Rapid Fired Pizza co-founder Kelly Gray said the closures were due to low foot traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic keeping many nearby employees and students home.
The UD location, which opened in October 2019, was the latest Dayton-area Rapid Fired Pizza to be added to the roster.
The Kettering restaurant, opened in 2016, acted as the franchise’s flagship store due to its proximity to the Rapid Fired headquarters in Kettering.
“The challenge that we had is that the (Kettering) store really never recouped from the drop in sales from COVID,” Gray said. “Even with that pickup window that we have there … things like Synchrony closing their call center in Kettering and sending everyone home to work, and you know you had multiple employers who have done that and people are transitioning to mostly at home and they’re not eating lunch out as much,. That store just hasn’t recouped.”
The timing of the opening of the UD location was unfortunate, Gray said. Rapid Fired plans to be strategic and take its time before planning to open a location on or near a college campus, as Gray said they need to wait and see how much of hybrid learning is here to stay.
Since its first location opened in 2015, Rapid Fired Pizza has expanded, rapidly, with several locations now in Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia. Nine restaurants remain open in the Dayton-area market.