Top 26 Pizza Franchises: AUV, Costs & Stats (2023)

If you’re considering getting into the pizza industry, buying a franchise can be a great option. Yet, which franchise should you choose? There are a number of pizza franchises you can choose from, each with their own pros and cons.

In this article we are giving you our top 22 picks of the best pizza franchises in the US.

For each we’re giving you the key financials: the average initial investment cost and Average Unit Volume (AUV). Also, if you want to dig deeper, you’ll find the links to our complete review for each franchise below.

FranchiseUS franchised unitsInvestmentAUVNet worthLiquid capital
Pizza Hut6,526$936,000$907,000700,000350,000
Little Caesars3,601$1,023,000$798,000350,000150,000
Papa John's2,564$354,000$1,101,000750,000250,000
Papa Murphy’s1,212$433,000$580,000275,000125,000
Marco’s Pizza957$438,000$896,000400,000100,000
Hungry Howie’s501$420,000$807,000750,000200,000
Round Table Pizza410$783,000$1,038,000500,000200,000
Blaze Pizza314$865,000$1,096,000500,000300,000
Mountain Mike’s Pizza246$411,000$866,000300,000100,000
Rosati’s Pizza159$466,000$840,000250,00080,000
Donatos Pizza117$571,000$1,173,0001,000,000200,000
Pizza Factory100$417,000$733,000150,00065,000

Pizza Hut

US franchised unitsInvestmentAverage Unit Volume

An American multinational restaurant chain, Pizza Hut has delivery, take-out, and dine-in models. The restaurant chain primarily offers pizza, but it also offers fries, Italian taco, pasta, chicken wings, and breadsticks.

Pizza Hut was founded in 1958, and PepsiCo acquired Pizza Hut in 1977. Later Pizza Hut along with Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken were spun off by PepsiCo and they became a part of the company named Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc, which was later renamed as Yum! Brands.

The restaurant chain has 18,381 stores worldwide of which 6,614 are in the US.


US franchised unitsInvestmentAverage Unit Volume

Domino’s is an American multinational pizza restaurant chain that operates more than 15,000 stores globally with over 5,650 stores in the US, 1,500 in India, and 1,250 in the UK.

While Pizza is the mainstay of their business, they also sell bread bowls, pasta, and oven-baked sandwiches along with chicken products, beverages, and desserts.

Domino’s took over the operations of another small pizza restaurant chain named DomiNick’s in 1960. After the takeover, the DomiNick’s was renamed as Domino’s and then the chain saw exponential growth, reaching 200 stores as soon as 1976.

Domino’s started its international expansion in 1983, and in the same year Domino’s opened in 1,000th store. The company kept growing and today it operates across 5,701 cities in 83 countries.

Little Caesars

US franchised unitsInvestmentAverage Unit Volume

Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, Little Caesars is a leading American multinational pizza chain with stores in each of the 50 states in the US and 27 countries worldwide.

Founded by Mike Ilitch and his wife Marian Ilitch as a single-family restaurant business in 1959, Little Caesars is the third pizza company after Pizza Hut and Domino’s Pizza nowadays.

On top of its exotic pizza toppings, Little Caesars offers bread, cheese, dips, sauces, and other foods such as fish, hotdogs, chicken wings, and shrimp.

Little Caesars’ franchise journey started in 1962 under Little Caesars Enterprises Inc., owned by Ilitch Holdings. In Michigan, the first franchise was called Little Caesars Pizza Treat.

At the beginning of 2022, Little Caesars had over 5,300 stores worldwide, with 4,181 stores in the US and locations in over 27 countries.

Papa John’s

US franchised unitsInvestmentAverage Unit Volume

Papa John’s is a leading American pizza chain restaurant with more than 5,000 stores globally, including in all 50 states in the US and 45 countries.

Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John’s was founded by “Papa” John Schnatter in 1984.

It is a quick-service restaurant that primarily offers pizza and related premium foods. Initially, Papa John’s employed the concept of carryout and delivery orders. However, some of its restaurants currently have tables and dining chairs.

Papa John’s started selling franchises in 1985 and operates under the parent company Papa John’s International, Inc.

Today, Papa John’s franchise is rated as the world’s third-largest pizza delivery company.

Papa Murphy’s

US franchised unitsInvestmentAverage Unit Volume

Headquartered in Vancouver, Washington, Papa Murphy’s is the largest American take-and-bake pizza chain, with more than 1,200 stores in the United States and the United Arab Emirates. In addition to their take-and-bake pizzas, Papa Murphy’s also offers salads, dessert items, and soft drinks in various sizes.

Papa Murphy’s was founded by Terry Collins. Its first store opened in 1981 under Papa Aldo’s Pizza before later merging with Murphy’s Pizza in 1995 to form Papa Murphy’s Pizza.

