Schoolteacher Ken Selby opened Mazzio’s in 1961 and frequently operated the restaurant by himself after work and on weekends. In 1965, Selby didn’t have time for both jobs, so he stopped teaching and operated the restaurant full-time.
By 1975, Selby had two restaurant locations and he began franchising the following year. Selby conceived a new business approach in the late 1970s. His idea called for more square footage of casual dining space, an expanded menu, thicker pizza served with much more meats and cheeses, sub sandwiches along with a salad bar.
That concept has proven to be highly successful. The company now has 165 locations in 10 states.
During the coronavirus crisis of 2020, many Mazzio’s were forced to close and conduct only delivery service or take out orders but many locations are now looking forward to reopening.
Mazzio’s Italian Eatery maintains a corporate office in Tulsa, Oklahoma.