10 Largest Pizza Chains in the World

Everyone loves a tasty piece of pizza! In almost every town across America, friends and families get together at local pizzerias to grab a few slices together. Countless pizza chains have capitalized on the high demand for a fun dining environment, serving affordable and tasty pizzas at locations all over the world.

With so many pizza fans around the globe, just how much money can the largest pizza chains make? Today, let’s take a look at 10 of the largest pizza chains in the world as measured by gross sales, and learn what makes each one unique.

  1. CiCi’s Pizza

Gross Sales: $445,000,000
Headquarters Location: Irving, Texas
Year Established: 1985
Founders: Joe Croce and Mike Cole

CiCi’s Pizza
Source: wikimedia.org

This Texas-based pizza chain became quite popular for its pizza bar and adjacent arcade rooms that blended together to create a fun atmosphere for the whole family. In fact, Cici’s Pizza was voted America’s Favorite Fast-Casual Pizza Chain in 2017.

Did You Know?

Cici’s Pizza began offering “Lunch & Learn” field trip opportunities for school-age children to learn practical math applications while creating their own pizzas for lunch.

  1. Chuck E. Cheese’s/Peter Piper Pizza

Gross Sales: $504,000,000
Headquarters Location: Irving, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona
Year Established: 1973
Founders: Nolan Bushnell and Anthony M. “Tony” Cavolo

Chuck E. Cheese’s/Peter Piper Pizza
Source: wikimedia.org

Most people associate pizza with the kid-oriented environment at Chuck E. Cheese’s–but the company took it a step further by acquiring the Peter Piper Pizza chain in 2014. Peter Piper Pizza maintains a similarly kid-friendly, festive environment, often featuring game rooms with arcades and even playground equipment.

Did You Know?

In an effort to stay current, Chuck E. Cheese’s has diversified their menu and improved their hospitality training in order to appeal more to adults.

  1. Marco’s Pizza

Gross Sales: $596,358,506
Headquarters Location: Toledo, Ohio
Year Established: 1978
Founders: Pasquale Giammarco

Marco’s Pizza
Source: wikimedia.org

One of the fastest-growing pizza chains in the United States, Marco’s Pizza is known for its generous portions and fresh ingredients chopped and prepared right in their kitchens. Pasquale Giammarco, the Italian immigrant who founded the company, says that he eats pizza himself almost every day.

Did You Know?

Don Vicek, the company’s’ Vice President of Purchasing, has stated: “We are the only chain of any size that was founded by someone who was born and raised in Italy.”

  1. Sbarro

Gross Sales: $609,000,000
Headquarters Location: Columbus, Ohio
Year Established: 1956
Founders: Gennaro and Carmela Sbarro

Source: wikimedia.org

The origins of Sbarro actually go back to when Gennaro and Carmela Sbarro ran an Italian salumeria, and she whipped up some pizza slices to provide their workers with a quick meal. The slices were so popular that the couple opened their own New York style pizzeria.

Did You Know?

Sbarro restaurants are most frequently found in shopping mall food courts throughout the United States, leading many to wonder if the company will fade in wake of the shopping mall decline.

  1. Papa Murphy’s

Gross Sales: $827,000,000
Headquarters Location: Vancouver, Washington
Year Established: 1995
Founders: Robert Graham

Papa Murphy’s
Source: wikimedia.org

This take-and-bake pizza company was formed by the merger of Papa Aldo’s Pizza and Murphy’s Pizza in 1995. People love the concept of being able to order a pizza that they can bake at home at their convenience so much that Papa Murphy’s has been nominated the best in America.

Did You Know?

Papa Murphy’s Pizza prides itself on quickly building customers’ pizzas using only the freshest ingredients, and their establishments do not even have ovens or freezers!

  1. California Pizza Kitchen

Gross Sales: $840,000,000
Headquarters Location: Playa Vista, California
Year Established: 1985
Founders: Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax

California Pizza Kitchen
Source: wikimedia.org

California Pizza Kitchen is known for popularizing California-style pies and spicing up their pizzas with inventive and unusual toppings. Aside from providing pizza in a restaurant setting, this company also manufactures frozen pizzas for grocery stores.

Did You Know?

California Pizza Kitchen is said to have been the first chain to create the now-popular BBQ and Thai chicken pizzas, but it didn’t stop there. It also serves Unagi pizza in Japan and pork belly pizza in China!

  1. Papa John’s Pizza

Gross Sales: $3,695,000,000
Headquarters Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Year Established: 1984
Founders: John Schnatter

Papa John’s Pizza
Source: wikimedia.org

The first national pizza chain to offer online ordering, Papa John’s claims to use fresher ingredients than its rivals. The company has seen plenty of controversy over the past few years, including accusations of a highly toxic work environment. The franchise has taken steps to improve its treatment of employees, including a program offering free college tuition for some of its employees.

Did You Know?

When Papa John’s opened their 4,000th store in New Hyde Park, New York, they celebrated by giving away 4,000 free pizzas throughout New York City.

  1. Little Caesars

Gross Sales: $4,000,000,000
Headquarters Location: Detroit, Michigan
Year Established: 1959
Founders: Mike and Marian Ilitch

Little Caesars
Source: wikimedia.org

Married couple Marian and Mike Ilitch poured their life savings of $10,000 into the founding of Little Caesars, along with an endearing personal touch: “Little Caesar” was Marian’s pet name for her husband. The pizza chain exploded in popularity, and was regarded for years as the fastest-growing pizza franchise in the United States.

Did You Know?

Little Caesars’ catchphrase “Pizza! Pizza!” first came about in 1979 to promote the great deal of two pizzas for the price of one.

  1. Pizza Hut

Gross Sales: $12,034,000,000
Headquarters Location: Plano, Texas
Year Established: 1958
Founders: Dan and Frank Carney

Pizza Hut
Source: wikipedia.org

When the Carney brothers were given the advice to open a pizza parlor, they saw an excellent opportunity to establish themselves in the community. They borrowed $600 from their mother to get started, and offered customers free pizza on opening night. The chain has continued to set itself apart with novelties such as pan pizza and stuffed crusts.

Did You Know?

While most Americans think of Pizza Hut as fast food, the Chinese business model kicks things up a notch with a fine dining atmosphere and tables set with silverware.

  1. Domino’s Pizza

Gross Sales: $12,252,100,000
Headquarters Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Year Established: 1960
Founders: James Monaghan and Tom Monaghan

Domino’s Pizza
Source: wikimedia.org

Domino’s is the largest pizza chain in the world by gross sales. The pioneer of fast pizza delivery and the “30 minutes or less” pizza delivery concept, this iconic pizza chain began when the Monaghan brothers started running a local pizzeria called “Dominick’s”. What began as a small-town restaurant has since expanded to 15,900 stores in more than 85 countries worldwide.

Did You Know?

While Domino’s is best known as a pizza delivery chain, it makes a massive chunk of its revenue by selling dough, ingredients, and toppings to other establishments.

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