Its franchising journey began in 1983 with its first franchise in McMinnville. The company is now the fifth-largest pizza chain in the United States.

Marco’s Pizza

US franchised unitsInvestmentAverage Unit Volume

Marco’s Pizza is a leading American restaurant chain that specializes in Italian-American cuisine.

The chain store was founded by Pasquale “Pat” Giammarco in 1978 in Oregon, Ohio.

It serves pizza, subs, wings, salads, Cheezybread, Cinna Squares, pizza bowls, and co-branded Ghirardelli brownies. It offers deliveries or takeout, with other locations doing catering and dine-in.

Marco’s Pizza’s franchising journey started in 1979 and today, it has over 1,100 stores in the USA, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and India. It is now owned by Jack Butorac and has its headquarters in Toledo, Ohio.

Hungry Howie’s

US franchised unitsInvestmentAverage Unit Volume

Hungry Howie’s Pizza is an American pizza chain with over 550 stores in 20 states in the US.

The chain was founded by James Hearn in 1973 and opened its first store in Taylor, Michigan.

It serves pizza, chicken wings and tenders, calzone-style subs, bread, salads, desserts, and brownies.

Headquartered in Madison Heights, Michigan, Hungry Howie’s Pizza began its franchising journey in 1983, and today it is the 11th largest pizza chain in the US.

Round Table Pizza

US franchised unitsInvestmentAverage Unit Volume

Round Table Pizza is an American fast-food restaurant chain that primarily operates in the Midwest of the United States.

It serves pizza, chicken wings, salads, appetizers, desserts, and other related foods and beverages.

The chain was founded by Bill Larson in 1959 in Menlo Park, California. Round Table Pizza began franchising in 1962 as a subsidiary of FAT Brands Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Today, the brand has over 400 stores in the US and five other countries worldwide.

Blaze Pizza

US franchised unitsInvestmentAverage Unit Volume

Blaze Pizza is an American fast-casual pizza concept chain with over 340 units in 38 US states and six countries globally.

Its main menu items are pizza, salads, cheese bread, desserts, and drinks.

It was founded in 2011 by Rick and Elise Wetzel in Pasadena, California. The chain began franchising in 2012 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

Mountain Mike’s Pizza

US franchised unitsInvestmentAverage Unit Volume

Mountain Mike’s Pizza is an American fast-casual pizza chain headquartered in Newport Beach, California. It offers chicken wings, garlic sticks, dessert pizza, a lunch buffet, and salad bars.

The chain was founded in 1978 by Chris Britt and Ed St. Geme. Mountain Mike’s Pizza began franchising in 1981, and now it has more than 270 stores in the US.

Rosati’s Pizza

US franchised unitsInvestmentAverage Unit Volume

Rosati’s Pizza Enterprises Inc. is an American pizzeria restaurant famed for its delicious Chicago-style pizza. 

It was founded in 1926 by Saverio Rosati as a simple Chicago restaurant serving delicious Italian food. 

Headquartered in Elgin, Illinois, the pizzeria restaurant is famous for its tasty pizzas, sandwiches, salads, desserts, pasta, French fries, mushrooms, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, and breadsticks. 

Rosati’s Pizza started franchising in 1979 and has today over 175 locations in the US.

Donatos Pizza

US franchised unitsInvestmentAverage Unit Volume

Donatos Pizza is an American pizza delivery restaurant chain headquartered in Gahanna, Ohio.

The chain was founded in 1963 in Columbus, Ohio, by Jim Grote. It serves a variety of oven-baked subs, salads, chicken wings, sides, and desserts.

Donatos Pizza began franchising in 1991 and now has over 150 stores in the US.

Pizza Factory

US franchised unitsInvestmentAverage Unit Volume

Pizza Factory is an American pizza restaurant chain based in Oakhurst, California.

It was founded by Danny Wheeler and his wife Carol in 1978 in Oakhurst as Danny’s Red Devil Pizza before Ron Willey and his wife Joyce opened a second restaurant and named it Pizza Factory in 1981.

In addition to pizza, the chain offers appetizers, side sauces, wings, salads, sandwiches, and pasta.Pizza Factory began franchising in 1985 and today has more than 100 restaurants in the US.

Ledo Pizza

Ledo Pizza is a fast-food pizza chain based in Annapolis, Maryland.

The chain was founded in 1955 by Robert Beall and Thomas Marcos near Maryland University.

Its main dishes are pizzas with a recognizable rectangular shape and thick-sliced pepperoni, lasagna, spaghetti, breadsticks, soups, salads, subs, desserts and other Italian favorites.

Ledo began franchising in 1979 and now the chain has over 110 locations in the US, mostly in the Mid-Atlantic and the Southeastern United States.

