Calling itself the nation's largest chain in the "take and bake" or "we bake or you bake" pizza segment that includes about a dozen competitors, Figaro's Pizza has opened its first Lafayette location.

Franchisee Kevin Hayes of Lafayette opened the restaurant last week in the South College Shopping Center. The concept caters to the growing number of time-crunched Americans who are looking for convenient quality meals they can squeeze into their families' busy schedules.

Figaro's offers pickup or delivery of both baked and unbaked pizzas. A proprietary dough formula allows unbaked pizzas to be left unrefrigerated for several hours or refrigerated for up to 48 hours without compromising taste or quality. The menu also includes calzones, chicken wings, bread sticks and salads, with only limited outdoor seating available. 

If the concept takes off locally, Hayes plans to open two additional stores in the Lafayette area.

Based in Salem, Ore., Figaro's Italian Pizza Inc. was founded in 1981 and now has more than 100 stores across the country -- with plans to open 15 to 20 new units a year for the next several years.

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