Stoney Calzoney, the new rapping calzone mascot for D.P. Dough, will release his first album, R.I.Pizza, this fall.

D.P. Dough CEO Matt Crumpton helped start the 2019 Finance & Growth Conference off in a big way, announcing Monday the Columbus, Ohio-based calzone brand that calls itself “the pizza alternative” is merging with competitor Calios, a 13-unit chain out of New York.

“It’s going to stop us from a battle of getting to the new college towns so we don’t have to fight it out being the only two calzone concepts on campus,” said Crumpton of the deal that, effective July 1, will convert all the Calios locations to D.P. Dough, which has 26 units. Calios CEO Eric Cook will become chief executive and Crumpton will transition to the role of general counsel (he was an attorney before purchasing D.P. Dough from its founder Dan Haley in 2011).

The two brands previously had contact when Crumpton had to send Cook a cease and desist letter related to the original name of his company, Zonies, because D.P. Dough owns the trademark for the word “Zone” when used in relation to calzones. “And now he’s my new boss,” said Crumpton to laughter from the audience.

Calzones are 75 percent of sales for D.P Dough, with wings coming in next at 9 percent. With its locations almost exclusively in college towns, the brand embraces and markets heavily to what Crumpton candidly called “drunk people.”

“We have to have locations where there’s going to be demand for food after midnight because 45 percent of our sales are after midnight,” he said.

That college-age demographic also allows D.P. Dough to take on a unique voice when communicating with its customers, primarily on social media, said Crumpton, which led him to the next big announcement: the release of a new E.P. by Stoney Calzoney, the new rapping calzone mascot for the brand. (Check out the official music video HERE.)

“Stoney’s entire ethos is pizza hate,” said Crumpton of the rapper, whose first album, R.I.Pizza, is set to release September 9 and will stream on Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal. 

Digging into the numbers, Crumpton said units are in the 800- to 1,500-square-foot range and sales are split 50-50 between delivery and pick-up/dine-in. D.P. Dough’s had 24 consecutive months of same-store sales growth—“They haven’t all been huge numbers, but they’ve all been positive,” he said—with average net sales of $796,490 and an EBITDA average of $90,260. Unit opening costs range from $142,956 to $463,224.

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