Industry News | October 8, 2010

Tom Krouse takes over as CEO of Donatos Pizza

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Donatos Pizza has announced the promotion of Tom Krouse to chief executive officer, a title previously held by the company’s founder, Jim Grote. Donatos has also announced the appointment of Jane Grote Abell to chairman of the board. As owner, Jim Grote will continue his active involvement in the business, and Grote Abell will continue to be involved in the strategic direction of the business.

“The Donatos legacy is our mission to promote goodwill through product and service, principles, and people. We’re excited for the future of our company, and Tom’s ability to lead us in the right direction,” says Grote. “Tom has been key to Donatos’ growth plan, and we are proud to promote a person so committed to our founding mission to take the company to the next level in his new role as chief executive officer.”

Since the Grote family purchased Donatos back from McDonald’s Corp. in 2003, the company has placed a primary focus on growing through franchising initiatives, including the development and growth of their Jane’s Dough Foods division. Tom Krouse, in his previous role as president of expansion brands, led this franchise growth initiative.

Krouse brings with him more than 10 years of experience with Donatos, as well as more than 25 years of restaurant branding experience, most recently with Wendy’s International as vice president of marketing. While at Donatos, he has played key roles in many different areas of the company including Jane’s Dough Foods, Donatos menu development, marketing, franchise growth, IT, and supply chain management.

Grote Abell’s focus has always been on Donatos’ products and people. She was the driving force in buying the company back from McDonald’s and was instrumental in restoring the company’s financial stability. Her leadership has guided Donatos through uncharted economic times all while preparing the brand for growth.

“We are excited to announce the promotions of both Tom and Jane,” Grote says. “Both have done an outstanding job of helping to grow the Donatos and Jane’s Dough brands through development rights for an additional 250 franchise stores, and retail commitments for Jane’s Dough Foods now totaling over 1,400 points of distribution. Now in their new roles, I am confident that their dedication and passion will help us to continue to grow through franchising. And as we embark on this new chapter of our history, one thing will not waver: our continued commitment to our founding mission of promoting goodwill through product and service, principles, and people.”