Top Pizza Franchises

Pizza is always in demand with consumers, which means it provides plenty of thriving franchises. Today’s best pizza franchises range from traditional delivery outlets to trendy build-your-own pie restaurants.

Get your slice of the thriving pizza market with our best pizza franchise list topped with the finest advice in the business.

Pizza Hut and Domino’s may be the largest restaurant franchises, but you are not limited to them. Here are 30 of the best pizza franchises.

1. Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut operates the most pizza franchises in terms of locations. The company enjoys a 58 year history of success, from its founding by brothers Dan and Frank Carney. Aside from the brand recognition, Pizza Hut pioneered innovations including having a variety of formats from family-style dine-in to carry-out franchises. The company offers a few different types of franchise opportunities. However, the initial investment usually ranges from $297,000 to $563,000. The initial fee for a franchise is $25,000.

2. Domino’s

Domino’s puts a unique twist on its franchise for pizza with a focus on customer convenience. The company has been around for more than 50 years and has more than 17,000 franchises. This makes it the largest pizza company in the world. It has other offerings including chicken wings. Domino’s Pizza utilizes a simple tech platform to facilitate online ordering with a streamlined customer experience from all its locations. Most franchisees start by learning the ropes at a current Domino’s before purchasing their own store. The franchise fee is $10,000 and the initial investment ranges from $100,000 to about $600,000.

3. Papa John’s

Papa John’s remains one of the more popular nationwide brands and among the largest pizza franchise opportunities available. The name refers to founder John Schnatter. The company offers both traditional and non-traditional franchise opportunities, so even those with access to unique venues or locations can consider it as an option. Initial costs for an average-sized location range from about $250,000 to $300,000. The franchise fee for a U.S. store is $25,000.

4. Little Caesars

Little Caesars

Little Caesars has been in business a long time. Entrepreneur Mike Ilitch founded the pizza chain with just one pizzeria in Metro Detroit in 1959. That modest shop grew into an internationally recognized brand in 24 countries, making it one of the largest franchises in this niche. The company prides itself on unique offerings, like its $5 Hot-N-Ready food and online ordering portals on the company website . The initial investment can range from $250,000 to $335,500. And the franchise fee is $20,000.

5. Marco’s Pizza

Marco’s Pizza currently has hundreds of franchises throughout the United States, with even more opportunities for growth in select markets. Both single and multi-unit franchises for a pizza restaurant are available. You’ll need to spend between $223,535 and $586,410 to get started with a traditional franchise location. The initial franchise fee is $25,000.

6. Sam & Louie’s

Sam & Louie’s specializes in New York-style franchise of pizza. Originally launched in Oklahoma, this franchise quickly spread across nearby states and is now expanding throughout the U.S. and Canada. The company offers flexible design options to adapt its franchises to various communities. The total initial investment ranges from $331,500 to $474,700. And the franchising fee is 25,000.

7. MOD Pizza

MOD Pizza offers fast, simple, and customizable pies. The company owns and operates most of its own stores. But it does collaborate with select franchise partners who are interested in developing multiple units. The franchise fee is $30,000. The initial investment ranges from $714,000 to $985,000.

8. RedBrick Pizza

Red Brick Pizza specializes in brick oven pizzas made with quality ingredients. The fast-casual restaurant chain provides several different franchises to suit your community and customer base. You can also choose between single and multi-unit franchises. The initial fee is $30,000 for a traditional cafe. Initial costs range from $316,400 to $548,200.

9. Hungry Howie’s

Hungry Howie’s currently has more than 550 franchises across the U.S. The company provides opportunities for both single and multi-unit franchises. The company offers training, a nationwide distribution network, mobile and online platforms, and marketing assistance. Costs to launch a Hungry Howie’s franchise falls between $200,000 and $375,000. The franchise fee for Hungry Howie’s is $25,000.

10. The Pizza Press

The Pizza Press is a restaurant chain that uses the concept “publish your own pizza.” Guests get to create their own custom pies and can finish their meal with ice cream treats. So franchises create a real experience for the customers in their area. The company is currently seeking out developers seeking multi-unit franchises and those who are willing to expand internationally. The fee for one franchise is $35,000 and $28,000 for any subsequent units. Total costs to get going range from $300,000 to $645,000.

