July 01, 2010 // Franchising.com // (COLUMBUS, Ohio) - Donatos Pizza announced today it is continuing its expansion plans by selling the majority share of the brand's Cincinnati and Indianapolis markets to Titan Restaurant Group, LLC. As a result of this announcement, the brand's restaurants in these two cities will transition from company-owned, to franchise-owned and 10 new restaurants will be added to the Donatos family in these markets.
"We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Titan, as it allows us to continue to follow our strategic plan and continue to grow through franchising," said Jane Grote Abell, Donatos President and COO. "Donatos was built on the mission of promoting goodwill through our products and service, principles and people, and The Titan Restaurant Group shares these same values. This attribute, along with having more than 68 years of experience in the restaurant industry, and inherent knowledge of the local markets, makes this group an ideal partner."
Titan Restaurant Group is led by Jack Whiting and Mike Simon. Industry veterans Whiting and Simon have served as executives and franchise operators for several premium brands, including Wendy's, Tim Horton's and Pizza Hut.
Simon was the vice president of U.S. operations for Tim Horton's. He also spent several years with Pizza Hut, where he was responsible for installing the chain's delivery system. And now through this new franchise agreement, Simon will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Donatos restaurants. Whiting was previously senior vice president of the Midwest region of Wendy's, and is currently an owner of 14 Wendy's restaurants in the Columbus market.
After meeting with leadership of the family-owned and operated Donatos, and tasting the company's signature Edge to Edge® pizza, Whiting and Simon were interested in starting a partnership.
"Donatos is a great company with strong leadership who are all committed to their products and their people," said Simon. "When we considered Donatos' leadership combined with their outstanding products and innovative concept, we knew Donatos would be a great partner for us."
The agreement between Titan and Donatos states Titan will add 10 new Donatos locations to Cincinnati and Indianapolis within the next six years, bringing the total amount of Donatos restaurants to more than 50 stores in these two markets.
In addition to offering pizzas on its signature Edge-to-Edge® Thin and Hand Tossed crusts, Donatos also offers Big & Meaty Buffalo Wings, Oven Baked Subs and Garden Fresh Salads.
Donatos Pizza, founded in 1963 by Jim Grote, is family-owned and operated, and headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. The creator of Edge-to-Edge® pizza, Donatos Pizza is recognized as the gold standard in pizza, using only the freshest ingredients and highest food and safety standards to create delicious, quality products that are all trans-fat free. Donatos and its franchise partners operate more than 185 stores in six states. Additionally, Donatos has extended its Take & Bake product line to more than 400 locations nationally and offers products at more than 20 entertainment and sports venues.