Do you want to start a pizza business franchise but lack ideas? If YES, here are 20 best pizza shop franchise opportunities you can buy in USA for 2018.

The American pizza industry is very alive and vibrant. In fact, pizza was named the fastest growing segment of fast-casual restaurants in 2017. There were 75,243 pizza restaurants in operation in the United States at the end of September 2017, and a total of 4,992 new pizzerias opened their doors to the consuming public in that same year.

The North American pizza industry had a market value of approximately 50.07 billion U.S. dollars in 2017. In 2017 also, the pizza industry was projected to grow by 22 percent between 2016 and 2018.

This goes to show the sheer amount of profit one can make out of this industry because Americans would continue cherishing their beloved meal. Going by the present nature of the pizza industry, any entrepreneur who wants to go into it would be well served to buy the franchise of one of the many pizza restaurants in the state. In order to help you make a choice, here are 20 best pizza brands in the United States that you can make good profits from.

Top 20 Best Pizza Franchises to Buy in USA for 2018

  1. Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut is an American restaurant chain and an international franchise that was founded in 1958 by Dan and Frank Carney. The company is known for its Italian-American cuisine menu including pizza and pasta, as well as side dishes and desserts.

There are more than 15,000 locations of Pizza Hut in over 90 countries of the world, and Pizza Hut U.S.’s parent company, Yum Brands, is No. 713 on the Forbes Global 2000 list with an estimated market cap of $34.6 billion.

Financial Requirements

  • Initial Investment – $302,000 to $2,185,500
  • Net-worth Requirement – $700,000
  • Liquid Cash Requirement – $350,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $25,000
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee – 6%
  • Ad Royalty Fee – 4.25%
  1. Toppers Pizza

Toppers Pizza is a chain of pizzerias in the United States that was founded by Scott Gittrich in 1991 in Champaign, Illinois, but the original location closed in the mid-1990s. The first Toppers Pizza location in Wisconsin opened in Whitewater in 1993. The company is headquartered in Whitewater, Wisconsin.

Featuring a menu filled with creative toppings, a high-quality, made-from-scratch mantra, speedy delivery and an irreverent attitude, Toppers now has its sights set on national growth and plans to take down the big chains in its quest for pizza industry domination.

The Toppers menu includes 18 house pizzas, as well as the restaurant’s signature products Topperstix, oven-toasted grinders, Buffalo wings, quesadillas and cold drinks.

Financial requirements

  • Liquid capital required – $100,000
  • Net worth required – $400,000
  • Investment – $450,000 to $422,900
  • Franchise fee – $20,000
  1. Dominos

Domino’s Pizza, Inc. is an American pizza restaurant chain founded in 1960. The corporation is headquartered at the Domino’s Farms Office Park in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In February 2018, the chain became the largest pizza seller worldwide and in the United States based upon global retail sales.

Beyond its traditional style of pizza, Domino’s also sells deep dish, thin crust, and “Brooklyn Style” (aka New York style) pizza. Domino’s entices customers with a variety of toppings and coupons so customers can secure a meal at a reasonable price. In recent years, Domino’s has branched out from just selling pizza to bread sticks, buffalo wings, pastas, sandwiches and desserts as well.

Domino’s Pizza now offers a tracking software on its website so that customers can watch which stage of the pizza making process their order is in at any point in time, allowing customers a better idea of when to pick the pizza up or when they can expect the delivery driver to arrive.

Financial requirements

  • Liquid capital required – $75,000
  • Net worth required – $250,000
  • Investment – $119,950 to $461,700
  • Franchise fee – $25,000
  1. Papa Murphy’s

Oregon-based pizza chain Papa Aldo’s and Petaluma, California-based chain Murphy’s Pizza were both acquired by Terry Collins, who merged them into one brand in 1995: Papa Murphy’s. Papa Murphy’s stores make pizzas for customers to take home and bake themselves, thus the name ‘take n bake’. In fact, Papa Murphy’s is the largest Take-n-Bake pizza chain in the world with over 1,500 stores open worldwide.

Papa Murphy’s Franchised Stores feature prepared take-and-bake pizza, fresh calzones, lasagnas and related products, and approved menu may be expanded to include other food products.

Financial Requirements

  • Initial Investment – $274,620 to $499,246
  • Net-worth Requirement – $275,000
  • Liquid Cash Requirement – $80,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $25,000
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee – 5%
  • Ad Royalty Fee – 2%
  1. Your Pie

Your Pie is an American fast casual pizza concept that was started in Athens, Georgia in 2008 by Drew French. The concept of Your Pie began in May 2006 when founder Drew French was inspired to cook pizzas in brick ovens during his honeymoon. Visiting his wife’s family on the island of Ischia, Drew fell in love with the brick oven style of baking pizza, and the rest of the Your Pie concept grew from that experience.

