LIMA — The success of Rapid Fired Pizza in Lima has inspired a crowdfunding campaign to build dozens of new restaurants for aspiring franchise owners.
Tasty Equity, a restaurant development group founded by the family behind Lima’s Rapid Fired Pizza, are looking for investors to help build dozens of new Rapid Fired Pizza and Hot Head Burritos restaurants as the two fast-casual brands attempt to open 200 stores nationally.
Or as Tasty Equity co-founder Chris Wiley calls it, “down payment assistance.”
How does it work?
Investors can buy into the campaign at $5 per unit, with a minimum $100 investment required, which will be available through December 10 or until Tasty Equity raises $5 million.
Wiley intends to use the funds to build new restaurants, which would be managed by partner franchise owners who otherwise lack the capital to go into business on their own. Several prospective franchise partners have already been identified in markets as varied as northern Ohio, Detroit, Chicago and northern California.
Units are being sold through a Regulation A+ offering, a miniature public offering in which private companies can raise up to $50 million from the public over a 12-month period without ceding control of their company. But units are not stock, which means investors who wish to sell out early will have to find their own buyers.
Still, Wiley hopes to attract an institutional investor once Tasty Equity’s portfolio grows, after which he said investors could earn their money back along with a portion of the profits.
Tasty Equity already owns two Rapid Fired Pizza locations in Lima and Bowling Green, as well as two Hot Head Burritos in the Toledo suburbs. And the Wiley brothers have plans to open a new Rapid Fired Pizza & Taproom in Findlay.
That sets Tasty Equity apart from typical Regulation A offerings, which Wiley described as “fantasy” startups with no business or cashflow.
The 200-store goal is part of a broader campaign on behalf of Rapid Fired Pizza and Hot Head Burritos franchise owners, which according to Wiley is a milestone for franchises trying to earn national attention.
The brands are already well on their way to meeting the franchise milestone, with nearly 80 Hot Head Burritos and about 30 Rapid Fired Pizza restaurants open now.
‘It all started in Lima’
Chris Wiley decided to help his son, Ross, open his own Rapid Fired Pizza in Lima after Ross returned from the military in 2016. The restaurant was so successful, Wiley said, that the family decided to use the profits from Lima to build a second restaurant in Bowling Green.
Then came two more restaurants, this time Hot Head Burritos stores outside Toledo.
Chris and his brother Peter, siblings of Hot Head Burritos and Rapid Fired Pizza co-founder Ray Wiley, eventually founded their own restaurant development company, Tasty Equity, in an effort to duplicate their success for other franchise owners.
“We were literally sitting around celebrating how great it was going and thought, we could do this for a lot of people,” Wiley said.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.