A create-your-own pizza joint where your personal pie is baked and ready to eat in three minutes opens Monday, April 8, at the Pelham Road and Interstate 85 interchange.
Rapid Fired Pizza, located at 4100-B Pelham Road, opens its first Greenville franchise next to the new Wendy’s in the recently redeveloped strip center that was formerly Atlanta Bread Co. The 2,550-square-foot restaurant includes indoor seating for 74 and outdoor patio seating for 26.
To celebrate the grand opening, the restaurant is giving away one free pizza per person on April 8 from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. or while supplies last.
Rapid Fired Pizza’s menu features individual sized pizzas that are made-to order and baked in a special convection-type oven right in front of you. Guests can choose from 10 sauces, eight cheeses, nine meats, 20 veggies, seven spices, and 20 dipping sauces to build their own pizza or choose from several composed pizzas on the menu. The menu includes vegan and gluten-free options.
Salads are also a highlighted menu item, with an array of build-your-own salad options. Breadsticks, desserts, and a selection of local and craft beers and wine are also available.
Like a Moe’s Southwest Grill or Chipotle model, customers go down the serving line while staff adds unlimited toppings to their personal pizza or salad.
The Greenville franchise is owned by Pie Guys Restaurants LLC, which is led by Michael Kern and Chip Hurst. They also own the Spartanburg location at 1707-F John B. White Sr. Blvd., which was the first to open in South Carolina, and rights to all future locations in South and North Carolina.
Kern says they plan to open two more at least this calendar year in the Upstate area.
Kern, who has spent the last 30 years in fast food franchise development and ownership, says he landed on Rapid Fired Pizza for his latest business venture because fast-casual pizza had been identified as a particular area of growth in the market.
A nearby resident, Kern identified the Pelham Road corridor as a high-traffic lunch area that would allow the restaurant to thrive immediately.
“Daytime lunch customer potential is very high,” he says. “It’s almost impossible to get a seat at any restaurant.”
Because of the quick turn-around time, Kern says for those with a 30-minute lunch break, Rapid Fired is ideal.
“We get it,” he says. “We’re all about speed. Before you sit down with your beverage, your pizza’s ready.”
He says a key factor in Rapid Fired’s success is consistency in product and experience for the customer, with comprehensive employee training being a main reason for that.
So far, about 30 employees have gone through training, but applications are still being accepted, he says.
Rapid Fired Pizza will be open Sunday-Thursday 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. for dine-in or carry-out.