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Is Romeo’s Pizza the Next Big Name in Pizza?

By focusing on an elevated consumer offering and a commitment to its communities, the emerging pizza franchise is quickly becoming one of franchising’s best investments.

Domino’s. Papa John's. Pizza Hut. And now, Romeo's Pizza. The 50-unit emerging pizza franchise out of Medina, Ohio has seen record-breaking sales over the past few years. Last year, as the COVID-19 pandemic created a massive demand for convenient, delicious comfort food, Romeo’s became more popular than ever amongst pizza lovers and carved out a lucrative niche in the booming industry. Today, Romeo’s continues to experience dramatic sales growth, reporting a 14% same-store sales increase across its franchise system in the first quarter of 2021.

With 50 open locations and 20 more scheduled to open by the end of year, Romeo’s Pizza is well-positioned to continue serving its award-winning pizza and purpose-driven mission to more communities across the country. 

A Signature Sweet Sauce and Award-Winning Menu

According to CEO Ryan Rose, much of Romeo’s success over the past few years can be attributed to its product: handcrafted pizza with high-quality ingredients and, perhaps most notably, a signature sweet sauce. 

“The secret is in the sauce,” said Rose. “Customers try it once, and they are hooked. The sauce is made up of sweet, vine-ripened California tomatoes that are freshly-packed from field to can in 10 hours. In addition to creating a delicious flavor, several of our customers who suffer from acid reflux tend to prefer Romeo's sauce as it allows them to enjoy pizza without any negative side effects.” 

Customers aren’t the only ones recognizing the quality of Romeo’s pizza — the brand has won numerous awards in the pizza industry over the years, including Best Pizza in the Midwest, Best Gourmet Pizza in America and 3rd place on the Food Network Food Challenge. 

"Everyone remembers their first bite of Romeo's," said Romeo’s Pizza Area Representative Patrick Howlett

In addition to build-your-own pizzas, the Romeo’s menu includes several specialty pizzas, LTOs, wings, subs, salads, strombolis, calzones, starters, desserts and more. Customers also have the opportunity to sign up for the Romeo’s Pizza reward program, which offers access to rewards and special deals. And with over 170,000 members, the program has been a huge hit.

A Dedication To Giving Back to the Community

Romeo’s franchisees offer their communities more than just top-tier pizza, Rose says. As part of the brand's initiative to be the Local Pizza Champion, Romeo’s Pizza reinvests and makes a difference in the communities it serves through charitable partnerships, its non-profit organization called The Sweet Smiles Foundation, events and outreach. This gives franchisees the chance to engrain themselves in the local community and make meaningful connections with everyone who visits their restaurant.

“We are never satisfied to sit back and enjoy our own success while people around us are struggling, and that attitude really came into focus last year during the pandemic,” Rose said. “We are always looking for ways to give back and enrich our communities, whether it be helping franchisees donate pizza to first responders or families in need, donating to food shelters or raising funds to support other local non-profit organizations. As we continue to grow, we are also proud to say that we stay committed to our core values by continuing to give back in new ways.”

In addition to local outreach, the Romeo’s team also works with national charitable organizations to make a difference all over the country. For example, Romeo’s connected with the 2nd & 7 Foundation recently and became a Reading Program Partner, which helps the foundation write, illustrate and publish more than 90,000 books each year. In addition, Romeo’s will become the presenting sponsor of the foundation’s 22nd annual football camp. The charitable mindset has a green thumb, too. Through a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, Romeo’s Pizza also planted 5,000 trees, which is more than enough to offset the 4,600 trees (3,000 with recycling) the brand uses to manufacture its 3 million boxes each year. 

Bringing Romeo’s Pizza to New Communities Across the Country

Now, Romeo’s Pizza is looking forward to expanding its footprint with qualified, passionate franchisee candidates who are not only interested in joining a brand that stands out in the booming pizza sector due to its beloved consumer offerings, but also one that highlights a community-oriented approach to business ownership.

"I've been a part of other franchises in the past, but none of them boasted Romeo's franchisee and community centric culture,” said Romeo’s Pizza Area Representative Garry Hager.  “At Romeo's, every franchisee has a voice and they aren't just a number. In addition, it's understood that if you have the ability to help others, you should, and we all follow suit. Whether we're donating a few pizzas or 1,000+, we all do our part to embody what it  means to be a Local Pizza Champion."

So far in 2021, the brand has already signed 25 new franchise agreements and is on track to reaching its goal of 60–70 open stores by the end of the year. Specifically, Romeo’s Pizza is looking to develop in target markets where the brand currently has a footprint or will have one soon. Some of the target markets identified include Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, and Texas.

The cost to open a Romeo’s Pizza franchise ranges from $190,800 to $640,500, including a $30,000 franchise fee. For more information on franchising with Romeo’s Pizza, visit