They are looking for franchise owners who have sales, marketing, and/or management experience, and who are results oriented. A person who can build relationships, lead a team, and who has the motivation to succeed. No prior food or restaurant experience necessary. The restaurant is one of the pizza houses that are currently checking out the craft beer industry.

Financial Requirements

  • Initial Investment – $364,750 to $610,000
  • Net-worth Requirement – $500,000
  • Liquid Cash Requirement – $150,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $35,000
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee – 5%
  • Ad Royalty Fee – 1%
  1. Papa John’s

Papa John’s Pizza is an American restaurant franchise company that runs the third largest take-out and pizza delivery restaurant chain in the United States, with its headquarters in Jeffersontown, Kentucky. It should be noted that John Schnatter launched Papa John’s out of an Indiana tavern broom closet three years after graduating from Ball State University with a business degree.

Papa John’s is the third-largest pizza delivery chain in the world, behind Pizza Hut and Domino’s, and it differentiated itself from the pack by claiming to use only the freshest ingredients. Internationally, there are over 3,300 Papa John’s establishments, including over 2,600 in the U.S. and more than 500 in over 30 other countries.

Financial requirements

  • Liquid capital required – $50,000
  • Net worth required – $150,000
  • Investment – $113,800 to $528,100
  • Franchise fee – $25,000
  1. Blaze Pizza

Blaze Pizza LLC is a Pasadena, California-based chain within the fast-casual dining restaurants category. Founded in 2011 by Elise and Rick Wetzel of Wetzel’s Pretzels, Blaze Pizza was modeled after the Chipotle concept as a made-to-order approach to serving customers. Blaze is a quick, efficient and healthy, pizza that is revolutionizing the pizza game.

Having drawn in all-star investors such as LeBron James, Maria Shriver, and Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner, Blaze Pizza is on its way to being a new star in the fast-casual food industry. After Blaze’s successes in the initial Southern California locations, it has continued to expand, thanks to celebrity investors and new stores opening across the country.

Financial Requirements

  • Initial Investment – $397,500 to $989,500
  • Liquid Cash Requirement – $500,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $30,000
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee – 5%
  • Ad Royalty Fee – 2%
  1. Pie Five

Pie Five Pizza Co. is a fast casual restaurant chain that specializes in handcrafted personal pizza that they put together, ready for consumption in less than 5 minutes. The brand is owned by Rave Restaurant Group, which also owns Pizza Inn.

Since opening their first location in Fort Worth, TX in 2011, Pie Five has grown to 98 locations in 24 states and the District of Columbia and has more than 400 franchised and company units under contract.

As part of their competitive advantage, their customers are given options of not only choosing from one of the company’s 10 recipes, but making up their own combination of toppings, and paying the same price every time.

Financial requirements

  • Investment range – $418,500 to $604,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $20,000
  1. CiCi’s Pizza

Founded by Joe Croce in Plano, Texas in 1985, CiCi’s has been offering the best custom pizza, pasta, soup, salad and dessert buffet in communities across the country. They have continued to exceed guests’ expectations with their high-quality food and service at over 450 of their pizza restaurants.

CiCi’s locations offer an all-you-can-eat buffet stocked with pizza, pasta, salads and desserts; and they are seeking franchises throughout the U.S. and in Canada and Mexico.

Financial Requirements

  • Initial Investment – $222,462 to $1,033,180
  • Net-worth Requirement – $750,000
  • Liquid Cash Requirement – $250,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $7,500 to $30,000
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee – 4-6%
  • Ad Royalty Fee – 5%
  1. Donatos Pizza

Donatos Pizza began when Jim Grote bought a small pizzeria in Columbus, Ohio, for $1,300, and he named it Donatos Pizza. This pizza restaurant kicked off in 1963 and began franchising in 1991. In 1999, McDonald’s purchased Donatos, but the Grote family bought it back in 2003. The company continues to franchise throughout the Midwest, South and Southeast, with franchised locations serving pizza, subs, salads and desserts.

There are currently nearly 200 locations in operation in nine states with franchised locations serving pizza, subs, salads and desserts.

Financial Requirements

  • Initial Investment – $361,360 to $697,400
  • Net-worth Requirement – $850,000
  • Liquid Cash Requirement – $200,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $30,000
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee – 5%
  • Ad Royalty Fee – 4%
  1. Little Caesar’s

Little Caesars Pizza was founded on May 8, 1959, by Mike Ilitch and his wife Marian Ilitch. The first location was in a strip mall in Garden City, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, and named Little Caesar’s Pizza Treat.

