About Donatos

Donatos is a family-owned, privately held company that treats our Franchise Partners like they are part of the family. Our mission is to promote goodwill through our products and service, principles and people. The home office team and Franchise Partners are active in the communities that they serve and beyond just providing jobs, we strive to offer mentoring and growth opportunities for the people who work for us. Our 75% associate retention rate is a testament to our efforts. Our Founder Jim Grote’s daughter, Jane Grote Abell, brings her dad’s philosophy to life by promoting goodwill in the communities Donatos serves. The Donatos Family Promise Fund helps associates in need of financial support.


When Jim Grote was a 13-year-old in Columbus, Ohio, he took a job making pizzas. By the time he was a sophomore at Ohio State University, the pizza business had hooked Jim for life. Jim bought that original shop in 1963 for $1,300, and kept the clever original name – a play on a Latin phrase that means “to give a good thing.” It was a perfect way to describe what would become his three-part mission: to create a superior product, hire great people, and promote goodwill in business and 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.
Today, our family-owned company remains a favorite in Columbus and well beyond, with more than 160 locations in 10 states. Working with his daughter, Donatos Chairman Jane Grote Abell, Jim remains a guiding influence at the company, making sure his original values continue to shape everything we do.

Jim’s generosity is about more than our ample premium pizza toppings, the Edge to Edge® mantra we’re known for. It’s also evident in the way we care about serving our customers the very best pizza, the way we treat our associates like family and the way we always strive to be a good neighbor and positive community influence. The result: an incredibly loyal fan base that just keeps growing.

A lot of pizza makers tell you that it’s all about the pizza. At Donatos, we disagree. So while we certainly go to great lengths to make delicious pizza of the highest quality, we think our job is bigger than that. It’s to enhance the experience of getting together with family, friends and coworkers. It’s to enrich people’s lives and their relationships with one another. It’s to build community. It’s to think about people first – with Donatos pizza as a means to a bigger, and much more fulfilling end. Donatos is a family-owned pizza company with more than 150 locations in six states. Founded in Columbus, Ohio in 1963, we take pride in our family business in every community we serve. At Donatos, Every piece is important.®

Company Founded


Current Leadership

Tom Krouse, CEO

Started Franchising

1991 (30 years)

Total Number of Units

162 (as of 2020)

Part-Time / Full-Time

Full Time

How Much Does It Cost To Open A Donatos Franchise?

There are several costs associated with opening a Donatos franchise. There is typically a franchise fee set by the franchisor, which covers the costs of opening a franchise location. Some other commons fees include equipment fees, marketing fees, licensing fees, insurance, and taxes, to name a few.

Some franchises may have a weekly fee that the franchisee pays for operating a Donatos franchise. The weekly fee for opening a Donatos franchise is License Fee Is Due On The Payment Day Of Each Week.

The full breakdown of these fees can be found in the Financial Disclosure Document (FDD) provided to franchisees by the franchisor. The FDD report will contain additional information such as whether the franchise is renewable (Donatos Is Renewable) and does the franchise offer financing support (Donatos Donatos has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll).

Donatos Company Details

Here are some additional details about Donatos.

Parent Company Donatos Pizzeria LLC
Initial Investment $30,000
Net Worth Requirement $1,000,000
Royalty Fee 5%
Ad Royalty 5%
Cash Requirement $200,000
Term of Agreement 20 years
Absentee Ownership No
Run from Home No
Part Time No

Training and Support Offered By Donatos

Donatos offers several support options to its franchisees. With 162 (as of 2020) units, Donatos aims to provide support to each franchise owner to help them operate a successful franchise location. Donatos offers 48 hours on the job training, No classroom training, and No additional training.

Training and Support Offered

Here are the support options offered by Donatos.

On-The-Job Training 48 hours
Classroom Training No
Additional Training No
Ongoing Support
  • Purchasing Co-ops
  • Newsletter
  • Meetings & Conventions
  • Grand Opening
  • Online Support
  • Security & Safety Procedures
  • Field Operations
  • Site Selection
  • Proprietary Software
  • Franchisee Intranet Platform
Marketing Support
  • Co-op Advertising
  • Ad Templates
  • National Media
  • Regional Advertising
  • Social Media
  • SEO
  • Website Development
  • Email Marketing
  • Loyalty Program/App

Is Donatos Right For You?

Donatos has gone digital! Here are all of the ways you can find Donatos online. Oftentimes, you can reach out to current franchisees of Donatos online. Current franchisees may be able to offer personalized insights into what it is like owning a Donatos franchise and offer tips to running a successful Donatos franchise location.


Why Should You Start a Donatos Franchise?

Investing in a Food franchise such as Donatos can kickstart your franchise portfolio. Our goal at Why Franchise is to provide you with the resources needed to be a successful franchise owner. Fill out the form below to get more information about Donatos franchise and we'll be in touch soon!

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