As the new year gets under way, Donatos announced the addition of a new franchise partner to its family as Jordan Hospitality Group has taken over the ownership and daily operation of the 21 restaurants in the Indianapolis market.
Ron Jordan, the CEO of Jordan Hospitality Group (JHG), learned at an early age the importance of hard work, focus, and determination. Since stepping in and taking over his family’s long-standing small business in 2015, Jordan has transformed ownership of a single quick-service restaurant into JHG. A Columbus, Ohio native who attended Eastern Illinois University, Jordan, who grew up eating Donatos pizza with his family on Friday nights and at other special occasions, is now the largest traditional Donatos franchise partner as well as the largest minority-owned franchise partner for the family-owned company that has been around since 1963.
“We’re on a mission to be one of the exceptional players in experiential dining,” says Jordan. “But it’s more than just building restaurants. We’re creating experiences that thrill our guests. My inspiration to grow to be the best stems from the commitment I made to my grandparents years ago to create generational wealth for my family and future generations of not only Jordans, but for the people our company employs. It is especially rewarding to have the opportunity to do this through a company in Donatos that I have loved since childhood.”
“We are excited to have Ron Jordan and JHG join our family,” said Tom Krouse, CEO of Donatos. “Not only does JHG bring experienced operational oversight to an already existing team of operators in the Indianapolis market, but they also bring tremendous energy and fresh perspective that will serve the customers better and further grow the market.”
Jordan’s franchising efforts are assisted by 22 Ventures, which is led by former NBA All-Star, Olympic Gold Medalist, and Ohio State University team captain, Michael Redd. “Black entrepreneurs have long faced systemic barriers to growth, including access to loans and capital, biased community perceptions, and gentrification challenges,” said Jordan. “Having Michael Redd as a business partner gets us in front of the right people to scale our business.”
“This new partnership between 22 Ventures and Jordan Hospitality Group is a powerful combination and we are excited to bring our vision to the Greater Indianapolis market through Donatos,” says Redd, Chairman and Co-Founder of 22 Ventures. “Both of our teams take a rigorous and evidence-based approach to development, which is why we will deliver consistent restaurant service and memorable experiences. Together, we will work to uplift Black and Brown businesses across the state, and we will do that here, starting with the management of the Donatos brand in Indiana.”
The International Franchise Association statistics indicate that about 30 percent of franchises are minority-owned, but only about eight percent are franchises are Black-owned. These hurdles have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic as demonstrated by the 41 percent of Black-owned businesses that have shuttered since February 2020 as compared to just 17 percent of white-owned businesses.
“Donatos is aggressively growing its footprint in key markets across the US through franchising partnerships,” adds Jeff Baldwin, Vice President of Development & Franchising for Donatos. “JHG is another great example of the strength of our franchising efforts and continued growth of the brand.”
Keith Warren, Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending at CF Bank, served as financial advisor to Jordan Hospitality Group in this transaction. Stansbury Weaver served as legal advisor to 22 Ventures.