LaRosa’s Pizzeria

LaRosa’s Pizzeria is a chain of pizzerias headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The privately held company was founded in 1954 by Donald “Buddy” LaRosa and his partners Frank Serraino, Mike Soldano and Richard Minella. 

After buying out his business partners, Donald changed the business name from Papa Gino’s to LaRosa’s Pizzeria. 

The restaurant chain provides over 40 menu selections, including pizza, pasta, soups, salads, wings, calzones, hoagies, desserts and beverages, among other Italian-American cuisines.

LaRosa’s started franchising in 1967 after selling its first unit in Finneytown, Ohio.Today, the pizzeria chain operates in 65 locations in the US.

Paisano’s Pizza

Paisano’s Pizza is a gourmet pizza delivery restaurant established in 1998 in Fair Lakes, Fairfax, VA, by Fouad Qreitem.

The premier delivery establishment serves gourmet pizzas, cheesesteaks, classic subs, calzones, Italian entrees, burgers, fresh salad entrees, desserts, chicken sandwiches, beverages and kid’s meals. With an expansive menu to satisfy any craving, the quick service establishment makes everything from scratch using fresh ingredients.

Paisano’s Pizza has set itself apart with its high-quality food and relentless commitment to customer satisfaction.

The Capital Restaurant Group-owned brand started franchising in 2009 and has been expanding beyond the local territory.

Today, Paisano’s Pizza has opened more than 35 franchise locations, 24 being franchised owned.

Pie Five Pizza Co.

Pie Five Pizza Co. is a fast-casual restaurant chain that serves personal pizza.

The brand was founded in 2011 in Fort Worth, Texas and quickly rose to fame with its personalized 5-minute pizzas. 

It is still headquartered in the Lone Star State and serves handcrafted, made-to-order pizzas, desserts, drinks and fresh salads. 

Pie Five Pizza Co. is owned and operated by Rave Restaurant Group and opened its franchise doors in 2011. Today, the pizzeria chain has opened over 40 active units, all franchised in the US.


PizzaRev is all about a personalized pizza experience. 

The Los Angeles-based pizza restaurant has been around since 2012, when it was founded by Irv, Nicholas and Rodney Zuckerman.

The brand uses a fast-casual concept to empower customers to create custom, personal pizza using the best ingredients and dough.

Customers take charge of the pizza-making process, from choosing the dough to mixing the sauces and picking the cheeses and ingredients, with the pizza preparation done in under 5 minutes. PizzaRev’s delicious menu includes the Margherita pizza, Mediterranean pizza, bold BBQ chicken, white mushroom, vegan pizzas and kids’ meals, to name a few.

Opening its franchise doors in 2013, PizzaRev operates in 27 locations, all franchised in the US.

MOD Pizza

MOD Pizza is a fast-casual pizza concept based in Bellevue, WA. Its menu features custom-made pizza with salads, desserts, sides and beverages.

MOD Pizza was founded by Scott and Ally Svenson in 2008, opening its first location in Seattle and creating a new way for people to enjoy pizza by bringing speed, individual style and value to one of America’s favorite foods.

Its individually sized pizzas and hand-tossed salads are fully customizable, which is why the MOD in its name stands for “Made on Demand,” and they come with more than 40 toppings.

Today’s MOD Pizza concept is built around high-quality, personalized products delivered in super speed. To make its impact a positive one in the community it serves, MOD Pizza works with a select group of innovators with a track record of building multi-unit restaurants and the brand owns and manages most of its stores.

MOD Pizza began franchising in 2013 and currently has 556 locations in the US and Canada.

Jet’s Pizza

Jet’s Pizza is a chain of pizza restaurants headquartered in Sterling Heights, Michigan, and known for its square, deep-dish Detroit-style pizza. Also, its menu features salads, submarine sandwiches, breads, sides and desserts.

Jet’s Pizza was founded in 1978 by brothers Eugene and John Jetts as Jetts Party Shoppe & Pizzeria. The Jetts brothers formed the Jets America Corporation alongside other partners and renamed their pizza shop Jet’s Pizza. Jet’s Pizza became famous for its signature deep-dish square pizza and opened locations in more than 19 states across the country.

Jet’s Pizza has built its reputation around customer satisfaction, making its dishes with only the freshest ingredients.

The brand has grown to become one of the top pizza chains in the US and the majority of its locations are owned by franchisees. Jet’s Pizza began franchising in 1990, and as of 2021, it had 390 locations in the US, with 348 franchises and 42 company-owned.


Cicis is a casual buffet restaurant chain headquartered in Coppell, Texas. Its menu includes pizza, salad, desserts and pasta.

