Godfather's Pizza Franchise

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Detailed Information

Capital Required
$117,600 - $834,500

Liquid Capital

Net Worth

Financing Assistance
No Financing Available

Training and Support

Initial Franchise Fee

CEO Name
Ronald B. Gartlan

Company Owned Units

Existing Units



Godfather's Pizza is a privately-owned company that franchises most of its restaurant outlets. It specializes in serving traditional pizzas along with sides such as wings, garlic bread, and cheesesticks. It also offers gluten-free pizzas for order online. Franchisees can choose a traditional stand-alone restaurant location or a non-traditional outlet such as military bases, toll plazas, and university student centers. Godfather's has enjoyed growth into these non-traditional markets as the company has promoted its express pizza program, partnering with companies such as Hucks Convenience Stores.

Why Choose Us?

Godfather's Pizza is not even close to saturation in certain markets with states such as Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Idaho having no locations. Other states such as South Carolina and Louisiana have less than a handful of restaurants. This means for an entrepreneur with vision, there are many opportunities to secure a prime site. The company's interest in express pizza also lends itself to creative spaces and a wider market share.

Another attractive aspect of Godfather's is the different levels at which you can enter the business. The fee for a full-service restaurant is up to $25,000, a delivery/carryout location is up to $15,000, while a unit in a convenience store or other non-traditional location will cost you up to $7,500. This is an excellent price point for an established restaurant chain. For veterans the deal is even sweeter as Godfather's offers a 50% discount on the initial franchise fee. The breakdown costs for different levels of ownership are as follows:

  • Full service restaurant – Franchise fee $25,000, total investment $457,200-$834,500
  • Delivery/Carryout – Franchise fee $15,000, total investment $264,700-$551,000
  • Non-traditional location – Franchise fee $7,500, total investment $117,600-$331,000
  • Existing company location – Franchise fee $25,000, total investment $152,950-$533,300

Ideal Candidate

This franchise is a good choice for anyone who loves pizza and the traditionally laid-back culture associated with it. Pizza parlors are often the neighborhood hang-out, so entrepreneurs who enjoying being part of a community are a good fit for this brand. They also need to have $100,000 in liquid assets and $200,000 in capital plus one year of restaurant operating experience.


It all began in Omaha, Nebraska in 1973. Willy Theisen and Gregg Johnson ran a pizza parlor known as Godfather's Pizzas. In 1974 Theisen bought the name and parlor from Johnson and began selling franchises. In the early days Godfather's made its fame by specializing in thick-crust pizza served in a family atmosphere.

In 1986 Pillsbury bought Godfather's Pizza and added it to its growing portfolio of acquisitions. Godfather's struggled at this time with non-profitable franchises that were opened in less than prime locations. Herman Caine was CEO at the time and trimmed the restaurant chain by more than 250 locations to increase profitability. Pillsbury sold Godfather's in 1988 to an investment group led by Caine.

Ronald Gartlan, the current CEO, took over the reins in 1996. Under his leadership Godfather's has expanded its offerings to include more types of pizza, side dishes, and deserts. He has also been instrumental in developing the express pizza line, which has moved Godfather's Pizza into convenience stores and other quick locations. The company continues to expand into areas of the United States where it does not have a large representation, notably the Southwest, New England, and some southern states.

Training And Support

Training is offered in Omaha, Nebraska at the cost of $500 per person for a traditional location and $250 per person for a non-traditional location in addition to food and lodging.

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