D.P. Dough

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About Us

The Story of D.P. Dough

In the mid 1980′s, a dude and his mom came up with an idea that would change college life forever: calzones! Dan (the dude) and Penny (his mom) named their new restaurant D.P. Dough after their initials. The first D.P. Dough opened in 1987. Today, D.P. Dough delivers ooey, gooey, cheesy happiness on and around college campuses throughout the United States.

Don’t get us wrong. We love a good slice of pie too. We just don’t sell it. Why? Because calzones are way better. That’s why! D.P. Dough has been making calzone converts out of adventurous pizza lovers – both college students and anyone else who is young at heart – since before slap bracelets were cool.

D.P. Dough calzones are tasty anytime. But, we are best known for being THE PLACE to go or call when it is crazy late. Who else is gonna deliver a custom made calzone after the bars close?


Why D.P. Dough

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It’s Differentiated
While calzones are often thrown into the pizza category, D.P. Dough is The Pizza Alternative®. That means that we don't sell pizza. Since we don't have to compete with the very crowded pizza market, we have a competitive advantage over pizza places.

It’s Exciting
Have you ever been on a college campus in the Fall? There is a vibe of optimism, hope, and new beginnings. (No, we aren’t hippies. This is very much a real phenomenon.) D.P. Dough restaurants feed off of that new school year excitement to create a new class of D.P. Dough fans with each group of incoming freshmen (while growing the business of Sophomores through 5th Year Seniors).

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It’s Profitable
Franchising is a partnership between the franchisor and the franchisee.

  • 4% Royalty
  • 1% National Advertising Fund (applies once 30 D.P. Dough restaurants are open)
  • $25,000 Initial Franchise Fee
  • $733,210 average unit volume
  • D.P. Dough offers a discount of 10% off the Initial Franchise Fee for military veterans through the International Franchising Association’s VetFran Program.

It’s Proven
Owning a D.P. Dough can be hard work, but you will not be re-inventing the wheel. During your initial training, we will teach you how to be a world-class calzone maker, and more importantly, a smart restaurant owner, by using our proven systems.

It's Delicious
We don't mean to brag, but our calzones are amazing! We use the best ingredients to make the best calzones.


Franchisor Support

D.P. Dough is based on great business systems, and these systems are the keys to your success as a business owner. But we don’t stop there! Being a part of the D.P. Dough Family means national food agreements with suppliers to save you money, robust training before you open and ongoing profitability coaching once you’re up and running, marketing support and materials, and an owners-only intranet that ties all of it together in a handy online portal.

1. Systems: We believe in making decisions based on research and data. We also believe in making it as easy as possible for your employees to do the right thing once your D.P. Dough opens. We are proud of the written manuals, checklists, guides, and continuing education that we have developed to ensure that all franchisees have an opportunity to operate as efficiently as possible from day one.

2. National Food Agreements: We leverage the bulk buying power of all D.P. Dough restaurants to negotiate discounted price agreements with food manufacturers, distributors, and other vendors.

3. Training: 10 Day Immersion Training in Athens, Ohio + Online Training Program + 19 Days of On-Site Training Opening Support at your location.

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4. Marketing Support: Currently, with no national advertising fund in effect, D.P. Dough Franchising provides brand consistent graphic designs, in-store signage, national Twitter management, automated Facebook Zone of the Day posting assistance, and local best practices for marketing.

5. Intranet: The Intranet is the hub of communication between D.P. Dough Franchising and D.P. Dough Franchisees.

6. Ongoing Profitability Coaching: All new D.P. Dough locations are assigned a profitability coach to work with the owners to make the new location as profitable as it can be.


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Ideal Candidate

We're looking for franchise owners who are seeking an emerging, dynamic concept to partner with D.P. Dough, the nation's only late-night calzone franchise. A strong work ethic and a desire to excel are must-have traits, as is the desire to lead a team and coach your employees to realize their full potential. You must share our culture of passionate profitability and a hunger to deliver a superior consumer experience. We are growing fast and only have a limited number of territories available for our niche, college-centric concept. Must have $100,000 in liquid capital and be ready to make a full-time commitment within 90-120 days.

Fill out the form below and join our team!

D.P. Dough is currently accepting inquiries from the following states: Vermont, Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oklahoma, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Mississippi, Missouri, Maryland, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Kansas, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, Delaware, Connecticut, Arizona, Arkansas, Alabama.

Interested parties should have at least $100,000 in liquid capital to invest.

Quick Service Restaurant Franchise Q&A with D.P. Dough

We recently had the chance to talk with D.P. Dough’s Executive Vice President Matt Crumpton, and Director of Franchise Development Tristan Kinsley about their company’s franchise opportunity.

Can you provide an overview of your industry?

