August 29, 2013 // Franchising.com // TULSA - Top That! Pizza is doing what many restaurants have struggled to achieve for years – attract and grow a strong customer base made up of the hard-to-win millennial population.
According to Technomic’s recent report, Understanding the Foodservice Attitudes & Behaviors of Millennials, the millennial population covers a broad range of life stages, from college years, to early career to starting a family. They are not one homogeneous group with constant needs so it is imperative that restaurant chains stay on top of their changing needs and expectations, particularly in the areas of health and wellness, ability to customize their order and atmosphere.
Top That! Pizza was developed from the ground up with this in mind.
“We have created a unique combination of food offerings, in-store experiences and out-of-store communication techniques that are effectively reaching the 18-30-year olds,” says Lori Walderich, Chief Marketing Officer. “This population is independent and once you’ve dialed into their desires, it’s likely they will be fiercely loyal to your brand.”
In addition to being a pioneer of the “Chipotle-like” custom pizza ordering line, Top That! Pizza features a Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain at every location that allows young guests to satisfy their desire for customization of both food and beverage.
“When people come in who have never been in before, there’s a ‘wow factor’ and they get to pick what they want. We see lots of young adults who are just starting families,” said Teresa Starling, Top That! Pizza franchisee. “We have people tell us all the time that we have ‘fixed their marriages’ because they don’t have to fight over pizza toppings anymore or settle for a pizza that their kids want. They get what they like and they love it!”
Seating is modular, allowing groups of young people to push tables together however they choose. And on-table marketing pieces encourage them to connect on Social Media and join the email club with their smart phones, using their choice of text, mobile website link or QR code – giving the franchise system the ability to market to them on a daily basis.
“Delivering a delicious and memorable experience within the four walls is one thing,” says Walderich. “but the way our brand behaves outside of the store is just as important. Technology plays a major part in completing the brand experience.”
In order to appeal to the growing smartphone and tablet-toting population, the young brand recently completed a mobile website.
The new site features Top That! Pizza’s interactive pizza-builder nutritional calculator that creates a complete nutritional label as viewers build their custom pizzas, making it easy for them to plan out a healthy pizza before they order it. The nutritional information contained in the calculator was compiled and provided by MenuTrinfo, an industry leader in nutritional services and training.
“Top That Pizza has made great efforts to appeal and answer the call of build your own pizza so many are looking for today" said Betsy Craig, CEO of MenuTrinfo."This state of the art calculator allows savvy diners to make the right nutritional choices for themselves."
Other site features include the menu, Google maps of each location that can sync with a smartphone GPS, click-to-call buttons that connect viewers instantly to any location, a link to online ordering and detailed franchising information.
“We’ve gotten some great feedback already from millennial viewers. They love it – especially the nutritional calculator,” Walderich said.
When it comes to marketing, Top That! Pizza actively engages its millennial audience on a daily basis via an organized, integrated social media communication system that encourages trial and loyalty. The strategy is made up predominantly of mediums like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram that encourage two-way communication between the brand and its followers.
“‘Where Pizza Gets Personal’ is our slogan”, Walderich continued. “and we’ve found that the more authentically personal our marketing is to the audience, the better the result we get. It all works together beautifully.”
A strong emphasis on cause marketing has also helped attract millennials – who tend to be sensitive to social responsibility. Since its founding in 2010, Top That! Pizza has donated over $50,000 to various non-profits through its unique “Pizzas for a Purpose” fundraising program.
“Our guests really love the fact that we are so involved in giving back to the community,” said Starling added, “They are amazed we give them the opportunity to promote their cause and tell us we go above and beyond. It’s allowed us to have a deeper relationship with our guests – and that creates true loyalty.”
Top That! Pizza was founded in Tulsa, Oklahoma by Jeff and Lori Walderich in 2010 and is nationally recognized as the world’s first restaurant that specializes in quick, personal-sized pizzas with unlimited toppings for a single affordable price – thus creating and defining a new category in the pizza industry. The concept lets guests watch and oversee the creation of their pizza in much the same way as they might in a sub sandwich shop, choosing from a white, multigrain or honey wheat crust and a wide selection of sauces, vegetables, meats and cheeses. They are then presented with their freshly-baked pizzas in less than three minutes after they are ordered. All locations feature the innovative Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain with its thousands of beverage combinations, as well as localized topping choices and desserts.
Top That! Pizza has units in Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado and Abu Dhabi, UAE. Multi-unit and Area Developer franchise opportunities are available to qualified applicants.
For more information on Top That! Pizza, visit www.topthatpizza.com.
SOURCE Top That! Pizza