Franchise Spotlight: David Crowdus

Note: This is fourth in the Godfather’s Franchise/Employee Spotlight series. Read previous spotlights: Kristina Denfeld, Dave Gartlan, and Wendy Allen.

“I used to go to Pizza Hut and then…I experienced Godfather’s.”

David Crowdus recalls the first time he stepped into a Godfather’s Pizza restaurant.

“It [the restaurant] was reminiscent of a dark, vivid coffee house with booths for privacy. I thought it was so cool at the time.” He adds, “Of course the pizza was pretty incredible.” David also has fond memories of chowing down with church friends every Wednesday for eight years, without fail.

With a marketing degree under his belt, David worked in advertising before joining AIFAM Enterprises (that’s MAFIA spelled backwards, in case you missed it) to run in-house marketing and advertising for 100 stores – the largest franchisee of Godfather’s Pizza at that time.

Soon he was itching for his own store.

“I saw other people working for the company and other franchisees buying stores,” and that’s when he first approached Ron Gartlan, the current CEO to look at three states before finding a home in Kansas City.

Owning and operating his first store was a challenge, but he wasn’t alone in learning the ins and outs of being a restaurant owner – thanks to help from Godfather’s Pizza and fellow franchisors. When David was considering adding a broasted chicken buffet with side “fixins” at his latest location – one of the first franchisees to offer the expanded menu – he received advice and tips to ensure smooth sailing.

“They [Godfather’s Pizza] answered all the questions I had and sent people to help,” he said. “They were a big help.”

In October 2013, David and his wife, Kathy, retired to Branson. But retirement didn’t last long.

“It was boring,” he says.

Together they hunted for the perfect property for their third store. It took 3 years of searching and waiting for the right spot among the city’s 10,000 residents, 240 restaurants, 200 hotels, and 8 million tourists annually – but they found it.

Now 35 years after his first bite of pie, David is a proud owner of 3 traditional restaurants, serving families living in Kansas City and vacationing in Branson, Missouri.

The new location, which opened in late February, boasts 144 seats in 2 dining rooms, 2 pizza buffets, a salad bar, a chicken and fixins buffet, a dessert bar and a drive-through lane for picking up orders. They also made sure to have plenty of parking spots (66 to be exact, with 2 tour bus parking lanes).

“We get people from all over the country that reminisce about Godfather’s when they were growing up. That’s what they want to talk about.

“Everybody says, ‘We used to have a Godfather’s in our town and we’re so glad to see you here.’ Or, ‘We haven’t had Godfather’s in 20 years.’ Or ‘we used to go when my kids were 2 or 3 years old’ or ‘when we were in high school.’ We hear it all the time.

“They’re stopping in because they know Godfather’s Pizza.”

David expects to stay very busy this summer, and all year – not an easy feat in the restaurant industry – while only operating 6 days a week and 11 months out of the year (all his stores are closed on Sundays and during January “since most everything closes in Branson that month anyway”).

But David’s ambitions don’t stop there.

“I expect to set company records.”

Planning a trip to Branson? Stop by for one of David’s favorites – the thin pepperoni pizza or traditional pizzas like the Classic Combo, All-Meat Combo, Taco Pie and the Super Combo. If the family can’t decide on pizza toppings, pick up some chicken and fixins instead!

Just don’t ask David to choose one favorite pie.

“I eat everything, are you kidding?” He laughs, “The biggest complaint I get from customers is ‘How can you work here so long and stay so skinny?!’”

What a great “problem” to have.

Think you’d be a good fit for Godfather’s franchising, like David? Start exploring our franchise.

Franchisees of our national pizza chain are backed by state-of-the-art research and development, technology, first-class marketing, training and support. We're looking for franchise owners across the continental United States who share our passion for pizza and serving the community. At Godfather's Pizza, we put great taste first and abundantly top our pies with the best toppings available.

Learn how you can be a part of a pizza franchise concept that has been respected by passionate pizza people for more than 40 years by contacting our Franchise Development team at 800-456-8347 or For information about franchise model optionsfranchisee testimonials and more, please visit our Franchise Process page.