Cicis was founded in 1985 in Plano, Texas, by Joe Croce and Mike Cole as CiCi’s Pizza. The brand became a popular place, creating a fun, family-friendly environment for guests to enjoy their quality time, expanding its buffet offerings and remodeling restaurants. In 2015, the brand was renamed Cicis in a marketing and rebranding mission.

In a bid to continue its growth and meet changing customer needs, Cicis has consistently focused on its off-premise ordering with the launch of online ordering and new menu items, making it easy for guests to order their favorites for pick-up or delivery at Cicis locations across the country.

Today, it is one of the leading casual dining pizza chains, with locations in over 34 states. Cicis began franchising in 1987 and has 294 franchises in the US and six company-owned locations.


Pieology is a chain of casual dining restaurants based in Tustin, California. Its menu features several signature pizzas as well as “build your own” custom pizzas, salads, desserts and beverages.

Pieology was founded in 2011 in Fullerton, California, by Carl Chang and James Markham as Pie-ology Pizzeria. Formed on the idea of turning the most craveable American food into a simple, affordable and interactive experience, Pieology has grown on its create-your-own pizza experience to be among the leading fast casual restaurants, expanding into 110 locations by 2015.

Today, Pieology continues with its mission of creating memorable dining experiences for guests to enjoy pizza creations inspired by individual creativity in a positive environment as it continues to partner with partners to take its experience to more locations across the country.

Pieology began franchising in 2013 and as of 2023 it has 120 franchises in the US and 5 international locations.

Uno Pizzeria&Grill

Uno Pizzeria & Grill is a pizzeria restaurant chain based in Boston, Massachusetts. Uno Pizzeria franchise owners offer Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, desserts, salads, soups, a kids’ menu and catering, among others.

Formerly known as Pizzeria Uno and Uno Chicago Grill, Uno Pizzeria & Grill was founded in 1943 by Ike Sewell, who developed deep-dish pizza and opened the first restaurant at the corner of Ohio Street and Wabash Avenue in Chicago that would 80 years later grow to one of the largest pizza chains in Chicago today with a dozen locations in 20 states.

The brand has continued expanding throughout the country, developing a new, smaller concept to replace the traditional smaller concept and introducing a streamlined, pizza-centric menu to help franchise owners maximize profits and traffic.

Uno Pizzeria & Grill began franchising in 1980 and by 2021 it had 84 locations in operation with 45 franchises in the US.

Your Pie

Headquartered in Athens, Georgia, Your Pies is a fast-casual brick-oven pizza franchise. It features a menu of pizzas, pasta, salads, gelato and drinks.

Your Pie was founded in 2008 in Athens, Georgia, by Drew French. Inspired by his mission: “Do every small thing with passion and greatness,” he opened the first restaurant and began building the brand.

Today, Your Pie operates on that simple concept with its flame-fired pizza, made with hand-tossed dough, handcrafted sauces and fresh ingredients that is high quality, convenient and completely customizable.

Since then, Your Pie has grown on the concept of naturally hand-cut meats and vegetables, house-made sauces and the best cheeses accessible, all prepared on a real block stove, differentiating its franchise owners from other brands and expanding into over 60 locations.

Your Pie began franchising in 2008 and by 2019 it had opened 64 franchises in the US.

Toppers Pizza

Toppers Pizza is a pizza restaurant chain headquartered in Whitewater, Wisconsin. Its menu includes specialty pizzas with toppings such as French-fried onions, oven-roasted tomatoes, mac ‘n cheese and tater tots, along with the company’s signature cheesy breadsticks called Topperstix.

Toppers Pizza was founded in 1991 by Scott Gittrich, who, having acquired substantive experience delivering pizzas and managing a group of Domino’s Pizza franchises, decided to open his own pizza restaurant. The brand has kept evolving, capitalizing on technology and the booming pizza industry and driven by its “Never Settle” attitude, offering its guests a great experience in a fun, friendly, and comfortable environment.

Toppers Pizza’s growth has been slow but steady, with the brand expanding to over 70 locations and continuing to streamline its model to help franchisees continue serving more communities.

Toppers Pizza began franchising in 2000, and currently, it has 56 franchises in the US and 21 company-owned locations.

Romeo’s Pizza

Romeo’s Pizza is a pizza chain that was founded in 2001 by Sean Brauser.

Romeo’s Pizza is known for its fresh, high-quality ingredients and its signature sweet sauce. In addition to pizza, the chain also offers a variety of salads, wings, subs and pasta dishes.

The franchise has won numerous awards for its pizza and customer service, including being named “Best Pizza in the Midwest” by the International Pizza Expo. Romeo’s Pizza is committed to using locally sourced and sustainable ingredients whenever possible and has also introduced vegan and gluten-free options to their menu.

The franchise started franchising in 2006 and currently has over 60 locations across Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. The majority of Romeo’s Pizza locations are franchised-owned (52).

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