Established pizza chain Pizza Inn accounted last last week a new c-store concept called Pizza Inn Express, or PIE.

The company says the licensing deal for PIE will allow consumers to order and pay at a kiosk for gran-and-go or they can pick up food at a designated spot. Pizza Inn expects to have its first prototypes operating within three months.

"This could be a game-changer for Pizza Inn as we tap into new markets and expansion opportunities for our flagship brand," says Scott Crain, CEO of Rave Restaurant Group, which owns Pizza Inn. "We're already seeing great interest from existing and potential franchisees who see this model as a new way to serve customers the same iconic, quality pizza they have to come to expect, but in a faster setting."

Bob Bafundo, Pizza Inn's president, says the kiosk will be attractive to non-traditional operators because it allows them to move quickly and makes them able to react to changes in customer traffic and facilities. "It's a branded concept that's attractive enough to be the permanent centerpiece in a travel center or airport, yet nimble enough to provide the same benefits traditional operators get from a food truck," he says.