Donatos is expanding into Oklahoma with a franchise partner group led by restaurant industry veteran Pattye Moore, the former board chairman and interim CEO at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and former president of Sonic Drive-In, and operating partners Matt and Will McLain, the sons of former Sonic President Scott McLain.

The company also announced it’s ready to expand its presence in the Charlotte, North Carolina market, with a recent development deal in Ft Mill, South Carolina, that will bring multiple locations to the area.

The Moore-led group has plans for dozens of locations in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City metro areas. The first is set to open this summer in Edmond.

Related: “Giving a good thing”: A Q&A with Donatos Chairwoman Jane Grote Abell

“I first got acquainted with Donatos while I was at Red Robin and we were developing the partnership,” Moore said. “I was so impressed with Donatos that I knew I wanted to bring this high-quality pizza to Oklahoma. I’m delighted to partner with Matt and Will McLain, two smart young entrepreneurs who I have known for a long time.”

In North Carolina, Donatos currently offers its pizzas in six locations as part of the Red Robin partnership. The pizza franchise is seeking additional growth through traditional franchise partner development. In addition to the Charlotte area, franchising efforts in North Carolina could bring up to five locations to Greensboro, seven locations to Raleigh-Durham, and five locations to Winston-Salem.

Donatos’ pizza is currently served in 444 locations across more than half of the U.S., including 173 traditional Donatos restaurants, and its products are also served in nine sports and entertainment venues and one REEF Kitchen. Additionally, Donatos continues to expand through its strategic partnership with Red Robin adding Donatos pizza to its menu. Today, that partnership includes 261 Red Robin locations, with plans to scale to additional markets nationwide in 2023 and beyond.

Including a franchise fee of $30,000, the initial investment to own and operate a Donatos restaurant ranges from $391,500 to $750,747. The average store is 2,000 square feet and employs roughly 30 primarily part-time associates. The average unit volume nationwide exceeds $1.29 million.

Pizza News