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20 Best Italian Restaurant Franchises [Cost, Fees]

Do you want to start a Italian restaurant business franchise but you lack ideas? If YES, here are 20 best Italian restaurant franchise opportunities for sale and their cost.

Americans have a refined palate, and that is why they are quite willing to try out foods that are indigenous to other ethnicities. Of these ethnic cuisines, it has been discovered that Italian food holds a top spot in the hearts of 71% of the people.

If you want to capitalize on America’s love for ethnic meals, the best way is to own and operate an Italian restaurant that serves either pizza or pasta, and its accompaniments. You should know that this food category appeals to a broad range of people, from all backgrounds and age groups. In fact, 45 percent of all branded restaurants in America carry this combined fare.

In the American way of thinking, Italian is synonymous with pizza. Consequently, some Italian restaurants are mostly pizza concepts, while other Italian restaurants pair pasta and other Italian fare alongside pizza options.

More casual Italian restaurants may offer a combination of pizza, sandwiches, and salads, while others focus on a traditional selection of northern and southern Italian dishes. Italian restaurants and pizza joints come in several varieties, and you can decide to opt for a sit-down eatery or a takeout/delivery pizza service.

Whichever way you choose to go, there is a franchise model available for you. For this reason, we have outlined 20 Italian restaurant franchises you can comfortably startup in the United States.

20 Best Italian Restaurant Franchise Opportunities for Sale and Their Cost

  1. Samuel Mancino’s Italian Eatery

The Samuel Mancino’s name is well-known throughout the country as a reliable source of quality and value. They are usually noted by their famous oven-baked grinders and a welcoming environment that combine to create a memorable dining experience.

Samuel Mancino’s offer the value of fast food and in addition to the amenities of a full service restaurant, making it a destination for both lunch and dinner.

They offer fresh breads and vegetables Italian style. The restaurant, sometime ago, modified their traditional sub sandwich called the “grinder”, by using top-quality bread baked fresh daily, thus permeating an appetizing, home-like aroma throughout the restaurant.

Financial requirements

  • Cash Investment: $150,000
  • Investment Range: $150,000 – $200,000
  • Franchise Fees: $25,000
  1. Russo’s New York Pizzeria Inc.

Anthony Russo is a first generation Italian American. Both of his parents immigrated from Sicily and Naples respectively, to New York City in 1962.

The Russo family opened their first restaurant called the “Russo’s Italian Restaurant” in 1978 after moving from New York to Texas. After years of doing business with his parents, Russo decided to strike it out on his own.

Russo opened his first restaurant called the New York Pizzeria in Houston, Texas in 1992. The chain serves New York-style pizza as well as several different types of soups, salads, pastas, calzones and dessert. The company’s motto is “if it’s not fresh, don’t serve it,” and they currently have 35 stores across the United States.

All locations offer dine-in and takeout, and some also have options for delivery and catering. International locations are open in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, UAE.

Financial Requirements

  • Initial Investment – $454,350 – $1,495,500
  • Net-worth Requirement – $1,000,000
  • Liquid Cash Requirement – $250,000 – $750,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $39,500
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee – 6%
  • Ad Royalty Fee – 1%
  1. Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse

Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse is another Italian restaurant franchise you can open in the United States. This sophisticated and affordable restaurant offers delectable Italian cuisine and awesome steaks.

The versatility of the concept has already been proven a success as they are now being opened in lifestyle centers, retail-level offices and hotel complements. With exceptional food and furnishings, Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse accommodates a wide variety of demographics.

Financial Requirements

  • Initial Investment – $1,275,000 – $4,000,000
  • Net-worth Requirement – $2,500,000 – $5,000,000
  • Liquid Cash Requirement – $500,000 – $1,000,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $75,000
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee – 5%
  1. John The Baker

If you like great Italian food at very reasonable prices, John The Baker Italian Restaurant is the place to be. Since 1960, the Scinicariello family have been creating delicious pastas, hand tossed pizza and homemade Italian dishes.

They pride themselves as one of the last true Italian restaurants to provide handmade Sausage and delicious pastas. Their Italian cuisine is said to be the best in Florida and they equally cater events.

