Donatos Pizza

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Donatos Pizzeria, LLC
Private (Family Owned)
Industry Restaurant
Founded 1963
Founder Jim Grote
Headquarters Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Key people
Jane Abell (Chairperson)
Tom Krouse (CEO)
Products Pizza, Subs, Salads

Donatos Pizza is a pizza delivery restaurant chain headquartered in Gahanna, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. It has nearly 200 locations in six states, with the majority of locations in Ohio.[1] Donatos is also served at several venue outlets including Ohio Stadium[2] and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.[3]


In 1963, Ohio State sophomore Jim Grote purchased a small pizzeria on the south side of Columbus, Ohio for $1,300. From the beginning, Grote built Donatos on three fundamentals: creating a superior product, hiring great people, and to "treat others the way I would like to be treated". Today, these fundamentals still define Donatos as it promises “To serve the best pizza and make your day a little better.[4]

In 1999, Donatos was purchased by McDonald's in an attempt to enter the pizza industry. However, a majority interest in Donatos was repurchased by Jim Grote and daughter Jane Abell in 2003 as McDonald's sought to refocus on its core business.[5] During this period Donatos also had operations in Munich, Germany.[6]

The original pizza restaurant on Thurman Avenue in Columbus is still one of the busiest and most successful locations.


Donatos is famous for its thin crust pizza that is loaded "edge to edge" with toppings—there are over 100 pepperoni slices on every large pepperoni pizza. Also, the pizza is party-cut into square pieces to make it easier to eat. In August 2009, several Columbus, Ohio, stores launched a new hand-tossed crust, with the concept going company-wide later that year.[7] This pizza features a sweeter pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese instead of the company standard provolone, a traditional "pie cut," and a spicier pepperoni. In addition to pizza, Donatos serves subs, salads, and wings.

Donatos Pizza Home Office decorated with Pelotonia logo to help support cancer research at the James Cancer Hospital.

Take and Bake[edit]

In 2004, the company introduced the Donatos Take and Bake in Kroger supermarkets.[8] The Take and Bake concept offers a limited menu of their Signature Pizzas created to the customer's desires. The pizza is placed on a disposable foil baking pan, packaged with a cardboard square cutting board, and boxed with instructions on how to bake them at home. Since its inception, the make-to-order concept has been phased out in favor of premade 13" pizzas. They are sold in five varieties including pepperoni, sausage, half pepperoni & half cheese, pepperoni & sausage, and cheese.

As of 2011, the Donatos Take and Bake can be found in some Walmart Supercenters around the country. When viewing the Walmart site in October 2015, it states "This Item is no longer available".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Donatos Pizza Franchising". www. Retrieved 2011-07-26. 
  2. ^ "Lucky Horseshoe". Stadium Journey. Retrieved 2011-07-26. 
  3. ^ "Food Available at the National Air and Space Museum". Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  4. ^ "About Donatos". Retrieved 2011-07-26. 
  5. ^ "Jane Grote Abell". Franklin University Leadership Center. 2003-12-15. Retrieved 2007-04-01. 
  6. ^ "Donatos Pizzeria Corporation". Retrieved 2011-07-26. 
  7. ^ "Hand Tossed or Edge to Edge?". Greatest City of All. 2003-12-15. Retrieved 2007-04-01. 
  8. ^ "Donatos Pizzeria joins take-and-bake fray with Kroger kiosk". Pizza Marketplace. Retrieved 2011-07-26. 

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