CEO of Donatos Pizza Tom Krouse on Falling in Love with Pizza & Job

CEO of Donatos Pizza Tom Krouse

“Here’s my Donatos story. First, I fell in love with the pizza. Then I fell in love with the job offer and then the mission of the company. I’m all in.” reads his About section on LinkedIn. CEO of Donatos Pizza, Tom Krouse, with his rare humor as an astute business professional in the franchise sector, is truly passionate about bringing in success wherever he lays his hands.

A man with Midas Touch, Tom joined Donatos Pizza, a family-owned pizza company, in June 2000. Noticeably, his journey across his career has been phenomenal as he climbed the ladder of success hitting new milestones regularly. He began his career at The Wendy’s Company serving leadership roles for various field and brand marketing positions, and he was designated as Vice President of Marketing. Following this, he joined Donatos Pizza as Senior Vice President of Marketing.

Donatos started its journey back in 1963 when Jim Grote, then 13, bought a shop for 1300$ where he also raised his family in a house behind the pizza shop. This mix of work, friends and family laid the foundation of Donatos’ distinctive culture. Jim got the idea of starting a pizza business after he took up the job at Columbus pizza shop. The name “Donatos” was derived from the Latin for “To give a good thing.”

Tom Krause has a long list of achievements appended to him, which includes the “Community Engagement Award” issued by Conway Center for Family Business in January 2020, “CEO of the Year” in the large business category, which was issued by Columbus CEO Magazine in January 2019, “Executive of the Year” issued by Columbus Business First in January 2014. He has many more awards to his name.

Tom Krause has also volunteered as a board member for SouthSide Early Learning, Harmony Project Columbus and Junior Achievement of Central Ohio. He is currently a Board Member of Columbus Association for the Performing Arts, a.k.a CAPA. He is also a Co-founder and Board Member of the Columbus Music Commission, where he also served as a chairman in the past.

Tom Krause is married to Jane Grote Abell, daughter of Jim Grote, who founded Donatos Pizza in 1963. He was a playground leader at an elementary school, a music writer and performer, and a little league football coach. He always believes in being driven by the idea of “doing the right thing.”

CEO of Donatos Pizza Tom Krouse enjoys music as a hobby, and he is also actively a part of is a member of Grassinine, a mountain rock band. He is the lead singer and also guitarist for Grassinine. Grassinine was formed while he was on an outing with a friend, Jamie Davis, as a fun idea that took the shape of a band. He studied Bachelor of Science – BS with Business Administration in 1982, wherein he participated in other activities and societies as an Officer at OSU Advertising Federation.

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