Fueling Success with Donatos Pizza Franchise: Travis and Kirsten Hibbert’s Journey

Discovering a franchise brand that aligns with one’s values and aspirations can be challenging in the ever-changing world of franchising. However, Travis and Kirsten Hibbert, Donatos Pizza franchise partners, have found the perfect blend of passion, commitment, and community involvement. Their journey is a powerful testament to the transformative power of aligning with a brand that values excellence and is committed to enhancing communities.

The Path to Donatos Pizza

With an impressive background in franchising, Travis and Kirsten discovered Donatos Pizza in 2020. Introduced by a friend from Columbus, Ohio, they explored the brand out of curiosity and soon realized its potential as an ideal fit for them. “I saw it as a great culture, a great product, and something I could see being around for years and years to come,” stated Travis. “The deeper we dug the more we fell in love and we just didn’t look back.”

Travis and Kirsten found that Donatos Pizza perfectly embodied the core values they look for in a franchisor. Not only does Donatos Pizza offer exceptional premium pizzas, but they also provide a unique family-oriented culture designed to support franchise partners comprehensively. “It was a way more family feel than other franchises,” Kirsten emphasizes. “We weren’t used to having as much support as we had with them.”

Travis and Kirsten found the idea of bringing Donatos Pizza to a new market very appealing. They were aware that they would have to shoulder the responsibility of introducing the reputation and tone of the brand to a new market, however, the prospect of having more control and the opportunity to do so only encouraged them.

Their Journey with Donatos Pizza

Travis and Kirsten became franchise partners with Donatos Pizza in August 2021, opening their first location in the west area of Knoxville. Their initial success was so remarkable that they expanded their business further and, in June 2023, they launched their second location in Northwest Knoxville. Currently, they are seeking a third location and have great plans to expand beyond three stores. Their entrepreneurial spirit and enthusiasm for growth reflect what it means to be a franchise partner with Donatos Pizza.

Recently, Travis and Kirsten were awarded Franchise Partner of the Year at the Annual Donatos Pizza Franchise Conference. Travis and Kirsten feel a sense of accomplishment and gratitude for this achievement, stating "Winning this award sets the precedent that we’ve accomplished goals and are on the right track. It means a lot to us, you always want to do things to the best of your availability and we feel we have done that at Donatos Pizza." However, they emphasize that this success takes a great team too, "you have to have the right team and the right culture, there’s so many things that have to align to make it happen."

The Power of Community Involvement

For Travis and Kirsten, one of the most significant aspects of franchising with Donatos Pizza is their commitment to community involvement. Donatos Pizza is not just a pizza company, they are a people company that makes pizzas. Since 1963, the Donatos Pizza mission has remained the same: make the best pizza, hire great people, and promote goodwill in the community.

“My favorite thing about franchising with Donatos Pizza is what they stand for,” Kirsten states “They are big on giving back to communities and so are we.”

Travis and Kirsten not only welcome customers into their restaurant but also actively seek opportunities to make a positive impact in their local community through fundraisers, donations, and other initiatives. Their dedication to spreading goodwill has helped them build a reputable location and contribute to the betterment of their community.

“We love doing that and love having that support from this brand, it’s amazing to be able to have them share their ideas with us and then share the love with other people,” Travis and Kirsten state. “That is what we love most about the Donatos Pizza family.”

Inspired to explore a franchise partnership that combines excellence and community impact? Contact Donatos Pizza and embark on the journey of making a difference and achieving entrepreneurial dreams.

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