No microwave ovens, No fryers, and No chemical additives are used to create its Italian dishes, pastas and pizza. John Scinicariello Senior always said: “Treat your workers and customers like family, work hard, give back to the community, and prepare Italian food fresh with family recipes”.

Financial Requirements

  • Initial Investment – $185,950 – $428,900
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $24,900
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee – 5%
  • Ad Royalty Fee – 1%
  1. Paciugo Gelato Caffe

Starting with just a taste of her Grandfather’s handmade gelato, founder Cristiana Ginatta started her life-long romance with the Italian dessert at a young age.

Growing up in Italy, everywhere she traveled led to new flavors – each region specializing in a unique recipe with local ingredients and techniques. As a young woman, she attended culinary school, focusing on the art of traditional gelato-making and perfected her skills in one of the finest family-run gelaterias in Turin, Italy.

In 1997 Cristiana, her husband Ugo and his son Vincenzo moved to Dallas, Texas. The Ginattas soon found that what they missed most about their country was the wonderful flavors of Italy – the delicious gelati and the dark, rich espresso.

They decided that in Dallas, their family’s mission was to share these incredible flavors with their new hometown. In 2000, with a lot of hard work and dozens of new gelato recipes, Paciugo (an Italian word meaning “messy concoction”) was born. Over time, Paciugo spread to dozens of locations all over North America.

Financial requirements

  • Cash Investment: $50,000
  • Investment Range: $50,001 – $400,000
  • Franchise Fees: $30,000
  1. Great Greek Mediterranean Grill

The Great Greek Grill is the brainchild of third generation restaurateurs with over three decades of experience in the hospitality industry. The restaurant’s success took many years to achieve, but they stuck with it so as to please their customers.

Now, their franchisees can benefit from this hardwork and experience as they bring delicious Greek food to their communities. The restaurant is looking for franchisees who will spread the goodness of Mediterranean dining through The Great Greek Grill franchise.

Financial requirements

  • Minimum cash required- $150,000
  1. D.P. Dough

Calzones have always been lumped together with pizza, but this Italian restaurant made sure that didn’t continue. D.P. Dough prides themselves as The Pizza Alternative. D.P. Dough offers a wide variety of calzones so that each customer gets exactly what they want.

Also, there are more opportunities to sell calzones because customers are more likely to order calzones when they are alone, as opposed to pizza, which is typically ordered in groups. D.P. Dough is The Original Calzone Company, and is the only national calzone franchise.

Franchise requirements

  • Cash Investment: $100,000
  • Investment Range: $211,025 – $329,350
  • Franchise Fees: $25,000
  1. Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom

After 40 years of serving up the highest quality beers, great food and good times, Old Chicago felt it was time to try out something else. 

They started pairing their excellent craft beers with delicious dishes. From their food and drink menus, to their energetic staff and friendly atmosphere, Old Chicago is known as the place to discover unique specialty brews, enjoy delicious pizzas and unique entrées, while celebrating with friends.

They started with Chicago-style pizza and beer 40 years ago with a few friends in Boulder. The company has gradually grown into an incredible discovery of new craft brews and savory menu offerings. So far, they have offered to their customers over 46 million pizzas and nearly 300,000 World Beer Tours.

Financial Requirements

  • Initial Investment – $1,399,000 – $2,177,000
  • Net-worth Requirement – $3,000,000
  • Liquid Cash Requirement – $1,000,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $40,000
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee – 4%
  • Ad Royalty Fee – 2%
  1. Happy’s Pizza

Happy’s Pizza has it slogan as “Delivering More Than Just Great Pizza”. While offering a variety of fresh meal options including barbeque ribs, delicious salad and Happy Wings, Happy’s Pizza only uses the finest ingredients 100% mozzarella cheese, fresh meats and vegetables and everything is made fresh to order.

They deliver thousands of meals each day from their beautifully designed iconic stores. Their customers think that their food is amazing and the prices are unbeatable. Thier pizza is second to none, but their incredibly diverse menu featuring smoked ribs, barbecued chicken and seafood sets them apart.

Happy’s Pizza provide their franchisees with a variety of support including site selection, lease negotiations assistance, equipment, fixture, signage and inventory suppliers and even construction standards and assistance.

