"Names matter in this world," said the restaurant's CEO Randy Gier in a phone interview. "They are things that indicate your aspirations to employees, customers and investors, and we have great aspirations and think we're a different company than what you've been."
Read MoreCurry crust? Pizza Hut unveils huge changes
Pizza Inn has faced some tough times in its history, filing for banking protection in 1989. Its domestic store count has shrunk over the years as it's faced stiff competition from larger chains like Yum Brands' Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizza, Little Caesar's and Papa Johns. The company, which is not covered by analysts, has a market cap of about $73 million—a small fraction of these rivals. During fiscal 2014, the company raised $5.6 million from the sale of stock but recorded an adjusted net loss of $468,000 as it invested in Pie Five.
"Trying to compete with the advertising strength of the larger brands has been difficult," said Darren Tristano, Technomic's executive vice president, in a phone interview.
Rave's Gier admitted the Pizza Inn chain has "been in decline" in the past but said it has been "on a terrific track" lately. In its preliminary second-quarter results, Pizza Inn reported domestic comparable store sales rose 6.4 percent from the same period of the prior year, while Pie Five comparable store sales increased 16.9 percent year over year.
This is an improvement from fiscal 2014, when Pizza Inn domestic comparable franchisee store sales shrank 1.1 percent