Pizza chains battle over Dayton market

The competition for the Dayton area’s quick-serve pizza market is heating up, with the newest entrant preparing to open by late August, another newly expanded chain eyeing the area, and the fast-growing home-grown company inking deals both inside and outside the region.

Here are the latest developments:

The opening of Ohio-based pizza chain PizzaFire’s first Dayton-area location at 4325 Far Hills Ave. in Kettering is projected for late August, according to Ryan Rao, the company’s director of business development. Rao has said the small regional chain — based in Medina near Cleveland — plans to add three or four more locations in the region.

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PizzaFire has six locations in the Cleveland-Akron area and one in suburban Columbus, and another two dozen or so in the works in northeast and central Ohio, and elsewhere, Rao said.

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PizzaFire is similar in concept to locally owned Rapid Fired Pizza. The Kettering-based Rapid Fired recently opened its fourth Dayton-area location in Sugracreek Twp. Another seven are in the works in Troy, Springfield, Lima, Englewood, Greenville, in northern Cincinnati, and in north Columbus.

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And California-based Pieology, which operates two Cincinnati-area restaurants, announced this week that it is buying out a rival chain, Project Pie. A Pieology spokeswoman told this news outlet that while she knows of no signed leases in the Dayton area, the company has as many as 750 franchise agreements in the works nationwide. “There is a huge possibility we could be coming to Dayton,” she said.

At least two other quick-serve pizza chains are in various stages of development of locations in the Dayton area. MOD Pizza is coming to the Cornerstone of Centerville Development, while Blaze Pizza has opened a location in southern Warren County and is looking for Dayton-area sites, according to its southwest Ohio franchisee.

The fast-pizza, custom-ordering concept has taken the West coast by storm in the last few years, but only came to the Miami Valley in late 2015 with the opening of the first Rapid-Fired Pizza in Washington Twp.

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