Little Caesars have come a long way to be currently known as the third-largest pizza chain in the United States, behind Pizza Hut and Domino’s Pizza. It operates and franchises pizza restaurants in the United States and internationally in Asia, the Middle East, Australia, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. The company was founded in 1959 and is based in Detroit, Michigan, headquartered in the Fox Theatre building in Downtown.

Little Caesars restaurants feature pizza, chicken wings, crazy bread products and other related products.

Financial Requirements

  • Initial Investment – $221,000 to $654,000
  • Net-worth Requirement – $150,000
  • Liquid Cash Requirement – $50,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $20,000
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee – 6%
  • Ad Royalty Fee – 3%
  1. Hungry Howie’s Pizza

James Hearn opened the first Hungry Howie’s on Telegraph Road in Taylor, Michigan in 1973, and till date, Hungry Howie’s Pizza is the 11th largest pizza chain in the United States, with over 550 locations.

Steven Jackson, the current president of Hungry Howie’s, began his career delivering pizza for Hearn. In 1976, he approached Hearn about becoming partners and opening a second Hungry Howie’s location in Southgate, Michigan. The partners awarded their first Hungry Howie’s franchise in Auburn Hills, Michigan, in 1983.

Hungry Howie’s products include pizza, calzone-style subs, chicken wings and tenders, bread, salads, and brownies. Its headquarters are located in Madison Heights, Michigan in Metro Detroit.

Financial Requirements

  • Initial Investment – $251,375 to $495,850
  • Net-worth Requirement – $300,000
  • Liquid Cash Requirement – $100,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $25,000
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee – 5.5%
  • Ad Royalty Fee – 7%
  1. Fox’s pizza den

Fox’s Pizza Den is a family owned restaurant that has been operating for over 44 years. They serve the very best authentic pizzas, strombolis, salads, gourmet pizzas, specialty hoagies and wedgies (a sandwich served on pizza crust).

Based in Murrysville, Pennsylvania, United States, Fox’s Pizza Den was founded in 1971 by Jim Fox in Pitcairn, Pennsylvania, and it currently has more than 250 locations in 28 U.S. states, all franchise-owned.

It is worthy of note that Jim Fox assisted the Carnegie Mellon University’s robotic team in developing the country’s first pizza-making robot to help the physically disabled own and operate their own shops.

Financial Requirements

  • Initial Investment – $111,550 to $210,050
  • Net-worth Requirement – $200,000
  • Liquid Cash Requirement – $40,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $10,000
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee – $300 per month
  1. Rosati’s Pizza

Rosati’s Pizza is the second largest local chain of restaurants in the Chicago metropolitan area.

The first Rosati’s Pizza opened its doors in a suburb of Chicago. In 1970, Rick Rosati, the great grandson of Fred Sr., continued the family tradition and opened his own Rosati’s Pizza in Arlington Heights, Illinois. By 1978, a total of ten individual Rosati family members owned Rosati’s Pizza locations.

Rosati’s specializes in Chicago-style thin crust and double-dough crust, and also offers traditional Chicago deep dish and stuffed pizza, and offers other Italian dishes; and most of their items are made from the very scratch.

The Rosati’s Pizza franchise now consists of over 200 locations with 25 being Rosati’s Pizza Sports Pubs, and the franchise has also branched out to ten other states including 36 locations in Arizona and nine in Nevada and also including southern Wisconsin, northwestern Indiana, California, Missouri, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, Ohio and North Carolina.

Financial requirements

  • Liquid Capital Required – $80,000
  • Total Investment – $134,200 to $975,500
  • Franchise Fee – $25,000 Initial Fee
  • Royalty Type – 5% Fee
  1. Jet’s Pizza

Jet’s Pizza is an American pizza franchise restaurant that was founded in 1978 in Sterling Heights, Michigan, and it operates primarily in the state of Michigan. That first Jet location has  since grown to more than 400 locations in 20 states.

Jet’s offers more than their famous deep dish pizza, they prepare delicious fresh salads, breads, dessert, submarine sandwiches, hand tossed and thin crust pizza, a gluten-free option and one-of-a-kind Jetzee sandwiches. Jet’s uses only highest quality ingredients in their dishes, and the brand has built its solid reputation on the consistency in customer satisfaction.

Pizza Today magazine named Jet’s Pizza as the eighteenth largest pizza chain in the nation in its “Top 100 Company” report (Pizza Today, 2010), and Entrepreneur Magazine has consistently ranked Jet’s Pizza® as a “Top 500 Franchise,” opportunity (Entrepreneur, 2010).

