Happy Joe's

At a Glance

Products & Services: Pizza, pasta, sandwiches, salads, frozen yogurt

Number of Locations: 54

Total Investment: $310.3K - $1M

Founded: 1972

Began Franchising: 1973

About Happy Joe's

Lawrence Joseph Whitty had worked in the bakery business for years before becoming an assistant manager at a Shakey's pizzeria. He decided to combine his baking skills with the experience he had gained from working at a pizza restaurant, where he would often hear families decide to go out for ice cream for dessert. Combining pizza and ice cream, Whitty opened the first Happy Joe's Pizza & Ice Cream Parlor in East Davenport, Iowa, in 1972. His signature item was the Happy Joe's Special, a pizza with Canadian bacon and sauerkraut that Whitty created from leftovers in his mother's kitchen. After a franchisee suggested adding tacos to the menu, Whitty created the restaurant's best-selling product, the Taco Pizza.

Franchise Units

Year U.S. Canadian International Company Owned
2015 44 0 0 10
2014 43 0 0 10
2013 42 0 0 9
2012 44 0 0 10
Where Seeking Franchisees: Franchisor is seeking new franchise units in the following states:
Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Midwest, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Southwest, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming.
Franchisor is seeking new units in Canada, Middle East, Mexico, Western Europe.

Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing

Total Investment: $310,250 - $1,045,625
Franchise Fee: $25,000 - $30,000
Ongoing Royalty Fee: 4.5%
Term of Franchise Agreement: 15 years, renewable
Financial Requirements
Net Worth: $500,000
Liquid Cash Available: $300,000
33% of all franchisees own more than one unit. Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 45. Absentee ownership of franchise is allowed. (100% of current franchisees are owner/operators).

How This Franchise Supports Franchisees

Training: Available at headquarters: 6 weeks.
Ongoing Support: Newsletter, Meetings, Toll-free phone line, Grand opening, Internet, Security/safety procedures, Field operations/evaluations, Purchasing cooperatives, Lease Negotiation
Marketing Support: Co-op advertising, Ad slicks, National media, Regional advertising,
Other marketing support: Market research firm

Franchise Ranking History

Franchise 500®: #452 (2011),