panini options and a new create-your-own salad idea. “Our customers think it’s lickety fast…By the time you check out and pay, get a cup and drink and are sitting down, we’re practically following you with your pizza.”
Three-topping custom pizzas cost $6.99 for a 9-inch pie, $11.99 for the 12-inch and $15.99 for the 16-inch. Additional toppings are $0.50, $0.75 and $1 more, depending on size.
Cook Time: Six minutes in a fast-cook conveyor oven
First Store: Atlanta in January 2009
Units Open Now/By Year End: 15 (in the Southeast) / 22
Growth Plan: As Moe’s Southwest Grill did, Maddio’s is growing completely through franchising. Andrew has stores in six states with deals to expand into another six, primarily in the Southeast. In the next five years, he says another 200 to 250 stores will open.