11. Pizza Ranch

Pizza Ranch has a dine-in / carryout restaurant model for its franchises with a focus on creating a welcoming environment for guests. In addition to their pizza offerings, they also serve fried chicken among other items. These franchises are equipped with FunZone arcades. The company provides training, marketing assistance and ongoing support to franchisees. The total initial investment ranges from $1.3 to $3.4 million, with a $30,000 franchising fee. Single and multi-unit franchises are available.

12. CiCi’s

CiCi’s is a buffet chain with 430 franchises across more than 30 states. The company provides marketing support, training and distribution. Incentives are available to veterans to make the initial investment easier. The upfront investment ranges from $686,445 to $1,033,180. The franchising fee is $30,000 with incentives available to bring that cost down.

13. East of Chicago Pizza Company

East of Chicago Pizza Company

East of Chicago Pizza Company is a Midwester pizza chain in business for more than 20 years. The company has a proven business model and a dedication to creating pizzas and other food items with quality ingredients. The initial fee is $20,000. Upfront costs range from $162,000 to $463,000.

14. Uno Pizzeria & Grill

Uno’s is one of the best pizza franchises in the Chicago style. It offers full service franchises. Each restaurant has a casual theme, but offers numerous profit opportunities including salads, other menu items, and bar options. The franchise fee is $40,000. Initial costs for these franchises range from $850,000 to $2.5 million.

15. Happy’s Pizza

Happy’s Pizza chain provides delivery, carry-out, dine-in and catering options for customers. The company provides its franchises with help in training, real estate acquisition, marketing and more. Happy’s currently has franchises in Michigan, Ohio, Nevada, and California, and is looking for even more expansion opportunities. The initial fee is $25,000, with discounts available for those opening multiple franchises. Total upfront costs range from $336,500 to $608,000. Additionally, the company charges a flat monthly fee instead of collecting royalties.

16. My Pie

My Pie is part of the growing custom market. But the company specializes in New York style. Franchise opportunities are currently available nationwide. You’ll need between $190,000 and $545,000 in build-out costs depending on the number and type of franchises. The initial franchising fee is $35,000.

17. Pieology

Pieology offers personalized pie’s right from its online platform. The company currently has 130 franchises in 22 states. And they offer exclusive territories for new franchises. The initial fee required is $25,000. Upfront costs range from $458,500 to $874,500.

18. LaRosa’s Family Pizzeria

LaRosa’s is known for its family recipe and inviting atmosphere. With more than 60 years in business, the company currently has franchises in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. They offer delivery, dine-in, and even catering services, which provides diverse profit potential. The initial fee is $35,000. Startup costs range from $400,000 to $950,000, again depending on the number and type of franchises you plan to operate.

19. Papa Murphy’s

Papa Murphy’s has over 1,300 franchises in the United States, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates that serve take ‘n’ bake pizza. The company provides training and support to franchisees. And there are current and future markets open to expansion around the country. The initial fee is $25,000. And startup costs range from $286,919 to $524,205.

20. Russo’s New York Pizzeria

Russo’s New York Pizzeria brands itself as an “upscale casual” pizzeria. The restaurant uses fresh ingredients and family recipes brought to the forefront by Chef Anthony Russo. Franchises offer sit down, takeout, delivery, and catering service. There’s a $39,500 initial fee. Total costs to start in one of these franchises range from $450,000 to $750,000.

21. Ledo Pizza

Ledo Pizza is a Maryland based company that is currently offering franchises in select markets around the U.S. The pizzeria offers a varied menu and online ordering options to increase customer loyalty. The initial fee is $30,000. Costs to start range from $126,000 to $442,000.

22. Pizza Factory

Pizza Factory is known for its fresh ingredients and community involvement. The company boasts a strong family oriented culture, and offers discounts for veterans interested in operating franchises. The initial fee is $30,000. Costs to start range from $372,000 to $562,000.

23. Rosati’s Pizza

Rosati’s is another of the franchises specializing in authentic Chicago style offerings. The family owned company provides training and assistance with site selection and various other aspects of running your franchise. The initial fee is $35,000. And startup costs range from $136,200 to $1,241,000.

24. Mountain Mike’s

Mountain Mike’s has been in operation for more than four decades. Originally opened in Northern California, the company looks to sell franchises throughout Southern California, Utah, Nevada, and Oregon. The franchise is known for its quality ingredients and ties to the communities it serves. The franchise fee is $30,000. The upfront costs range from $208,020 to $593,520.

