Donatos is expanding into Oklahoma with a franchise partner group led by three heavy hitters in the restaurant industry.
The group includes 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 group has plans to open dozens of Donatos locations in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City metro areas, the first of which is set to open this summer in Edmond near the intersection of S. Bryant and E. 15th Street.
“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.”
The expansion plans in Oklahoma City and Tulsa come at a time when Donatos is continuing to grow its national footprint. Today, Donatos, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, is 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.
Donatos also continues to expand through its strategic partnership that saw Red Robin add Donatos pizza to its menu. Today, that partnership includes 261 Red Robin locations, with plans to scale to additional markets across the U.S. in 2023 and beyond.
Donatos’ chairwoman, Jane Grote Abell, was profiled in the cover story of PMQ’s March 2023 issue. The chain was founded by Abell’s father, Jim Grote, in 1963, on the principles of agape capitalism—earning success in business by “leading with love” and giving more than one receives.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with strong restaurant industry leaders to expand the Donatos brand across the great state of Oklahoma. Everyone within the Donatos family is looking forward to sharing our premium pizza with members of the community,” said Jeff Baldwin, vice president of development and franchising for Donatos.
Including a $30,000 franchise fee, 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 about 30 primarily part-time associates. The average unit volume nationwide exceeds $1.29 million.
“Our brand is excited about this opportunity to make an impact across Oklahoma, starting with one location and then continuing to grow,” said Donatos President Kevin King. “We can’t wait to put our promise to ‘serve the best pizza and make your day better’ into action.”