Financial requirements

  • Minimum Cash Required – $50,000
  1. Extreme Pita

Extreme Pita was founded in December 1996, in Waterloo, Ontario. Despite what may seem obvious, their goal at the time was not to simply create the greatest tasting pita sandwich imaginable. Instead, what they set out to accomplish was to also provide their customers the choice of something different; the choice to eat at an establishment that truly understands active lifestyles and healthy concerns.

Their slogan, “Inspiring Healthier Living ” is more than a simple marketing cliché to them – these words, and the values they represent, are the foundation of the business. These remain unchanged from the day we first opened our doors to you.

Financial requirements

  • Cash Investment: $90,000
  • Investment Range: $160,000 – $442,000
  • Franchise Fees: $20,000
  1. Ledo Pizza

Ledo Pizza is a pizzeria restaurant chain in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland. Their first pizzeria was opened in Adelphi, Maryland, in 1955 on University Boulevard in Adelphi Shopping Center near the University of Maryland, College Park

There are now over 100 restaurants in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, and Washington, D.C..  Ledo Pizza is rectangular in shape and is known for its very thin crust, sweet sauce, greasiness, thick pepperoni (one per slice; optional), and smoked provolone cheese, often using the tagline “Ledo Pizza is square, because we don’t cut corners.”

Since 1955, Ledo has been making pizzas with a recognizable rectangular shape and thick-sliced pepperoni. Ledo’s franchise locations also offer appetizers, soups, salads, pastas, burgers, submarine sandwiches, calzones and desserts.

Financial Requirements

  • Initial Investment – $126,250 – $442,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $30,000
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee – 6%
  • Ad Royalty Fee – 1%
  1. Boston’s Restaurant & Sports Bar

Boston’s Pizza Restaurant & Sports Bar (Boston’s), is a national casual dining brand that combines a family-friendly casual dining restaurant and a fan-favored, energetic sports bar under one roof has named two franchise industry Veterans to its leadership team.

Boston’s offers a contemporary, sit-down family dining atmosphere with a separate sports bar, allowing for family and friend gatherings of all sizes. While Boston’s specializes in gourmet pizza and pasta, its menu features nearly 90 items including salads, sandwiches and a variety of favorites such as burgers, wings and ribs, giving guests an offering of traditional American cuisine.

Financial Requirements

  • Initial Investment – $1,145,000 – $3,017,000
  • Net-worth Requirement – $1,500,000
  • Liquid Cash Requirement – $500,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $50,000
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee – 5%
  • Ad Royalty Fee – 3%
  1. Cicis

Joe Croce and Mike Cole founded Cicis in 1985 in Plano, Texas. In 2001, with 363 restaurants at the time, the chain expanded its buffet offerings and began remodeling their restaurants along the same line. Cicis (formerly named CiCi’s Pizza) is an American buffet restaurant chain based in Irving, Texas, specializing in pizza.

There are 442 franchised and corporately owned restaurants in 32 states. In November 2015, the company began a new marketing campaign which included the renaming of the company to Cicis (by dropping the apostrophe and making the second ‘C’ lowercase), along with the addition of a new logo and redesigned website.

Financial Requirements

  • Initial Investment – $222,462 – $1,080,103
  • Net-worth Requirement – $750,000
  • Liquid Cash Requirement – $250,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $7,500 – $30,000
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee – 4-6%
  • Ad Royalty Fee – 3%/5%
  1. The Perfect Pizza Company

One other company to also keep in mind in this niche is The Perfect Pizza Company. Since opening its first location in Wilsonville, Oregon in 2011, and their first franchised location in Tualatin, Oregon in 2013, and another corporate location in the heart of downtown Portland, Oregon; the concept has been a huge success.

Staying true to their commitment to a quality product, phenomenal customer service at a reasonable price, has brought a tremendous amount of positive attention from consumers and potential franchisees. Quality, value, simplicity and creativity are values the restaurant prides itself on.

Whether it be a 1000 square Ft. strip center location, a drive thru location or a 4000 full on sit down restaurant with a full bar, they can handle it and their experience in the industry is second to none.

