It only took 100 years or so, but the Rosati family has finally broken into the Franchise 500. It's an honor that would probably please–and likely confuse–Saverio "Sam" Rosati, who began serving pizza at his Italian restaurant in Chicago near the turn of the 20th century. In 1964, his children took his old-world recipes and opened Rosati's, one of the first pizza joints to offer delivery, and a local legend was born," according to Entrepreneur Magazine.
"For decades there was no need for franchising–so many aunts, uncles and cousins opened Rosati's Pizza locations around Chi-Town that the company grew organically. Five years ago, however, when demand outnumbered family members, the franchising program was born. There are now 108 Rosati's Pizza stores operating across 12 states.
So what pushed Rosati's ahead this year, enabling it to squeak onto our ranking at No. 499? President Marla Topliff credits a stronger general focus on the franchising component. Since 2011 the company has not only hired a dedicated franchise sales representative, but has also begun attending franchise shows and improved its nationwide distribution system."