Pizza, one of the world’s favourite foods has more to it than just dough. It’s an entire industry; a multi-billion-pound industry in fact that a lot of entrepreneurs have made a fortune from. A great many successful pizza evangelists have turned it from a snack into the core of a wealth-spinning business model.
According to research, one out of every eight Americans eats pizza every day. Digging a little into other figures, the results are startling. 95% of pizza eaters do so at least once a month. Encouraged by the now common pizza delivery, some take pizza everyday. It is a cheap meal and easy to share so it is the first choice for office brunches, movie nights or a hangout with friends.
The incredible demand for this Italian delicacy is what fuels the ever-growing market for it. However, this market has changed over the years and is a major part of the fast-food industry as well as a high street restaurant staple too.
Many people have been able to spot the gold in the pizza industry and mined for themselves. In no particular order, we are going to run through a list of three people who got unbelievably rich through pizza, and share a bit of their success story. Here they are:
JOHN SCHNATTER – PAPA JOHN’S PIZZA
First on our list is John Schnatter, who started out with a passion for all things pizza. He is currently worth a staggering $801 million, and he made all of this money from the making and delivery of pizza.
Schnatter’s story started around 1984 in his dad’s tavern where he coined the name Papa John’s Pizza. He sold his 1971 Camaro car for $1,600 to buy used pizza equipment to start his business. The first set of customers he had were people from his neighborhood. From that time on, step by step he continued to break new ground, reaching into other states in the US from his simple tavern.
Many of the pizzerias in his state couldn’t match up to the quality of pizza he was creating, and as such he earned himself the hearts of the customers. 1985 was the year when his business had reached a respectable amount of success. He was able to move out of the tavern and get his own space.
From that time until now he has continued to make a name for himself as one of the best and most loved by customers, in the business. One of his most notable achievements was in 2017, when Papa John’s was named the third largest pizza delivery and takeout restaurant in the world.
Unfortunately, he had to step down as the CEO of Papa John’s Pizza on the 21st of December, 2017 due to some controversial comments he made about the NFL protests. However, Schnatter remains one of the top names in the business of pizza making and delivery.
MARIAN LLITCH – LITTLE CAESAR’S PIZZA
Next on our list is the story of a woman who started a pizza business with her husband. Marian Llitch is well known as a successful businesswoman and cofounder of Little Caesar’s Pizza. As of the time of writing, she is 86 years old and currently worth $4.1 billion. Incredibly, she has been making pizza since 1959!
Her story would never be complete without speaking about her husband, Mike Llitch. They opened their pizza restaurant in Garden City. Although it was a small restaurant, they were able to make almost 50 pizzas on opening day. Not too long after, exactly 3 years in fact, they started franchising, and things took a pretty beautiful turn for them.
Fast forward to the present day, and Marian has lost her husband, but the business lives on, with operations in many countries across the world. They also came in third place in the rankings of the most successful pizza chains in America. Who would have thought that pizza could be the way to making a fortune? She is currently on the Forbes list of the top richest women in the world.
TOM MONAGHAN – DOMINO’S PIZZA
The name Domino’s rings a bell in most places worldwide. The story of Domino’s Pizza actually started with Tom Monaghan. He was one of the initial owners of the business alongside his brothers. He is currently worth around $500 million dollars, having since sold the company.
It all started in 1960 when Tom and his brother, James took a loan of $500 to purchase a pizzeria, “Dominiks.” He had the intention of making profits from the pizzeria and using it to help himself through college to study architecture. Unfortunately, the business lost a lot of money and he was never able to go to college. With the state of things looking really messy, his brother, James had to leave the business the following year.
Tom, on the other hand, never gave up. Instead, he renamed it in 1965, to Domino’s Pizza Inc. A couple of years later, Tom started a campaign to make sure his pizza delivery time was shorter than any of his competitors. He created the brilliant “thirty minutes, or it’s free” campaign. Within a very short while, business was booming and profits were soaring. He gained good ground and became very popular.
He ended up creating one of the largest business franchises around the world. However, after making a fortune from pizza, Tom decided to retire, and he sold his company to Bain Capital for $1 billion in 1998. Doesn’t look so bad for college money though.
Conclusively, we can say that every business model is an opportunity for anyone who is ready to take the bold step. Pizza has made a lot of people amazingly rich, this list is just the starting point. As long as you are willing to distinguish yourself, there is always going to be a hungry, pizza-loving market eager to buy from you. Who knows, you may be the next pizza billionaire yourself.