Financial requirements

  • Liquid Capital Required – $50,000
  • Total Investment – $50,000 – $408,750
  1. Stevi B’s Pizza

Two brothers opened the first Stevi B’s pizza buffet outside Atlanta, Georgia, in 1996. The company began franchising in 1999.

Stevi B’s restaurants, which are located primarily in the Southeast, offer specialty pizzas such as loaded baked potato pizza, macaroni and cheese pizza and cheeseburger pizza, as well as traditional pizzas, dessert pizzas, salads and breadsticks. A game room for kids is also available in each location. Franchisees should know that they will offer this too.

Financial Requirements

  • Initial Investment – $513,700 – $683,900
  • Net-worth Requirement – $400,000
  • Liquid Cash Requirement – $120,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $28,500 – $28,500
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee – 5%
  • Ad Royalty Fee – 4.5%
  1. Flippers Pizzeria

Flippers Pizzeria has been an Orlando staple since 1987. With 6 corporate owned restaurants currently up and running, they believe their customers should be provided with quality Italian food at fair prices with excellent service.

For this reason, they create a fun and casual feel to their restaurants. At every Flippers Pizzeria, customers are greeted by wait staff with a friendly greeting and high quality food at a value that’s bar none. Customer loyalty and retention is the result.

Flippers Pizzeria focuses on value and quality. In the food market that they are in, customers don’t want to waste their hard earned money on low quality food. Flippers Pizzeria has recognized this need and created a brand that exceeds customers’ expectations.

Financial requirements

  • Cash Investment: $50,000
  • Investment Range: $219,750 – $454,000
  • Franchise Fees: $30,000

17. Pizza Planet

Pizza Planet is an Italian restaurant as well as a known ice cream parlor. Founded in 2007, the company is owned by SZAMM.Inc. The company started franchising in 2018 and it has had a couple of franchises since then. Pizza Planet offers in-house financing to cover franchise fee, inventory.

Financial Requirements

  • Initial Investment – $152,175 – $420,500
  • Net-worth Requirement – $50,000
  • Liquid Cash Requirement – $10,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee – $5,000 – $5,000
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee – 2.5%
  • Ad Royalty Fee = 0.5%
  1. Riko’s Pizza

Riko’s is known for its thin-crust pizza made from high quality, fresh ingredients that goes beyond customer expectations. Specialty pies range from Hawaiian and meat-lovers to veggie, margarita and the ever-popular hot oil pizza. Salad pizzas, wings and desserts round out their popular menu.

Their franchise program is built on an established business model in a dynamic industry. It is backed by a passionate management team with a history of foodservice excellence – and a vision for the future. This is an opportunity to join a team with exceptional integrity and expertise, and to build a compelling business.

Financial requirements

  • Franchise Fee – $30,000
  • Royalty Fee – 6% of gross sales
  1. Newk’s Eatery

Newk’s was founded in 2004 by Don Newcomb, Debra Bryson and Chris Newcomb in Oxford, Mississippi. Newk’s eatery say that great food is their passion, and they live for the tantalizing smells, sights, tastes and textures of meals that are made to perfection.

They are obsessed with discovering new recipes and re-imagining old favorites – especially their Newcomb Family Recipes. They insist on sourcing the finest ingredients, and insist same for their franchisees, because they are uncompromising about quality from kitchen to table and their dedication to personal service.

Financial requirements

Net Worth – $3,000,000 – $5,000,000

Franchise Fee – $40,000

Total Investment – $932,000 – $1,331,000

  1. Sbarro

Established in 1956 and celebrating a proven 60 year track record, Sbarro claims to be the worlds’ sixth largest quick service pizza restaurant chain, operating or franchising more than 800 locations in 39 states and 31 countries.

Their current international presence includes franchisees operating eateries in Aruba, Brazil, Belarus, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Russia, Turkey, Philippines and the United Arab Emirates, among others. In the near future, Sbarro will also be available in Paraguay, Honduras and Guatemala adding to the list of countries offering their famous XL NY Style Pizzas!

Financial requirements

  • Cash Investment – $125,000
  • Net Worth – $350,000
  • Franchise – $25,000
  • Total Investment – $349,500 – $673,500