As a carryout operation and a pioneer in the fledgling concept of delivery, Rosati’s offered impressive variety, with three crusts (thin, Double Dough and Chicago-style), plus entrées like rib dinners and pastas. And with the family name already ingrained in the area, Rosati’s took off. Employees soon wanted to start their own locations, leading to expansion that grew organically for 40 years; in 2005, the 60-location business officially decided to franchise. Today, the pizzeria counts almost 200 locations in 14 states and even bottles its own wine—perfect for its newest concept, Rosati’s Pizza Pub, which offers dine-in service in a family-friendly atmosphere.

Rosati’s was an early pioneer in delivery

To control franchise quality, the business private labels its ingredients; distributes recipe books; regularly routes operations staff to locations; and handles graphic design, social media and catering promotions in-house. “We’re a family business—still owned by the Rosati family—and we consider our franchisees as part of that family,” Topliff says. “We call them often and let them know we’re here for them; we know all of them by name.”

Topliff believes those family values—and working to give back as a neighborhood pizzeria in its communities—are intrinsic to the Rosati’s success story, which includes a spot on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500. To celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, Rosati’s is promoting an all-expense-paid trip to Naples. Food prizes, domestic air tickets, and branded hats and T-shirts are also up for grabs. “The Rosatis are an amazing family to work for, and it shows in their pizza, product and franchisees,” Topliff concludes. “They’re fiercely loyal to quality and their customers. They just want to keep spreading that love to others.”