What are the Largest Pizza Chains in the US?

There is nothing better than a slice of Pizza oozing with delicious sauces and topping with a lot of cheese. Whether you are a pizza lover or other fast food lover, pizza will remain the best fast food, and people love to eat pizzas more than any other fast food.

The stats show that the increase in sales is not limited to online delivery, but it also shows a huge demand by consumers through taking over. The US is known as the biggest pizza market, and in 2020, it gulped approximately $46.24 billion out of $145 billion in global sales. 

Americans are eating more pizzas, and it is even better if you are thinking about starting this profitable business. However, you should focus on the chain store industry because they tell you the proper indications and trends about the market. 

Top 9 Largest Pizza Chains In the US

1. Domino’s Pizza

Headquarters: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Gross Annual Sales: $12.25 billion

Domino’s is one of the best pizza franchises globally in terms of revenue, and their stores are increasing with fast speed worldwide. It was founded by Tom Monaghan. According to reports, in the third quarter of 2021, Dominos operated a network of 18,300 company-owned stores and franchises in the USA and over 90 international markets.

Domino’s popularized the first home delivery service, delivering more than a million pizzas daily. Now they are rolling out pizza delivery by e-bikes made by an electric bicycle company, Rad Power Bikes. Pizza chains are coming up with new ideas to compete and offer the best services to gain consumers’ trust.

Their delivery services and ingredient-selling are helping them to increase the chain’s revenue.

2. Pizza Hut

Headquarters: Piano, Texas

Gross Annual Sales: $12.03 billion

In 1958, the Carney Brothers started their first pizza chain by borrowing $600 from their mother. Along with Domino’s, Pizza Hut is ruling over the world with its delicious pizzas.  Struggle From a single restaurant to 18,000 franchises in over 100 countries is an inspiring journey for all pizza lovers.

The unique point about Pizza Hut is its mouthwatering pizza recipes. They have introduced Pan Pizza and stuffed crust pizzas in the pizza world, differentiating them from their competitors. Pizza Hut is satisfying its customers by providing quality services; that’s why they are still dominating the market.

3. Little Caesars

Headquarters: Detroit, Michigan

Gross Annual Sales: $4 billion

In 1954, Mike Ilitch and Marian Bayoff opened a pizza store in Michigan by investing their life savings. Little Caesars is competing now with two giants of the pizza market like Pizza Hut and Domino’s Pizza. Little Caesars is the third-largest pizza chain operating in 27 countries and all states of the USA. 

Little Caesars is not expensive like other pizza chains, and that’s why it’s affordable for everyone. Their pizza campaign, Pizza! Pizza! was so famous back then that you could buy two pizzas for the price of one. Although their pizza chain is not that big, they still managed to grab the title of the largest pizza chain in the USA.

4. Papa John’s Pizza

Headquarters: Louisville, Kentucky

Gross Annual Sales: $3.695 billion

Papa John’s Pizza came into the market in 1984, much later than other pizza chains. Soon it operated with around 5,400 pizzerias across the US and in about 50 international markets. This pizza chain was the first to introduce an online ordering system in the town. 

Like other stores, the slogan was not about affordability and delivery, but the fresh ingredients of pizza made it better than others. It is the most popular chain in the local states within all brands, and we can say the taste and delivery are definitely making this chain better.

5. California Pizza Kitchen

Headquarters: Playa Vista, California

Gross Annual Sales: $840 million

California Pizza Kitchen is far behind the other giants of the pizza industry. Still, it is doing well in generating revenue and grabbing the attention of its customer due to better flavors. California pizza kitchen is popular due to its unique ideas like BBQ and Thai pizzas. This chain is different because they prefer to offer their food in a restaurant rather than takeovers. Another good thing about California Pizza Kitchen is that they manufacture frozen pizzas to sell them in the store.

6. Papa Murphy’s

Headquarters: Vancouver, Washington

Gross Annual Sales: $827 million

In the mid-1980s, Terry Collins acquired and consolidated two existing chains, Papa Aldo’s Pizza and Murphy’s Pizza. Papa Murphy’s was founded in 1985 and franchised since 1986 with different ideas than other chains. They introduced ordering and picking up an already cooked pizza; customers receive an uncooked pizza for taking home and baking it themselves.

Their popularity is a new concept of “take and bake” services. They emphasize the freshness of ingredients, and their stores don’t have freezers to store the dough.  They started making fresh dough and pure mozzarella cheese daily and hand-sliced veggies for the customers.

7. Sbarro

Headquarters: Columbus, Ohio

Gross Annual Sales:  $609 million

Sbarro started when Carmela and Gennaro ran an Italian Salumeria. Their pizzas were so famous and delicious that they made another chain to focus only on this pizza. Their marketing technique was powerful and ideal; they opened their new chain in malls to avoid direct competition with big brands of the pizza industry. 

However, this strategy can be the reason for the companies’ downfall because people don’t visit malls that often. We are sure you have seen this chain in every big mall.

8. Marco’s Pizza

Headquarters: Toledo, Ohio

Gross Annual Sales: $596.36 million

Marco’s Pizza has been operating since 1978, and it has more than 44 locations outside the USA. They recently got the Pizza Chain of the Year award in the Harris Poll Equi Survey. Italian immigrant Pasquale “Pat” Giammarco is the only major American pizza chain started by a native Italian. 

Marco’s Pizza separates itself by remaining authentic to Italian-style pizza. The restaurant industry guru, Jack Butorac, took over the chain in 2004 with 123 locations and grew it into the national chain. The chain’s primary purpose is to serve fresh ingredients rather than frozen and fully packed bulk packages.

9. Cicis

Headquarters: Irving, Texas

Gross Annual Sales: $445 million

Cicis Pizza is the biggest pizza chain based on the buffet, founded in 1985. Their buffet concept is that a customer can eat the pizza from the buffet at a low price. And amazingly, there are 15 types of pizzas on the buffet menu to attract kids and adults. Joe Croce and Mike Cole created this concept to attract more families to provide them with different and tasty pizzas like macaroni and cheese pizza with wings as the topping.

To read about their history, click here.

Conclusion 

People love eating fast foods, and pizzas are lifesavers for them. The big giants have opened many new franchises worldwide, and they are continuously expanding their already profitable business. 

Currently, the largest food chain title goes to Domino’s. But let’s see what will happen in the coming years and who will grab the top position to get the title of the largest pizza chain globally.