Expansion News: Pizza Inn Inc. and Gloria Jean's

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* Pizza Inn Inc. Opens Three New Locations In Iceland
Dallas-Pizza Inn Inc. announced the simultaneous opening of three new franchised units in Reykjavik, Iceland. These Delivery/Carryout units are owned by HOLT EHF, a restaurant operating company and Pizza Inn's franchisee in Iceland.

According to Thor Thorsteinsson, CEO of HOLT EHF, "With U.S. national pizza brands moving into Iceland, I needed a better way to compete than as an independent operator. I looked at the brand opportunities and decided on Pizza Inn because of their extensive expertise in international franchising and their commitment to quality products. They have been incredibly helpful in redesigning my individual location's layouts, yet were flexible enough to make the conversion a simple and effective process. The initial response from customers reaffirms that this has been an excellent business decision."

Jeff Rogers, Pizza Inn's CEO, added, "We are extremely proud of our new partnership with HOLT EHF, and the enthusiasm and dedication they have shown from the start. With our fresh dough, quality crusts and award-winning specialty pizzas, combined with HOLT EHF's experience and business knowledge of their market trade area, this expansion into Iceland should offer great growth opportunity for both companies."

Pizza Inn Inc. is the franchisor and food distributor for 484 Pizza Inn restaurants operating in the U.S. and other countries.-PRNewswire

* Gloria Jean's Plans 40 Stores in Thailand
Castroville, California-Gloria Jean's Gourmet Coffees Corp. has teamed with Specialty Beans Holdings, a subsidiary of TT Resources, Bangkok, to bring its specialty coffee to Thailand.

According to Bill Grimm, vice president of franchise development for Gloria Jean's, plans call for as many as 40 units to open in Thailand. Half the stores are slated for Bangkok, he said, with the first ones debuting in January or February.

Grimm said the coffee lineup will be similar to Gloria Jean's menu in the United States. Coffee will be shipped to stores in Thailand from the company's roasting plant here.

Where the Thai Gloria Jean's may depart from the U.S. formula is with a more diversified food menu, Grimm said. The units will have more food-service offerings, including desserts, tortes, pies and sandwiches. The stores in Thailand are likely to be 1,500-square-foot street-level stores vs. Gloria Jean's mall-based presence in America, Grimm added.

The Thai joint venture is part of Gloria Jean's increasing international presence. Grimm said the goal is to double the company's international holdings this year.-Gourmet News

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