Donatos Pizza – the fast-casual pizza franchise famous for its Edge to Edge toppings – has continued building upon the record success of the brand since its founding in 1963. This year, Donatos has opened over 55 locations, including five traditional stores, along with over 50 strategic partnership locations. The franchise currently has over 430 locations in over half the states in the U.S. In 2022, Donatos entered six new key states, including Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
“Our brand’s aggressive growth strategy and commitment to partnering with franchise owners that align with Donatos core values have positioned us perfectly to continue to succeed with expansion in the future,” says Jeff Baldwin, Vice President of Development & Franchising for Donatos. “I am thankful for our amazing customers who love Donatos premium pizzas and our dedicated associates who fulfill the Donatos Promise ‘to serve the best pizza and make your day a little better’ every day at our restaurants.”
With a powerful traditional store AUV of over $1,290,000 and strong category EBITDA, Donatos is accelerating growth plans across the U.S. with new franchise development agreements in Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, to name a few. The brand has also amped its marketing efforts to communicate the Donatos story and opportunities to grow the company through traditional franchising efforts and strategic partnership agreements to fuel store expansion in 2023 and beyond.
Donatos’ strategic partnership with Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, a full-service restaurant chain serving an innovative selection of high-quality gourmet burgers in a family-friendly atmosphere, has been a win for both Donatos and Red Robin. The Donatos partnered locations are a proven, high-return growth driver for the Red Robin brand. The partnership looks to continue the Donatos rollout in 2023 and beyond.
“Our partnership with Red Robin has been very beneficial to lay a foundation for aggressive traditional store growth across the U.S.,” says Kevin King, President of Donatos. “Working with Red Robin has been a real game-changer for the company, and we are excited to see our continued partnership develop and grow.”
Donatos continues to grow its national footprint and increase its presence in existing markets. Today, Donatos is served in 431 locations across 27 states, including 173 traditional Donatos restaurants. Its products are also proudly served in nine sports and entertainment venues and through a partnership with REEF Kitchens. Additionally, Donatos continues to expand through its strategic partnership with Red Robin, involving a scaled-down menu alongside Red Robin’s signature burgers. Today, the partnership includes 248 Red Robin locations with plans to scale to additional markets across the U.S. in 2023 and beyond.
Donatos was founded in 1963 when Ohio State sophomore Jim Grote bought a small pizza shop in Columbus, Ohio from a young seminarian for $1,300. Donatos restaurants serve oven-baked wings and sub sandwiches, appetizers, and salads in addition to its award-winning Edge to Edge® pizza, Donatos’ trademark refers to abundant toppings that go right to the edge of every thin-crust pizza. Along with the dine-in experience, Donatos also offers pick-up, delivery, and catering services.