Godfather’s Pizza has had a winning record of growth and success serving the best-tasting, most abundantly-topped pies in the industry. We’re a powerful national brand backed by state-of-the-art research and development, technology, training, support, and first-class marketing for franchise partners.
Owner, President & CEO
Ron Gartlan graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, NE with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting in 1969. Upon graduation, Gartlan accepted a position with the accounting firm of Coopers and Lybrand. In that same year, Gartlan was drafted into the U.S. Army and stationed in Vietnam. After his discharge in 1971, Gartlan resumed his position at Coopers and Lybrand where he became partner in 1981. One year later, Gartlan joined Godfather’s Pizza, Inc. as Treasurer and VP of Finance. In 1985, Gartlan was named VP of Corporate Development and was promoted to Executive VP of Strategy, Synergy and Services in 1986.
On September 16, 1988, Gartlan along with Herman Cain and the corporate’s senior management team became the new owners of Godfather’s Pizza, Inc. Gartlan then became the Chief Operating Officer. In June 1995, Gartlan assumed the role of President and in December of 1996, he obtained his current title and role of President and CEO.
Gartlan is a member of the Creighton University Board of Directors. Godfather’s Pizza is also the first national sponsor of Boys Town whose mission is to change how the world cares for children, families and communities.
Senior Vice President Franchise Services
Kathy Johnson began working for Godfather’s Pizza, Inc. in 1983 at the St. Cloud, Minnesota location while going to college. Johnson loved her time spent in the store so much that she worked her way into a management position in a Minneapolis Godfather’s Pizza franchise. This training provided her the opportunity needed to make her next move. In 1999 Johnson and her family relocated to Omaha where she became Vice President of Human Resources at the Godfather’s Pizza, Inc. Headquarters.
Today, after 34 years of service to Godfather’s Pizza, Inc., Johnson is the Senior Vice President of Franchise Services and provides leadership to the areas of franchise services, development, retail and corporate stores.
Vice President of Development
After graduating from Creighton University in 2001 with a Bachelors of Arts Degree, Dave Gartlan began working at Godfather’s Pizza, Inc. as a Research & Development Assistant. Gartlan was promoted to Project Manager in 2002 and in 2005 became a Sales Associate. By 2006, Gartlan was the Director of Site Coordination and from there he became Director of Franchise Development – Non-Traditional Operations in 2009.
In August of 2016, Gartlan assumed his current position as Vice President of Development and is responsible for the implementation of Godfather’s Pizza, Inc. acquisitions and franchise development strategy in markets across the United States.
Vice President of Non-Traditional Franchise Services
Mike Clifford began working for Godfather’s Pizza, Inc. in 1984 as Regional Operations Manager.
Throughout his 33 years of employment, Clifford has gained unparalleled experience in all aspects of the Franchise Services department. He became Director of Operations in 1985 and in 2000 was promoted to Director of Franchise Services where he assisted franchisees in all facets of their business.
Clifford now serves as Vice President of Franchise Services providing expertise in operations, sales building, development and design for the Godfather’s Pizza, Inc. concept. He specializes in development of non-traditional concepts in c-stores, colleges, airports, malls and travel centers throughout the U.S.
Director of Franchise Operations
After graduating from the University of Nebraska Lincoln with a Master’s Degree in Business Management, Bruce Just began working for Godfather’s Pizza, Inc. in 1992 as restaurant General Manager. Just returned to the company in December of 2009 as District Manager. In 2010 Just worked as GPI’s Senior District Manager, and in September of 2011 he became Franchise Operations Manager. In 2014 Just became Director of Franchise Operations.
Just currently works as Director of Franchise Services and provides expertise in assisting franchisees in all facets of their business. Among his core competencies are equipment maintenance, revenue maximization, cost management, P&L analysis, business plan writing, training, and strategic management.
Franchise Business Consultant
Richard Hay has over 30 years’ experience in the restaurant industry; including starting as a pizza delivery driver while attending the University of Wisconsin – Madison. His experience includes: store management, district and regional management, franchise consulting, and over a decade as a Director of Training and Brand Manager. He has worked in pizza, Mexican QSR, sandwich and snack/dessert concepts.
Richard joined Godfather’s Pizza in 2018 as a Franchise Business Consultant. His areas of expertise include hospitality programs, operations systems, team building, hands-on and e-learning, improving financial performance, and strategic planning.
