Pieology Pizzeria, an originator and leader in the fast-casual, build-your-own, fast-fired pizza segment, today announced that industry veteran Bob Baker has been named company president. Baker will join CEO and Founder Carl Chang in promoting and managing the growth of Pieology as it continues to bring its unique brand of fresh and flavorful “Kustom” pizzas to more cities across the country. Currently, Pieology Pizzeria has 23 restaurants in California, Colorado, Texas and Oregon, with more locations planned for Minnesota, Ohio, California, Oregon and Texas in coming months.
Baker comes to Pieology with more than 25 years in the restaurant industry serving in senior operating, development and financial functions. Most recently, he was president and CFO of Salt Lake City-based Cafe Rio Mexican Grill, where he was a key leader in supporting the expansion from six locations in 2005 to over 70 locations today. In 2013, Cafe Rio was named a “Breakout Brand” by leading industry trade publication, Nation’s Restaurant News, and was also was rated as the top fast-casual restaurant concept by Sandelman & Associates, a top U.S. foodservice research firm.
Before Cafe Rio, Baker served in various leadership roles at YUM Brands and KFC Corporation. While at KFC from 1989 through 2002, Baker held several positions including financial planning, strategic planning, restaurant and field operations, and M&A support. At YUM Brands, Baker first served as senior director of corporate planning and strategy and then as USA Controller in 2005.
“After meeting and spending some time getting to know Bob, it was apparent that we shared many of the same fundamental philosophies in our leadership styles, passion for food, and most importantly, building a community-focused brand," said Chang. "He has a strong and enduring passion for the restaurant industry as demonstrated by his 25 years in the business. As we continue to expand across the nation, we believe Bob will be instrumental in strategically managing our growth to maintain and advance our uncompromising promise of quality and value to our guests."
“Pieology's singular focus on the guest experience built around high-quality and flavorful ingredients, friendly service and value is very impressive,” said Bob Baker, the new president of Pieology Pizzeria. “As the early segment leader in fast casual pizza, what Carl Chang and his team have built at Pieology is very exciting. I am honored to join the team and help support the company’s continued growth.”
“I am also very grateful for my time at Cafe Rio over the past nine years,” Baker continued. “Cafe Rio is an exceptional Mexican fast-casual concept with very loyal fans and outstanding food. The focus that Cafe Rio has on high quality food and service with energy makes it a standout in the restaurant space. The company has a long runway of growth ahead of it, and I am appreciative of the enduring relationships that I have built with the entire Cafe Rio team.”
The Pieology Difference
At Pieology Pizzeria, guests are limited only by their imagination to create and enjoy their own perfect “Kustom” pizzas. Guests become the chef and choose from more than 30 fresh, flavorful and healthful toppings and five savory sauces to design their ideal pizza, which is ready to eat, hot out of the searing, open-flame, stone deck oven in about two minutes. Since Pieology includes unlimited toppings and sauces in its affordable $7.95 per pizza price, guests can create “Kustom” pizzas in literally millions of combinations.
“A pizza is often thought of as the perfect meal, but at Pieology, guests can create and enjoy their own individual idea of perfection,” said Chang. “And regardless of how many toppings or sauces our Pieologists choose, the price remains affordable at just $7.95 per pizza. After all, there’s no reason why perfection shouldn’t come at a great price.”
Pieology’s sizeable, 11.5-inch pizzas start with fresh dough balls made daily from proprietary Pieology recipes and pressed into a delicious thin, seasoned artisan crust. Next, the guests, or Pieologists as they are fittingly called, choose their base from among red, herb butter, olive oil, pesto and barbeque sauces. Then imaginations are unleashed as Pieologists walk down the line and select among dozens of fresh and flavorful toppings, including four hand-grated cheeses, five meats, 11 vegetables and herbs, and several flavor-enhancing “after bakes” to create the pizza of their dreams. The pizzas are then fast-fired in the high-heat oven and are ready to eat in about two minutes either in the industrial-chic, energetic and comfortable restaurants or boxed up for take-out.
Pieology also offers seven signature pizzas, which are $7.95 each and can be modified based on guest preference, a gluten-free crust for an additional $2.00, and a plain cheese pizza for $6.45. Rounding out the menu are Caesar or Classic Organic Pieology salads, savory Herb Butter or sweet Cinnamon Sugar Strips, and a selection of sodas and other branded beverages.
In addition to offering the best tasting, made-to-order, customizable fast-fired pizza pies, Pieology is creating loyal fans for its support of local communities in meaningful, inspired ways.
Since its founding in 2011, Pieology has helped raise funds for numerous worthwhile charities, including the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, and many local non-profit organizations such as youth sports teams and schools.
Based in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., award-winning Pieology was founded in 2011 and prides itself on providing the best-tasting and healthiest “Kustom” pizza in the world. Using only the freshest ingredients, Pieology provides smoking hot, build-your-own pizzas in about two minutes. Pieology has 23 restaurants in California, Colorado, Texas and Oregon with plans to open in new markets including Minnesota, Ohio, as well as adding additional locations in California and Oregon in coming months. For more information, visitpieology.com or facebook.com/pieology.