Financial requirements

  • Liquid capital required – $150,000
  • Net worth required – $400,000
  • Investment – $365,000 to $425,000
  • Franchise fee – $20,000
  1. Marco’s Pizza

Marco’s Pizza is a restaurant chain and franchise that is based in Toledo, Ohio. Founded by Italian immigrant Pasquale “Pat” Giammarco in 1978, the restaurant specializes in making and selling Italian-American cuisine. The first store was opened in Oregon, Ohio, at Starr Avenue and Wheeling Street.

Marco’s has been almost a cult-favorite in the Midwest with their pizza, CheezyBread, CinnaSquares, wings, salads, and sub sandwiches. With more than 600 stores open by early 2015 and over 1,000 in development, Marco’s is not only the fastest growing pizza brand, but it’s the pizza franchise to watch. Marco’s is capturing the hearts of pizza lovers everywhere with its unwavering dedication to quality ingredients.

Financial Requirements

  • Initial Investment – $222,830 to $663,830
  • Net-worth Requirement – $350,000
  • Liquid Cash Requirement – $100,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $25,000
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee – 5.5%
  • Ad Royalty Fee – 1%
  1. Mellow Mushroom

Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers is a restaurant chain that was established in 1974 in Atlanta, Georgia as a single pizzeria. It operates as a franchise under the banner of Home Grown Industries, Inc. of Georgia, with over 150 locations throughout the United States.

Mellow Mushroom has been dishing out its brand of excellent food to a hungry world for the past 35 years, and the world is clamoring for more. The Mellow Mushroom menu is an eclectic collection of munchies, salads, pizzas, calzones, deli hoagies and grilled hoagies.

With more than 600 kinds of craft beers in their collection, customers are constantly amazed by the massive collection. In fact, each location carries a unique set of local brews, and Mellow Mushroom chefs are constantly coming up with new and amazing dishes to keep customers satisfied every time they step foot inside the restaurant.

Mellow Mushroom managers have it as their duty to teach franchisees everything they need to know to open, run and profit from a Mellow Mushroom franchise location, starting with training at the Atlanta, Georgia, headquarters, to the new store, and on an ongoing basis after opening.

Financial requirements

  • Liquid capital required – $300,000
  • Net worth required -$300,000
  • Investment – $926,500 to $3,100,000
  • Franchise fee – $50,000
  1. Pieology

The fast-casual pizza restaurant is the fastest-growing chain in America, according to data compiled by Technomic. Founded by Carl Chang in 2010, Pieology has 60 units in 11 states.

What makes this restaurant unique is that it allows consumers to “customize” their pies. To make this possible, they have a plethora of crusts, sauces, and toppings for every customer to choose from. Aside from billions of pizza possibilities, Pieology also offers a positive place for its customers to come together and interact.

So if you are one that is comfortable with creating something new, then this franchise is for you.

Financial requirements

  • Initial investment – $294,000 to $872,000
  • Additional fund – $15,000 to $30,000
  • Franchise startup fee – $25,000
  • Royalty fees – 5.0%
  • Ad Fees – 2.0%
  1. Villa Italian Kitchen

Villa Italian Kitchen was founded in 1964 when Michele “Michael” Scotto brought his authentic old-world recipes from Naples, Italy to New York City. Franchising of Villa Enterprises began in 1999, with stores designed to operate in high-traffic locations such as malls, airports, sports arenas, universities and casinos.

Villa Enterprises has five fast-casual restaurant brands: Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen (authentic Italian cuisine), Green Leaf’s (salad concept), Bananas (smoothie concept), Casa Java (coffee concept), and South Philly Steak & Fries (sandwich concept).

The brand now boasts of almost 300 restaurants throughout the country and internationally, with franchise opportunities available in Texas, California, New York, Colorado, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Financial Requirements

  • Initial Investment – $296,950 to $894,000
  • Net-worth Requirement – $250,000 to $300,000
  • Liquid Cash Requirement – $100,000 to $250,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $25,000 to $35,000
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee – 6%
  1. Famous Famiglia

Famous Famiglia is an award-winning international pizza brand with leading sales in the pizza segment. Operating worldwide, Famous Famiglia has earned several leading industry awards for its unsurpassed product quality and customer service.

Today, Famous Famiglia operates company owned and has franchised locations across a diverse mix of venues which include leading airports and transportation hubs, malls and shopping centers, colleges and universities, theme parks, hotels and casinos, stadiums and arenas, military bases, motorways, and in-line urban downtown locations. The Famous Famiglia brand currently operates across the United States, Canada, China, Ecuador, Mexico and the UAE.

Financial requirements

  • Liquid capital required – $200,000
  • Net worth required -$1,000,000
  • Investment – $250,000 to $700,000
  • Franchise fee – $35,000