Donatos Pizza Partners With Artists to Create Airport Mural Celebrating Diversity

Columbus, Ohio-based Donatos Pizza brought together more than two dozen artists to create a 42’ long mural in the John Glenn Columbus International Airport that celebrates the region’s cultural diversity and illustrates the belief that “Every Piece Is Important.”

The fast-casual pizza chain unveiled the mural project in conjunction with the recent opening of its second airport restaurant location. The mural was a collaboration between 29 artists and one photographer and includes 88 pieces of original art inspired by the artists’ family members, neighbors, teachers, mentors, and people they interacted with in their daily lives.

The idea for the design was created and implemented by Allison Westrick, Design Principal and Founder of Sketch Blue Brand Identity + Retail Design, in conjunction with the Greater Columbus Arts Council.

“At Donatos, our philosophy is ‘every piece is important,’ and that carries beyond the pizza,” said Dave Parsons, PR & Communications Manager for Donatos. “Like pepperonis or mushrooms, every person brings a unique perspective and different flavor to our culture, and we wanted to celebrate the diversity that brings us all together.”

“It’s incredible to see the different artists’ styles, the different choices they’ve made, the stories behind all the faces,” said Westrick. “Nobody is really famous, but they’re really loved, and that’s why they are important.”

Donatos was founded in 1963 when Ohio State University sophomore Jim Grote bought a small pizza shop in Columbus from a young seminarian for $1,300. The company was classified “Best in Class” and acquired by McDonald’s Corporation in 1999, at a time when the burger giant was buying small concepts. McDonald’s sold the chain back to Grote and his daughter, Jane Grote Abell, in 2003. Today Donatos has 160 franchised and company-owned restaurants in nine states with several more in planned development.

“We’ve always been about more than just serving pizza,” Parsons said. “Since the beginning, when Jim Grote served Donatos pizzas to his classmates and neighbors, Donatos has been a proud community member, working to create connections, inspiring communal harmony and dishing up deliciously hot pizza and warm hospitality to bring everyone together.”

Donatos is looking to expand into more markets and seeks enthusiastic and passionate franchise partners to augment its growth. The average annual volume per location exceeds $1 million, the company says. Stores typically average 2,000-2,500 square feet, and roughly 30 primarily part-time associates are hired to staff a single location.

For more information on the Donatos franchise opportunity, visit