Best Pizza Franchises – Which Is Worth Your Investment?

Pizza – an American classic. The bread, the cheese, the crust – what’s not to love? Americans love pizza: we eat 350 slices a second, or 23 pounds of pizza for every person every year. Owning a pizza restaurant is a dream for many people, but it can be hard to differentiate your pizza restaurant from the thousands of others that are out there. However, a good way to open a pizza chain that people will know from the start is to open a franchise. Some of the most popular and profitable franchises in the U.S. are pizza restaurants, and there are hundreds more opening every year. 

If you are interested in opening a pizza franchise, then you will want to open one of the best. There are a few different categories you might be interested in – revenue, growth, franchisee satisfaction, and low start-up costs are just a few areas to consider. In this article, we have found the top restaurant franchises in each of these categories to help you decide which pizza franchise might be right for you.

Make sure you are familiar with how franchise businesses work before considering an investment.

[Note: all data below is for restaurants in the U.S. only – international locations are not included.]

Best Pizza Franchises

Highest Revenue: Domino’s

Best Pizza Franchise-Domino's Pizza Box

When Americans think of pizza, many think of Domino’s Pizza. Domino’s is of the largest and most well-known pizza chains in America, but it is also extremely popular internationally and has over 10,000 locations outside the U.S. But despite having over 16,500 locations globally, the company is still planning to open 2,00 more locations in the U.S over the next eight years and 10,000 more locations globally by 2025. Domino’s calls this strategy ‘fortressing’, and its goal is to take the time to get a pizza from a store to less than 30 minutes. The company ideally wants to get a Domino’s pizza to take less time than making a frozen pizza at home.

But even with so many locations around the world, Domino’s still manages to be one of the top revenue-generating pizza franchises as well. On average, a single Domino’s location makes $1.1M in revenue each year. With average start-up costs of around $330,000, this also makes Domino’s one of the best franchises for topline return on investment as well. For anyone interesting in opening a pizza franchise, Domino’s should be one of their top choices – and Domino’s is obviously going to need lots of new franchisees soon!

Important Info

2018 # of Locations5,876Av. Sales/Location$1.1M
2018 # New Locations258Total Set-Up Costs~$103,000 – $570,000
Required Liquid Assets$75,000Franchise Fee$25,000
Required Net Worth$250,000Ongoing Fees9.5% – 13.5% of Sales

Fastest Growing: MOD Pizza

Best Pizza Franchise-MOD Pizza

MOD Pizza is a bit of a lesser-known pizza franchise – so if you haven’t heard of it don’t feel too bad. Founded in 2008 in Seattle, WA, the company serves made-to-order pizza and salads. The company is also committed to community involvement through efforts like paying above industry standards, hiring people with disabilities, and selling ‘impact pizzas’ to raise money for good causes.

While the pizza and culture are good, what’s really made MOD stand out recently is that they are one of – and probably the – fastest growing restaurant chains in America for the past several years. The company has grown from 192 locations in 2017 to 471 in 2019 – a growth of 145%! And they aren’t even close to stopping. In 2019, MOD announced it has raised over $160 million in financing so that it can reach 1,000 locations over the next five years. So, for anyone looking to get on the fastest-growing bandwagon – look no further than MOD Pizza!

Important Info

2019 # of Locations471Av. Sales/Location~$1M
2019 # New Locations76Total Set-Up Costs$714,000 – $985,000
Required Liquid Assets$5MFranchise Fee$30,000
Required Net Worth$3MOngoing Fees8% of Sales

Highest Franchisee Satisfaction: Pizza Ranch

Best Pizza Franchise-Pizza Ranch

While profits and growth are important factors to look at for your pizza franchise, just as important is whether or not you will be happy owning it. A major factor in your satisfaction with owning your franchise will be who you franchise with – how much support they provide, what is the company culture, etc. With that in mind, your focus should quickly turn to Pizza Ranch.

Pizza Ranch is a little-known pizza chain with just over 200 locations in 14 states. While this pales in comparison to Domino’s 16,500 locations, Pizza Ranch beats out everyone else in terms of franchisee satisfaction. They were the highest-ranked restaurant on the 2020 Franchisee Satisfaction survey by Franchise Business Review. This rank is largely due to the company culture, which strongly encourages franchisees to become involved in their local community. In fact, every Pizza Ranch has a Community Room that is free for local non-profits to use, and on nights they use these rooms a portion of the restaurant’s sales are donated to that non-profit. The company also provides its franchisees with strong support to succeed, including 5 weeks of training, monthly visits from business consultants, and a Franchisee Advisory Council nominated by their peers to represent franchisees to company leadership.

Important Info

2019 # of Locations208Av. Sales/LocationUnknown
2019 # New Locations1Total Set-Up Costs~$1.1M – $2.5M
Required Liquid Assets~$255,000 – $631,000Franchise Fee$30,000
Required Net WorthN/AOngoing Fees7% of Sales

Lowest Start-up Costs: Domino’s

Best Pizza Franchises-Domino's

Domino’s Pizza gets to make a second appearance on this list because in addition to being one of the top revenue-generating pizza franchises it is also one of the cheapest to open. Total start-up costs for a Domino’s franchise range from $103,000 to $570,000, and so on average can be estimated at about $330,000. This is well below other restaurant franchises which can cost millions of dollars to open. So, while opening a Domino’s isn’t exactly cheap, it is within the reach of most people who really want to own a pizza franchise. 

Important Info

2018 # of Locations5,876Av. Sales/Location$1.1M
2019 # New Locations258Total Set-Up Costs~$103,000 – $570,000
Required Liquid Assets$75,000Franchise Fee$25,000
Required Net Worth$250,000Ongoing Fees9.5% – 13.5% of Sales


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Kevin Martin

Kevin is an ambitious entrepreneur that is obsessed with all things related to finance. From a young age, Kevin has always been involved with side hustles ranging from online selling to freelance work. Over the years, Kevin graduated from side hustles and started launching multiple online and offline businesses. Kevin is a serial entrepreneur who loves starting new businesses and exploring all things related to business and finance. He is constantly looking for new ways to save money, invest money, and create income streams.

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