January 16, 2014 // Franchising.com // WHITEWATER, Wis. – Toppers Pizza (Toppers), an eclectic pizza delivery franchise brand that is rapidly turning first-time customers into pizza enthusiasts, continues to show substantial growth across the United States. For the first time in the brand’s history, Toppers has opened three franchise locations in less than one week. On Dec. 31, 2013, Toppers opened in Winona, Minn., and four days later on Jan. 4, 2014 the brand opened its first locations in Indianapolis, Ind. and Chapel Hill, NC.
By offering patrons an elevated experience through upgraded customer service and an original take on the boring pizza segment, the Toppers family of franchisees continues to grow energetically while the brand plans for over 20 new openings system wide in 2014.
"Seeing several new franchise locations open in such a short amount of time is incredibly exciting and sets the stage for a highly successful 2014," said Toppers Chief Development Officer Chris Cheek. "New store growth is one of the most important components to our success, and we’re thrilled to begin the year with such strong momentum for national growth and development."
Long time Toppers fanatics and multi-unit franchisees Phil and Denise Downing opened the brand’s newest location in Winona, Minn. and their fourth Toppers location in the system. The duo currently has stores in La Crosse, Wis., Onalaska, Wis. and Mankato, Minn. Meanwhile, franchise veteran Wayne Byers opened his first Toppers location in Chapel Hill, NC. Previously, Byers was a Domino’s Pizza manager and partner of a 55-store Domino’s Pizza franchise. Lastly, business-savvy franchisees Craig and Anne Hartwick joined the Toppers brand and opened their first location in Indianapolis.
Along with its ability to tap into the most influential demographic, the millennial generation, Toppers has made a name for itself as a pioneer of unique menu items. Toppers was the first delivery brand to capture the cheesy-bread marketplace with its famous TopperstixTM, made from handmade dough topped with garlic butter and cheese. The brand has never shied away from innovation, with creations like the El Cubano, Loaded Tot-zza, Mac ‘N Cheese, Smoky BBQ Chicken House Pizzas and dozens of other forward-thinking menu items.
Currently, the brand boasts 53 locations throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, Nebraska, Arkansas, Indiana and Texas.
"Our success is a direct result of the belief that our brand resonates with growth-minded and experienced restaurateurs who lead development," said Vice President of Marketing Scott Iversen. "The fun and unrivaled experience that we’ve cultivated across the system has not only enabled us to accumulate an earnest following, but has also allowed us to continue opening locations in prime growth markets."
As a growth-focused franchise, Toppers forecasts an impressive Q1 of 2014 with plans to build a larger presence across the Midwest throughout the year. The brand aims to reach 500 locations by 2020, primarily through the focused support of multi-unit operators.
"With 2014 offering new opportunities to exhibit success, this is a very exciting time for Toppers," Cheek said. "As we continue to bring on accomplished entrepreneurs like our franchisees in Winona, Indianapolis and Chapel Hill, we’re well prepared to continue with this solid growth trajectory nationwide."
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 53 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.
SOURCE Toppers Pizza