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Johnny's Pizza: Better Than Your Average Chain

By Elisha Neubauer

Getting its start as a single restaurant in Syracuse, New York in 1965, Johnny's Pizza has developed into a bustling franchise spanning across the southeast. In fifty years, the privately owned pizza joint has transformed into seventy locations across eight states, earning its place among the larger, chain pizza eateries. But what sets Johnny's pizza apart from the average chain restaurant? Bruce Jackson and Scott Allen, both Owners, set the record straight!

"First, I would like to think of our restaurants as a group of independent operators that produce the same quality product that we began with - when we had one location. Nothing has changed in the recipe since then," explains Jackson. "We don't bounce around changing products trying to save a little money while jeopardizing the quality of the product. We buy top of the line products and have stayed with them for decades." Jackson tells us that every store makes its dough on-site every day. The fresh pizzas are baked in a stone deck oven, which gives the crust a "flavor and crispness that you can't get from conveyor ovens used by the huge chains," according to Jackson.

In addition to high quality ingredients, Johnny's Pizza has certain standards for their franchises. "We take pride in being a neighborhood pizzeria. Most of our operators live in the same community that their store is located and are active members of that community," says Jackson. Jackson says that while most menu offerings are consistent across the locations, some have dishes- such as specialty pizzas- that are unique to a particular spot.

Online reviewers rave about Johnny's pies on sites such as Yelp!. Whimsical statements such as, "Please stop eating crap chain pizza and come to the light," and "My quest for the perfect pizza has involved the sampling of quite a few slices from around the world, and each slice has lead me back to Johnny's" fill the pages of the online review sites.

While their specialty pizzas seem to have created quite a buzz, it's the classics that get the most in-store loyalty. "Our most popular pies are still the traditional, with pepperoni being the most popular, and that has been that way for all of the 47 years that I have been in the business," Jackson says. Johnny's even offers specialty pizzas without red sauce, but it's the no-nonsense pies that people come for.

With choices like sundried tomatoes, asiago cheese, fresh basil, feta cheese, bacon, and eggplant, Johnny's seems to know exactly how to make pizza into a unique, mouthwatering experience. Stop by Johnny's New York Style Pizza next time you're in the market for a little more than the average chain pizza parlor, and see for yourself what all the fuss is about.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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