Our industry generally would be considered restaurant franchises, specifically the Quick-Service category. We are typically included in the same space as pizza concepts, but we are actually the only national calzone franchise"we call ourselves “The Pizza Alternative.” 

As far as why someone should choose to open a business today, specifically in our industry, I’d say that it’s always a great time to start a business. People who wait on the sidelines for the economic climate to get better are making excuses. Success in business is less about finding the next great idea or the next “right time/right place” and more about the hard work and execution that follows starting a business.  

How has your industry changed in the last 10"20 years?

We have only been around for 3 years (as a franchisor, the concept was started in 1987), but the most important change is the move to technology, especially mobile phones and social media.  This impacts everything in the way we interact with our customers. 

What trends do you see in your industry over the next 5"10 years?

I see more technology playing a bigger role, depending on government regulation. Certainly, we’ll see more customization for customers as a result of technology. Loyalty is not going anywhere. It will be interesting to see what happens with Apple Pay and other alternate payment solutions. 

What is the biggest concern about your industry that a franchise candidate should be aware of and investigate?

Long (and sometimes late) hours are the biggest concern with a late night focused restaurant. The biggest way to mess up a D.P. Dough franchise is to not be fully committed to it or to not be willing to follow the system.  Again, it all comes down to hard work and execution. 

There is no glaring concern about the industry generally. Any franchisee is well advised to conduct due diligence and make sure the franchise system they are looking at fits them from a financial and cultural standpoint. Make sure there are no operational system requirements that are deal-breakers for you that the franchisor requires. 

Why do you think D.P. Dough stands out in the industry?

We are the only national calzone franchise. We are one of the few exclusively college based franchises. We operate in a niche space with so much potential for growth with limited competition. As Warren Buffet likes to say, we’re a business with “a moat.”  In addition, we’ve put a lot of work into the proprietary systems that support our franchisees, and we’re especially proud of how we’ve been able to adopt and integrate new technologies in our custom point of sale, online ordering, and mobile applications.

Why is D.P. Dough more attractive to entrepreneurs than other businesses in your industry?

We have recently rebooted a brand that previously never had anyone at the helm. We have started to rack up some wins. Our owners are energized. We have momentum. We also own our own point of sale company that is custom made for D.P. Dough. Not to mention the 18 days of on-site support that we provide to get our owners off on the right foot. On top of all of that, we have a very competitive royalty rate that puts more money in our franchisees’ pockets.  

Can you describe your ideal candidate.  And do you think your initial requirements are any different than others in your industry?

Someone who is hard working and willing to learn and follow a system.  Someone who takes responsibility for themselves and enjoys being a leader and a coach.  Someone who likes people and has a positive outlook. Obviously, they must be in the proper financial position to open and operate a business.

Our requirements are very similar to other franchisors. Since we are college focused and will not likely grow to exceed more than 300 units, we may be pickier than other franchisors when it comes to selecting our franchisee partners. We want someone who shares our values and we enjoy interacting with. 

What’s the strongest skill you require in a candidate? 

The ability to admit that they don’t know everything. (Guess what, neither do we!) Most franchisees have very strong skills in some areas and will need help in other areas. There is no particular substantive skill. The best skill a person can have is to be a life long learner.  We’re in the business of working with our franchisees to develop the best practices for our brand.  They’re in the business of helping us develop those best practices and then implanting and executing them as well as possible. 

Describe the working environment of your franchisees

They’ll work in a busy restaurant environment, with periods of intense activity, especially late at night. One unique element is the excitement and youthful energy our franchisees interact with by being a part of the college marketplace. 

Why has D.P. Dough been successful?

Because we are focused on our unique calzone concept and have had discipline to not add pizza or open up in a suburban non-college area. Our brand got a cult following by staying true to its roots: college, calzones, late night, and delivery! In addition to the concept, the recent year-over-year same store success of owners has come from implementation of best practices across the brand since we purchased it in 2011.

What advice would you give someone interested in buying a franchise in your industry? 

Conduct due diligence and make sure the franchise system they are looking at fits them from a financial and cultural standpoint. Make sure there are no operational system requirements that are deal-breakers for you that the franchisor requires. 

Develop a thorough PRO FORMA! Look to see what your numbers will actually be. Remember that if you are taking out a loan, you have to pay income taxes on the value of the loan, so that is even more money to account for in your pro forma. Be serious about the planning process and get an understanding of what day to day life is like in the restaurant. 

How much experience in this industry should a franchisee candidate have should they consider buying a franchise in your industry?

No prior restaurant experience is necessary with D.P. Dough. That is what the training program is for. However, we do like to see some sort of life experience. Like we said, we’re limiting our concept to certain specific markets, so we’ll only have a limited number of franchisee partners.  We like to be careful in who we partner with. Our preference is for people who love life and want to make moves! 

Need Assistance? 877-215-7821

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