DALLAS — Pizza Patrón, a Dallas-based chain with stores predominantly located in Hispanic neighborhoods, announced plans for major expansion in the years ahead. The company currently operates about 90 stores in six states but plans to have 750 stores nationwide within a decade.

Established in 1986, Pizza Patrón has been expanding rapidly since first offering franchising in March 2003. The company currently has development agreements in place for 40 stores in 10 different markets. By the end of 2009, Pizza Patrón expects development agreements for another 80 stores.

"Now is the perfect time for us to implement an aggressive expansion strategy," said Andrew Gamm, director of brand development for Pizza Patrón. "Today’s challenging economic climate and shifting consumer base has created the opportunity of a lifetime for our concept. Our Latino-Hispano brand focus naturally aligns us with the youngest and fastest-growing demographic in the U.S., ensuring solid growth potential for decades to come."

The company noted that the United States will have the world’s second largest Latino population by the year 2020, accounting for one resident in five. That figure is projected to expand to one resident in three by 2050.

The chain serves traditional American-style pizza in a distinctly Latin environment.

In addition to plans for growing its traditional pizza shop presence, the company also will develop a quick-service restaurant model. Quick Service Pizza "brings the convenience of fast food to the pizza segment," the company said. Each Q.S.P. location features three points of service for customers — a drive through, a walk-up order window and a color lobby strategically developed with a warm, food-centric environment, the company said.