Cheesin' in the Windy City: Toppers Pizza Secures Multi-Unit Deal in Chicago
UW-Whitewater Grad Joins Eclectic Pizza Brand, Set To Open Three Locations by 2016
January 08, 2014 // Franchising.com // WHITEWATER, Wis. – The eclectic pizza delivery franchise brand Toppers Pizza (Toppers) is growing quickly with no signs of slowing down. With an ability to attract investors and fans alike, the vibrant brand has developed a cult-like following and continues to grow nationally with a rising number of multi-unit deals. In line with the pizza concept’s focus on saturating the Midwest market, Toppers has welcomed entrepreneur Benjamin Tresidder, a multi-unit franchisee, to spearhead the brand’s growth in the Chicagoland area.
"As we grow our presence across the United States, we’re thrilled to have Benjamin join our system as a multi-unit franchisee and bring Toppers’ unmatched experience to Chicago," said Chris Cheek, Chief Development Officer of Toppers. "Our confidence in the strength of Toppers has made 2013 a phenomenal year. Chicago is a prime development focus for us, and we are looking forward to significantly expanding our brand in the area."
Tresidder, a self-proclaimed "Wisconsinite", is no stranger to Toppers pizza. The 26-year-old restaurateur attended the University of Wisconsin in Whitewater, Wisc., home of Toppers corporate headquarters. Tresidder became familiar with the product as a freshman living in the university dorms, and has never ordered from a competitor since. He will tap into his passion and familiarity with the brand to help spread the Toppers name in Chicago.
"I fondly remember ordering pizza to my dorm room in college and being drawn to the Toppers charm," said Tresidder, recalling late-nights of studying as a freshman. "As a longtime Toppers fan, I’m excited to be part of the brand not only from a professional standpoint, but from a personal one. From the customer service to the quality product, I’m now proud to call myself a member of the fun Toppers family."
Focusing on the South Side of Chicago, most notably the University of Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, Tresidder plans on opening his first store in 2014, rounding out his three-unit construction agreement in 2016. Building on his potential success, Tresidder hopes to continue expanding the Toppers name beyond his inaugural three-unit agreement.
Focusing on Wisconsin markets for the first 20 years of inception, Toppers then moved on to open new locations in surrounding states, including Minnesota and Nebraska. By the end of 2015, these three states are expected to anchor 70 stores. Currently, the brand boasts locations throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, Nebraska, Arkansas, Indiana and Texas.
"Our success comes from our unique image and our ability to separate ourselves from other cookie-cutter pizza chains," said Scott Iversen, Vice President of Marketing. "Toppers delivers an exclusive experience to customers that has been embraced across state lines. Our recent successes with multi-unit signings are the driving force behind our expansion and we are looking forward to future achievements."
As a growth-focused franchise, Toppers forecasts an impressive Q4 of 2013 with plans to build a larger presence throughout the Midwest by the end of the year. The brand aims to reach 500 locations by 2020, primarily through the focused support of multi-unit operators like Tresidder.
A brand dedicated to customer service and unique offerings shows its success in its numbers. In Q1 of 2013, Toppers released an edit to its already robust earnings claim, with company-owned units averaging $889,086 in gross sales/year with an impressive $143,519 net income. This disclosure has helped the brand add 17 new store commitments since June.
"Chicago is a great growth market for our brand and we hope to continue spreading the fun Toppers personality in the Windy City," said Cheek. "The Toppers brand has made great strides in expanding to new and developed markets and we’re thrilled to continue our growth in such a welcoming area and introduce locals to the novelty of Toppers."
About Toppers Pizza
In 1991, Toppers Pizza began its quest to become the best pizza company in the world by killing it on every detail of the customer experience. Headquartered in Whitewater, Wis., Toppers takes a unique approach to the crowded pizza segment by cooking up mouthwatering specialty pizzas that start with their fresh, made-from-scratch dough, smothered in real Wisconsin cheese and finished with outrageous toppings such as French fried onions, oven-roasted tomatoes, mac ‘n cheese and tater tots. Toppers’ claim to fame comes in the form of Topperstix™, arguably the planet’s most addictively delicious cheesy breadstix. The Toppers empire encompasses 50 restaurants across 10 states and, with its rapid expansion, is in the midst of Midwest and national domination. In 2013, Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Toppers as one of the top 500 franchises in the U.S., Nation’s Restaurant News declared the brand as one of the 50 breakout chains of the year, and Toppers received a No. 58 spot in Pizza Today’s top 100 pizza companies. For more information on Toppers, visit www.toppers.com, www.facebook.com/ToppersRocks or www.twitter.com/ToppersPizza.
*The financial performance set forth above are for the one year (52 weeks) commencing on January 2, 2012 and ending on December 30, 2012 and are for the 9 affiliated owned restaurants open the entire 52 weeks. Of the 9 restaurants 3 exceeded the average Gross Sales and 5 exceeded the Net Income as defined in our Franchise Disclosure Document. Please refer to our 2013 Franchise Disclosure Document for additional information.
SOURCE Toppers Pizza
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