Premium pizza  
for the people, 
since 1963.

Our Pizza Story is a People Story. 

The Donatos story is one of dreams, determination, family, values, and success. It’s a story that our Franchise Partners are truly proud to be part of, as it continues to evolve. It all started when our founder, Jim Grote was 13 years old and took a job at a Columbus pizza shop. By his sophomore year at The Ohio State University, the pizza business had him hooked for life. Jim bought the shop in 1963 for $1,300. He kept the name, derived from the Latin for “to give a good thing”—the perfect way to describe his three-part mission: make the best pizza, hire great people, and promote goodwill in the community.

As the business grew, Jim raised his family in a home behind that first pizza shop. This mix of work, friends and family helped define Donatos’ distinctive culture.

“When folks arrived to pick up their pizza, I had them stop by to say hi to Nancy and the kids,” Jim remembers. “It was great, a home filled with friends and neighbors.” 

While Times Have Changed, Our Values Haven’t.

Today, Donatos remains a fan favorite in our founding city of Columbus and now, far beyond. Our family-owned company still stands firmly on the foundation built by the people-centric principles that inspired our founder to put those very first pizzas in the oven. Working with his daughter, Donatos Chairwoman Jane Grote, Jim remains a guiding influence at the company, and his values continue to shape everything we do—from our generous Edge to Edge® premium toppings to the way we treat our associates like family—and especially the way we always strive to be a good neighbor.

Now with over 460 locations in 29 states, Donatos and its franchise partners operate more than 170 traditional restaurants in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Florida and Oklahoma more than 280 non-traditional locations.

Donatos’ products are also proudly served in more than 200 non-traditional locations through partnerships with Red Robin, sports and entertainment venues, and REEF.

Donatos Team

Invest in a Premium Pizza Franchise.

We have the recipe for success.

  • $1.23M
    Average Net Revenue*
  • $55.5B
    us pizza restaurant market size in 2022
  • 460+

Every Piece is Important®.

Hear from Jane Grote, One of the Founders and Executive Chairwoman.

At Donatos, you're family. Life is about new experiences, and who we spend our lives with. Our Franchise Partners and associates embrace our business model and processes and share in our belief that every aspect of our business is important. Want to learn more? Visit our testimonial page to hear from our owners.

Committed to Fresh Ingredients AND Fresh Air. 

Donatos is committed to preserving the environment, taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint, and promoting sustainability in everything we do. Our sustainability efforts include the following:

  • We don’t discard excess dough in landfills and instead send it to hog and poultry farmers to use as supplemental feed.
  • Our FSI-certified pizza boxes are made from 100% natural fiber and our napkins are 100% FSC certified.
  • Our pizza franchise uses 100% compostable bowls and lids for appetizers and salads.
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The Foundation Focus: Love Our Neighbor.

Donatos Family Foundation


Living by the Golden Rule is one of Donatos’ founding principles. Loving our neighbors, wherever we are. Through our Foundation, we’re putting love into action with a strategic focus on three core pillars:


We believe every person has intrinsic worth and dignity, deserving (at minimum) safety and shelter. The Foundation strengthens our partnership with Habitat for Humanity to help address the challenge of more affordable housing in our neighborhoods. 


As a pizza company, nourishing others is in our DNA. Our Foundation’s collaborative efforts with local food pantries work hard to ensure reliable access to sufficient, affordable, nutritious food in every community we serve. 


The Foundation will strengthen a long-standing tradition among our associates and franchise partners who work with local organizations to fight serious medical conditions and provide care and support to those affected by them. 

Donatos offers a unique franchise opportunity for those who want to be part of something bigger. We take pride in offering the highest quality product, excellent customer service, and a solid support structure for each of our franchise locations. With Donatos franchising, you can join an established family that is passionate about making a difference in our communities and beyond. 

Learn more about why Donatos is one of the best pizza franchises to own and then take the first step today! 

Our Job.

At Donatos, serving others and nourishing relationships has always been at the heart of what we do. And how we do it is just as important as why. We do it by building quality into everything we do: Every ingredient on every pizza. Every interaction with every person. Every product. Every meeting. Every phone call. Every detail at every location. Every piece is important®.

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Ready to join our Family?

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