Franchise Business Consultant
Becky Blaufuss graduated from the University of Nebraska—Omaha with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in 2002. After teaching for two years, Blaufuss became a District Supervisor of Kum & Go out of Des Moines, IA in 2005. In 2013 she joined Godfather’s Pizza, Inc. as District Manager of Corporate Stores. Blaufuss then became Licensed Product Manager in June of 2015.
Blaufuss now serves as a Franchise Business Consultant where she is responsible for supporting franchisees in all aspects of their business including operational support, financial analysis and marketing.
Manager of Franchise Openings
Colin Clifford has over 10 years of experience working in the restaurant industry. His first position with Godfather’s Pizza was at the age of 16 as a host at The Godfather’s Pizza Joint. He has held several positions at Godfather’s Pizza, Inc. since then.
After graduating from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln with a degree in Advertising, Clifford returned to Godfather’s Pizza in 2014 as Marketing Manager. Clifford is currently Manager of Franchise Openings where assists with the onboarding of new franchisees and provides support for existing operators.
Executive Assistant for Franchise Services
Theresa Zingerman began working for Godfather’s Pizza, Inc. in 1987 as a Data Entry Operator in the management information systems department. There she helped support franchisees with the back office system software. Zingerman was then promoted to manager of systems support and oversaw all of the company stores. She was also involved in implementing the currently utilized Speedline Solutions Software in the corporate locations. Zingerman then became Franchise Relations Coordinator where she coordinated all training classes and accommodations for new Franchisees.
Zingerman currently works as Executive Assistant of Franchise Services and is responsible for providing administrative support for Franchise Development, Sales and Operations by assisting with day-to-day responsibilities of opening franchise locations.
Sunrise Beach, MO
Fort Smith, AR
Lake St. Louis, MO
Fergus Falls, NM
De Smet, SD
Cedar Rapids, IA
Bay City, TX
Eloy (Casa Grande), AZ
Oklahoma City, OK
Bossier City, LA
Hope Hull, AL
Cedar Rapids, IA
We are looking for leaders to join in our success for the next 40 years and beyond.
Be a Part of the Success
Pizza has seen a lot of changes since its invention. Competitors have come and gone. But Godfather’s Pizza has stood the test of time. Our Quick Service Restaurant concept has expanded to more than 40 states in operations ranging from traditional dine-in restaurants to express outlets such as airports, convenience stores and college campuses.
Put Your Experience to Good Use
The requirements to begin your own operation is $200,000 minimum net worth (excluding personal residence and personal property and including, but not limited to, vehicles, furniture and jewelry) of which $100,000 should be liquid assets (excluding any retirement account including 401Ks, IRAs and pensions). You need a minimum of one year operations/management experience in the restaurant business; or you can hire someone with that experience to be your operator.
Assemble Your Crew
You must also follow equipment and décor specifications, attend a ten day certified training class for Traditional and Delco models or a five day certified training class for Express models, have proof of insurance, hire a manager on staff with minimum one year restaurant experience, and be a team player.
Our franchising process consists of six steps designed to ensure the absolute best possible outcome from the very start all the way through to the very end. Each step is required and builds upon the last.
1. Survey and Financial Application
We want to make sure Godfather’s Pizza’s franchising offerings meets or exceeds the investor’s portfolio requirements and that we’re a good fit. Once we receive and qualify the application, the Franchise Disclosure Document is distributed.
2. National Headquarters
The investor will travel to Omaha, Nebraska where he or she will be introduced to the entire Godfather’s Pizza concept. The day would include meeting the family of owners, executives, research and development and marketing in addition to dining at a nearby Godfather’s Pizza restaurant to look at décor and product.
3. Site Selection
A site submission form along with a deposit will be required in order to have approval on a requested location, market, and review of territorial boundaries.
4. Training and Certification
Once the site is approved, the investor must select an operator for one or more of the units to travel to the national headquarters facility for operational training. The person(s) will be in training for up to two weeks, depending on the type of unit(s). A training certification is required for each unit. Prior to opening our training staff will be on site to ensure an exceptional opening. In addition, our staff works with your team to train and open your location.
5. Site Coordination and Opening
Assistance is provided in all aspects of opening a new location: store design, equipment specifications, marketing assistance, operational assistance, food purchasing and any other new store opening assistance necessary. Our goal is to help the investor be successful by serving the best pizza in town.
6. Signing the Franchise Agreement
A franchise agreement will be distributed upon opening each location. The signed agreement is required to be mailed back to Godfather’s Pizza headquarters along with the initial fee and continuing fees within 5 days after the restaurant opening. As The Godfather would say, now just “Do It!”