February 19, 2014 // Franchising.com // WHITEWATER, Wis. - Hot off the heels of a strong 2013, Toppers Pizza (Toppers) is spurring growth in 2014 with expansive development plans for Illinois. Creating excitement within the crowded pizza segment by providing unique menu items and exceptional customer service, Toppers is looking to open seven locations in Chicagoland over the next 12 months. Joining the two existing locations in Chicago, the first new location to open this year will be in Mt. Prospect in March. The 53-unit chain is on target to open at least three franchisee-owned locations and four corporate units.
"Chicago is known for its superior pizza, and we're pleased to see such high demand for our product in our existing stores in the area," said Damon Parr, Senior Area Supervisor of Toppers. "The Chicagoland area is a prime development market for us, so we're looking forward to advancing our reach in this great city; we want all Chicagoeans to have the opportunity to taste (and love) our mouth-watering products."
Assisting in the upward development of Toppers are franchisees Benjamin Tressider and Jackie Apkarian. Tressider is leading the brand's growth in south Chicago with a three-unit deal while Apkarian will focus her three-unit expansion effort in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. Additionally, Toppers corporate expects to add more locations to join the two existing franchised units that have already sparked a great following amongst customers.
Currently, the brand boasts locations throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, Nebraska, Arkansas, Indiana and Texas and aims to reach 500 locations by 2020, primarily through the focused support of multi-unit operators and corporate openings.
Toppers has never shied away from innovation, as exemplified by its newest house pizzas – the Three Little Pigs, Loaded Tot-zza and El Cubano – as well as dozens of other unique and original menu items like its Topperstix™ and the Mac 'N Cheese Topper.
"Our craveable Topperstix, unique house pizzas and fanatical guests help us to stand out from the ordinary as we expand in new markets," said Chief Development Officer Chris Cheek. "We believe it is critical and validating to expand Toppers corporate stores alongside our growing franchisee community"
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