Two homegrown restaurant chains are joining forces, with Mama Fu’s Asian House set to acquire Austin’s Pizza.
Financial terms of the deal, which has already been announced to employees and is set to be finalized Wednesday, weren’t disclosed.
It’s a combination that might seem a bit odd at first glance, but Austin’s Pizza owner J.D. Torian says it actually makes a lot of sense for executives and customers alike.
For starters, Torian says, “What gets delivered the most? Asian food and pizza.” He said that means there are a number of opportunities for both chains to achieve greater efficiency and help each other grow.
You won’t be able to get pizza at Mama Fu’s or an order of egg rolls at Austin’s Pizza as a result of the merger, but in the future the two chains will likely seek to locate side by side, Torian said. They’re already in talks to do that at a new development in the works in the Georgetown area.
Austin’s Pizza has 14 locations, all in the Austin area, while Mama Fu’s has more than 20 locations, including ones in Arkansas and Florida.
While Mama Fu’s has a number of additional locations in the pipeline, it’s been more than a year since Austin’s Pizza opened a new restaurant. That should change now, said Torian, who will continue to head Austin Pizza’s operations.
One of the first changes customers will see will involve delivery service. Within the next couple months, Mama Fu’s and Austin’s Pizza will merge their delivery drivers into a single team, using a fleet of company-owned cars plastered with both chain’s logos – including some all-electric vehicles. A driver could make a pizza delivery, then next be called to a nearby Mama Fu’s to pick up an order there.
“We think delivery will be a lot better,” Torian said. “We can get really efficient.”
Technology is another area where Austin’s Pizza will benefit from joining forces with Mama Fu’s, which already has a robust online ordering platform. Right now, Torian said his chain’s use of technology isn’t where he wants it to be.
“We were about to invest in a lot of technology and their technology is way better,” he said. “They have a lot of infrastructure already in place that we can take advantage of.”
Torian said he’s known the Mama Fu’s management team, including CEO Randy Murphy, for years, which help paved the way for the sale.
“They love the product,” Torian said. “They love everything about us. One day they just called me and said, ‘Hey, let’s put together a deal.’”