Locally owned pizza chain now wants to be everything to everyone

Rapid Fired Pizza — the fast-growing Kettering-based restaurant chain that appears to have already fended off one competitor with a similar quick-service concept — is expanding its offerings and services to attract more customers and keep them coming back.

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The latest move came this week when Rapid Fired announced it was adding a larger 14-inch pizza-crust option to a menu that had been built on more individual-sized 11-inch thin or 9-inch pan pizza options.

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In recent months, Rapid Fired also has launched delivery service to many of its existing restaurants, and the Xenia store that opened last month was the first to offer delivery from day one — “a first for the brand,” Rapid Fired co-founder Kelly Gray said.

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Ray Wiley, Rapid Fired’s co-founder who also launched the Hot Head Burritos brand, said adding the larger pizza option made sense.

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“We had a significant demand for a larger pizza from families,” Wiley told this news outlet. “And with the launch of delivery, a larger pizza seemed to be a logical addition.”

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The larger pizzas are available in both thin and pan-crust options that can be customized from eight sauces, eight cheeses, more than 30 toppings, and 14 dipping sauces.

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Rapid Fired restaurants also had gotten many requests from customers for delivery, the chain’s co-fonder said.

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“We saw that as much as 50 percent of our business was carry-out, so we added delivery,” Wiley said. Our goal is to be ‘Everything-in-Pizza.’”

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Rapid Fired also is offering a “NO-DOH” pizza — esssentially a pizza without a crust — designed to address low-carb, low-cal and gluten-free demand. Wiley said the offering has generated an enthusiastic response.

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The first Rapid Fired Pizza opened in September 2015 on Ohio 725 east of the Dayton Mall. The chain now has 22 stores open in two states and many more under construction. The chain has entered into agreements with developers that could lead to as many as 200 or more new locations in Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and California.

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Rapid Fired was the first fast-casual, quick-serve pizza concept to open in the Dayton area, but two other chains followed suit: MOD Pizza, which operates restaurants in Englewood and Centerville, and PizzaFire, which shut down its only Dayton-area location in Kettering in early January after about 16 months.

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