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2021 Franchise 500 Rank
N/R Not ranked last year
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Initial investment
$189K - $1.1M
Units as of 2018
48 -11.1% over 3 years

Company Overview

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.

About Happy Joe's

Industry
Food
Founded
1972
Leadership
James Smith, CEO

Franchising Overview

Franchising Since
1973 (48 years)
# of employees at HQ
19
Where seeking

This company is seeking new franchisees in the following US states: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming

# of Units
48 (as of 2018)

Franchisor Information

Corporate Address
2705 Happy Joe Dr., #I
Bettendorf, IA 52722

Information for Franchisees

Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Happy Joe's franchise.

Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees

Here’s what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.

Initial Franchise Fee
$25,000 - $30,000
Initial Investment
$189,000 - $1,096,625
Net Worth Requirement
$300,000 - $500,000
Cash Requirement
$100,000 - $300,000
Royalty Fee
4.5-5%
Ad Royalty Fee
1.5%
Term of Agreement
15 years
Is franchise term renewable?
Yes

Training & Support Offered

Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.

On-The-Job Training
300 hours
Classroom Training
40 hours
Ongoing Support
Purchasing Co-ops
Newsletter
Meetings & Conventions
Grand Opening
Online Support
Security & Safety Procedures
Lease Negotiation
Field Operations
Site Selection
Proprietary Software
Marketing Support
Co-op Advertising
Ad Templates
Regional Advertising
Marketing Planning & Support
Social Media
Website Development
Email Marketing
Loyalty Program/App

Operations

Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed?
Yes
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
No
Can this franchise be run part time?
No
# of employees required to run
45
Are exclusive territories available?
Yes

Franchise 500 Ranking History

Compare where Happy Joe's landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.

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Disclaimer
The information on this page is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation of any particular franchise by Entrepreneur Media. Our franchise listings and rankings are solely research tools you can use to compare franchise operations. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing in a franchise. That should include reviewing the franchisor's legal documents, consulting with an attorney and an accountant, and talking to former and current franchisees.
Updated: February 8th, 2021