25. Vocelli Pizza

Vocelli Pizza specializes in artisan pizzas and other classic Italian dishes. The company has been around for more than 25 years and falls into the growing fast casual segment of franchises. Your initial costs can range from $156,000 to $330,900. The franchising fee is $30,000.

26. Kono Pizza

Kono Pizza

Kono offers a unique take. The Kono Cone changes the entire shape of traditional pies in an effort to make it easier to eat. The company offers food truck franchises with low overhead and mobile business opportunities. The initial investment ranges from $25,000 to $150,000 depending on which model you choose. There’s also a $25,000 fee for a single unit.

27. Fox’s Pizza Den

Fox’s Pizza Den is a family owned business that prides itself on being accessible to potential franchisees. The company’s $10,000 franchise fee and flat $300 per month royalty rate make it a fairly affordable option compared to other pizza franchises. Total upfront costs range from $93,550 to $115,550.

28. Jet’s

Jet’s is a Detroit style pizza restaurant that provides carryout and delivery. The company provides training, opening assistance and ongoing support to franchisees. Jet’s charges a $25,000 franchise fee. And total upfront costs range from $437,500 to $631,000. The company is also open to those who want to convert existing restaurants into franchises.

29. Round Table Pizza

Round Table Pizza offers both dine-in and carryout and delivery franchise models. The company is known for its authentic ingredients and flexible business models. The franchise fee for both options is $25,000. For dine-in locations, total upfront costs range from $471,500 to $1,061,250. For carryout/delivery locations, those costs range from $327,300 to $510,250.

30. Blaze Pizza

Blaze Pizza offers fast service and wood-fired pizzas with quality ingredients at all its locations. Restaurants also offer convenient features like online and mobile ordering and contactless pickup. The total initial costs range from $319,800 to $858,000. The franchise fee is $30,000 per restaurant, or $20,000 for certified training stores.

Some pizza chains were left off our list like Toppers Pizza which includes many company owned stores and Donatos Pizza founded by Jim Grote.

FAQs About Pizza Franchises

These frequently asked questions summarize key points about pizza franchise opportunities.

Is pizza a good business?

Pizza is a very good business. Consider these 3 advantages to owning a pizza business:

  • Consumer demand. 13% of Americans over age 2 eat pizza on any given day.2 It’s popular all over. It is most popular in the Northeast and Midwest, according to PMQ Magazine. 3 We eat 3 billion pies per year. 4
  • Profitability. Ingredient costs are relatively low compared to the price charged, ensuring profitability.
  • Growing industry. The pizza industry is $47 billion a year, and franchises constitute $36.4 billion of that, according to research firm IBISWorld. 1 It is forecast to continue growing over the next five years.

Pizza has become a food staple — whether deep dish, thin crust, unusual toppings or more. Among food franchises it is one of the most popular categories. You get the benefits of the franchise system and branding, together with sound business fundamentals and help choosing locations.

How much do pizza shop owners make?

The amount you make with franchise pizza depends on the type of pizza business you operate. For example, the average Dominoes owner might expect to make between $107,000 to $116,000 per year, according to Glassdoor.5

However, a Papa John’s franchise owner might make about $142,000 before taxes, says

First, of course, you need to subtract out costs related to food, labor, marketing, supplies, royalty fees and real estate associated with these franchises.

Is a pizza franchise profitable?

Yes, a pizza franchise can be profitable. For example, the top 75 percent of Marco’s Pizza restaurants made between $543,093 and $1,736,679 in net royalty sales in 2019. The average store spent about 31 percent on food and supplies and 25 percent on labor. The exact amount each store makes depends on the size, market, and expenses.

How much does it cost to open a pizza franchise?

Opening a pizza franchise can cost anywhere from $25,000 to over $1 million, depending on locations of your franchise business and other factors. Most fall somewhere between $200,000 and $600,000. Those that just offer a mobile component or pickup and delivery service tend to be cheaper. Large, dine-in restaurant locations with extensive menus fall on the more expensive end of the spectrum.


1 IBIS World Research

2 USDA Consumption Report

3 PMQ Magazine

4 The Pizza Joint

5 Glassdoor


This article, “Top Pizza Franchises for 2020” was first published on Small Business Trends

Source: Small Business Trends

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