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Donatos Pizzeria belongs to McDonald's Corporation. Donatos runs about 200 pizzerias, some of which are franchises. The restaurants of the company work from Michigan to Alabama, totally in seven states. In Munich, Germany, a sole Donatos unit exists. The chain is famous for adding its toppings to its pizza's edges. 

In addition to pizza, Donatos serves sandwiches and salads. The chain provides take-out and delivery services; meals at the restaurant are offered at some locations. Donatos' power came from James Grote, its longstanding leader. A native of Columbus, Ohio, he started making pizzas at the end of the 1950s as a school student. He worked in a pizzeria called Cy's, which influenced his business philosophy. 

Later, when Grotestudied at the Ohio State University h e discovered in 1963 that a pizzeria was on sale, and he purchased it after lending $1,300 from his father. That was the beginning of Donatos, which became an integral part of the Columbus market during its history's first 25 years. 

Grote has opened more than ten restaurants in his home town. The chain eventually began to spread beyond Columbus, but Grote was concerned about the possible loss of continuity once again. He was confident by the beginning of the 1990s that the Donatos idea could be exported to other markets. The refinement of a pastry production method was one of the main issues solved to enable spread. The dough was rolled and kept at a commissary before it was shipped to the restaurants at zero degrees Fahrenheit. 

Satisfied with maintaining product standardization, Grote was able to develop his business more vigorously. In 1991, he launched a system of franchising and star-making agreements with stakeholders. Franchising enhanced the business's growth so that by the end of 1992, the chain had 30 stores. By the end of 1993, 41 Donatos had been functioning. 

As Donatos began to grow in 1998, McDonald's company managers started investigating Grote's operations closely. With annual sales of $32 billion, the fast-food giant was in the pursuit of broadening its operations and emulating the danger posed by rivals. McDonald's executives saw the pizza market as the natural way to grow since it was the industry's fastest-expanding area. 

Substantial studies have been performed, and 61 pizza firms have supposedly undergone research before McDonald's made its decision. In November 1998, Pat Flynn, executive vice president of McDonald, told Grote of his organization's great interest in Donatos. 

A few weeks later, Grote decided to sell 146 units of Donatos for an unrevealed price to McDonald's. The transaction ended in July 1999, and Donatos became a McDonald's subsidiary. 

After that, even more expansion was planned. To boost the non-hamburger chains, McDonald's had created its specialty food division. Donatos was supposed to profit from McDonald's appetite for growth with his parent company's massive financial resources behind him.

Typical Hours of Operation

Mo 10:00 - 22:00
Tu 10:00 - 22:00
We 10:00 - 22:00
Th 10:00 - 22:00
Fr 10:00 - 24:00
Sa 10:00 - 24:00
Su 10:00 - 22:00

Locations: 142 locations in 20 states and 87 cities.


  • Take Out
  • Restaurants
  • Pizza

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