Peter Ballantine has more than two decades of business experience. Like many seasoned franchise operators, he began working in restaurants early, at age 15, and worked nearly every position from dishwasher to manager. He first became a franchisee with McDonald’s. He owned and operated eight McDonald’s restaurants for the last 11 years and served as Chairman of the Board of Operators for five of those years, helping build regional strategies to grow the business.

But now he has left the burgers behind and picked up the He is set to open as many as 34 Pie Five locations throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania. He’ll have sites in his hometown of Harrisburg, State College, and Pittsburgh, as well as Columbus and the I-70 corridor. The brand that allows patrons to customize personal handcrafted pizzas has been expanding.

Ballantine says he made the switch to pizzas because of shifting consumer tastes. “Being in the I could see customer tastes changing,” he says. “Pizza is an enduring, iconic product with a wide customer base, and with Pie Five’s strong pizza heritage, I know they understand the better than any of the other fast casual players. Besides the business case, my entire family is excited about Pie Five – the kids can’t wait to tell their friends!”

It’s been a busy time for the pizza brand as it has recently announced deals in South Florida, North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, Maryland, Delaware, Tennessee, Colorado, Kentucky, and Indiana. Their company-owned store expansion efforts have included Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas-Fort Worth. Pie Five has grown to 87 locations in 24 states less than four years.

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