Donatos Pizza Names 2016 Franchise Partner of the Year
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Donatos Pizza Names 2016 Franchise Partner of the Year

November 09, 2016 // // COLUMBUS, Ohio - Donatos Pizza has named Robert E. Lee III, the owner and operator of the Donatos at John Glenn Columbus International Airport, Franchise Partner of the Year. Lee, who began as a Franchise Partner in 2013, owns the only Donatos location currently operating within an airport.

Due to the unique nature of this location, the Columbus International Airport location serves exclusive offerings, such as 7” personal pizzas and breakfast pizzas and sandwiches, in addition to the entire Donatos menu and a full bar. Over the past year, Lee has seen a growth in sales of over 20%

“Being named Franchise Partner of the Year means a great deal to me and my family and it’s an honor to be recognized,” said Lee. “This award has very little to do with me and very much to do with the standout team members who work very hard to make our restaurant a success and fully embrace that, indeed, every piece is important. It’s an honor to serve our guests, wherever they may be coming from or going to, every day.”

Each year, Donatos selects its Franchise Partner of the Year by scoring sales performance, adherence to operational standards, overall business growth and the facilitation of a positive culture. The franchise partner who has the highest score across all categories receives the esteemed award.

“Robert is an exemplary franchise partner for Donatos who unfailingly delivers excellence and consistency – something that’s not always easily achieved in an airport-based location,” said Tom Krouse, president and CEO of Donatos Pizza. “His longstanding commitment to bettering the community around him and expertise in the hospitality industry made him a clear choice for Franchise Partner of the Year.”

In addition to being named Franchise Partner of the Year, Lee has also accrued numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including: Fellow by the African American Leadership Academy, Leadership Columbus Class of 2003, Columbus Business First's Forty Under 40, Columbus Chapter National Black MBA Association’s Entrepreneur of the Year, Columbus Urban League’s Community Service Award of Excellence, Greater Columbus Helping Hands’ Ambassador for Employment, Columbus Black Achievement Award’s E.E. Ward Entrepreneur of the Year and most recently, Urban Trendsetters’ Trendsetters and Trailblazers Award. Lee currently serves on the board of The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus and is an active member of the Ohio Restaurant Association.

About Donatos Pizza

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 America’s premier regional pizza chains.  Donatos and its Franchise Partners operate 154 restaurants in 9 states and its products are proudly served in more than 15 sports and entertainment venues.  For more information, visit

SOURCE Donatos Pizza

Media Contact:

Charisse Barnachea



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