|Founded||1964 in Chicago, Illinois|
Rosati's Pizza is the second largest local chain of restaurants in the Chicago metropolitan area, (behind only Portillo's), with nearly 150 locations nationwide. The chain centers its business around the thin-crust variety of Chicago-style pizza. Rosati's is a franchise, with the largest franchisee being Rosati’s Franchise & Development, LLC., which formed in 1993 and has 27 stores in Illinois and locations in southern Wisconsin, northwestern Indiana. The Rosati's brand has also branched out to several other states, including locations in Arizona, Nevada, California, Florida, Missouri, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, Ohio, North Carolina and New Mexico.
In the early 1900s, a young Italian entrepreneur by the name of Ferdinand Rosati came to Chicago to follow a dream. Ferdinand had two passions: his family and his cooking, both of which he utilized to open what would become a first in the evolution of Rosati’s Pizza. Ferdinand opened a small restaurant on Chicago’s famous Taylor Street serving not only as the chef, but as host extraordinaire. Ferdinand greeted each guest as a personal friend. He treated them to his special appetizer, a small pie, made with a cracker thin crust, smothered with his homemade sauce, then covered with a thin layer of cheese. Ferdinand called his specialty, “Pizza A’Olia” and his guests loved it.
After his restaurant took off in Chicago, the business became a true family affair. Ferdinand’s son, Sam Rosati, opened a second Chicago restaurant in 1927. In 1964, the third generation of Rosatis opened a location on Busse and Algonquin Roads in Mount Prospect, IL. The location was the first Rosati’s Pizza takeout and delivery restaurant. All ten siblings worked in the restaurant with their spouses and children. The commitment and work ethic led the way to franchising in 1978.
By the fourth generation, the Rosatis were planning their next expansion when they decided to take a new direction and pursue separate ventures to bring continued growth to the family business. In 2005, Rosati's began franchising Rosati's Pizza Pubs, a combination of pub and pizza joint.
Over the years, Sam, along with his ten children, countless grandchildren and even more great-grandchildren, have been the driving force behind the growth of Rosati’s Pizza restaurants in making them what they are today - the true definition of pizza. From the Rosati family’s old-world Italian kitchen to your family’s kitchen table, Rosati’s is the original Chicago tradition.
The chain specializes in Chicago-style thin crust and Double-dough crust, and also offers traditional Chicago deep dish and stuffed pizza, but also offers other Italian dishes. Most of the menu is made from scratch. Rosati's own small sausage plant supplies Chicago-area units, and outside vendors reproduce the family sausage recipe elsewhere.
Most Rosati's locations are small stores that are take-out or delivery specific, sometimes with facilities for a few diners, but without restaurant dining areas. The Gurnee, IL location can accommodate up to 30 families at one time with dine-in style seating.
As of 2011[update] a typical franchise investment in the company would be around $250,000 per store, according to published figures. Rosati's main competition in the Chicago area consists of many smaller, family-owned pizzerias and some large ones including Nancy's, Giordano's, Lou Malnati's, Aurelio's and Home Run Inn.
- Rosati's Pizza Website ("Rosati's Chicago-Style Pizza")