June 09, 2015 // Franchising.com // COLUMBUS, Ohio – Donatos Pizza, one of the premier regional pizza chains in the United States and creator of Edge to Edge® pizza, has been inducted into the Pizza Hall of Fame.
Created by PMQ Pizza Magazine, the pizza industry’s No. 1 trade pubication, the Pizza Hall of Fame, located at www.PizzaHallofFame.com, pays tribute to the rich cultural history of American pizza and honors the perennially popular U.S. pizzerias that have been in business for 50 years or longer.
“Throughout the past 52 years we have stood by our mission of promoting good will through product and service, principles and people,” said Donatos CEO Tom Krouse. “Being welcomed into this family of legendary and pioneering pizzerias is a tremendous honor and one for which we are incredibly proud.”
The Donatos story began in 1963 when 19-year-old Jim Grote, an Ohio State University sophomore at the time, borrowed $1,300 from his father and future father-in-law to buy a small pizza shop on the south side of Columbus, Ohio. He had worked in a pizzeria since he was 13 and bought the Donatos name (traced back to Latin - “to give a good thing”) from a seminarian who operated out of a local bar and tavern.
Until Grote perfected his system, he was in no hurry to grow outside the Columbus area. But by 1991, when he started franchising, he had everything down to a science, from his cornmeal-dusted crust and aged provolone base to vegetables cut fresh daily and proprietary sausage developed with his dad, a butcher. In 1999, McDonald’s purchased the chain, by then considered a gold standard in the pizza delivery. But in 2003, when the company later decided to refocus on burgers, Jim and his daughter, Jane, bought back Donatos.
Today, more than 50 years after its auspicious start, Donatos boasts 154 locations (including 102 franchises) in six states and looks ahead to adding new markets while developing current areas.
“Pizza is such an integral part of the American experience,” said PMQ publisher Steve Green, who inducted the first pizzeria into the Pizza Hall of Fame nearly 10 years ago. “We wanted to commemroate its role in our cutlure. Every pizzeria in the Pizza Hall of Fame – and each one that will be inducted in the future – is a local landmark. These pizzerias are more than restaurants – they are insistutuions in their communities.”
Visit http://pizzahalloffame.com/donatos/ to read more about Donatos’ Pizza Hall of Fame induction.
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 is recognized as one of the premier regional pizza chains in the United States, using only the freshest ingredients and highest food and safety standards to create delicious, quality products. Donatos and its franchise partners operate more than 150 restaurants in six states, and its products are proudly served in more than 15 entertainment and sports venues. For more information on Donatos Pizza, visit www.donatos.com.
SOURCE Donatos Pizza