What’s happening with America’s largest pizza companies? Who added stores in 2012? Who pushed their sales to record highs? Who dropped off a bit?
Last month, we published our list of the nation’s 100 most successful independent operations. Now, we present to you our yearly listing of America’s 100 largest pizza chains. Check out who’s winning big on pages 56 and 57.
1. Pizza Hut
The original Pizza Hut store opened in a small building in Wichita, Kansas in 1958. More than 50 years later, Pizza Hut is the largest pizza company with $11.2 billion in annual sales. The company operates more than 13,700 stores in more than 90 countries.
2. Domino’s Pizza
Ann Arbor, MI
Domino’s story began with the opening of its first store in 1960 called “DomiNick’s.” Five years later, the company was renamed Domino’s Pizza, Inc., opening its first franchise location in 1967. Today, Domino’s has nearly 10,000 locations worldwide and $6.9 billion in annual sales.
3. Papa John’s
After college, John Schnatter began delivering pizzas out of the back of his father’s tavern, opening his first Papa John’s in 1984. With more than 3,800 locations and nearly $2.6 billion in annual sales, Papa John’s has locations in all 50 states and 29 countries.
4. Little Caesars
The first Little Caesars opened its doors in 1959. By 1987, Little Caesars had become a national chain with stores in all 50 states. Today, the carry-out pizza chain who coined the phrase “Pizza, Pizza” for its two-for- one pizza deal, operates 3,500 locations with $1.45 billion.
5. California Pizza Kitchen
Los Angeles, CA
California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) originated in Beverly Hills in 1985, quickly expanding to 30 states and 11 countries. From 2000 to 2011, CPK was a publicly traded company, before being acquired by privately held Golden Gate Capital in 2011. CPK operates 270 locations with annual sales of $715 million.
6. Papa Murphy’s
The take ‘n’ bake concept began in Northern California in the early 1980s and has steadily moved east. Papa Murphy’s is the largest take ‘n’ bake chain with more than 1,300 locations in 40 states. The quick-serve restaurant generates $702 million in annual sales.
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