Toppers Pizza, a leading “better pizza” franchise, is fueled by one bold mission: never settle. This motto, printed on every Toppers Pizza box, is represented in all aspects of the brand’s business, from offering new products and flavors to its strong digital presence and loyal social media following. It has also led to a strong start for the brand’s development in the first half of 2016. In the second quarter alone, Toppers Pizza’s saw sales increase 5.2 percent as it added to its rapidly growing franchise system by opening the brand’s second Sioux Falls, South Dakota location and one unit in Kansas City, Missouri.
The brand also signed three additional multi-unit development franchise deals that will ultimately open up 41 new locations for business. Six of those units will be in North Carolina, 13 will be in Colorado and Wyoming and 22 will be located in Virginia and Maryland.
“We’re incredibly excited about the opportunity to continue to expand the Toppers brand nationwide. Our model and focus on multi-unit development continues to give us the chance to steal business away from the big guys in the industry,” said Scott Gittrich, founder and president of Toppers Pizza. “We’re 100 percent confident that our commitment to convenience and quality, along with our delicious, made-from-scratch products, will instantly become fan favorites in new communities across the country.”
Toppers’ expansion deal in Colorado and Wyoming is being led by Todd Geatches and Clayton Hartman, co-owners of the Rocky Top Management group. They both bring a wealth of franchise knowledge to the table—Geatches helped Papa John’s grow from 400 locations to more than 2500 in his role as district manager, and Hartman has three decades of experience addressing the complex needs of high-net worth foundations and business owners.
The brand’s expansion efforts in Virginia and Maryland are being spearheaded by Mike McLaughlin, who also spent years working for franchise concepts like Papa John’s and Five Guys Burgers & Fries. He decided to invest with Toppers in order to be a part of the next big name in the growing pizza industry.
The brand also constantly works to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology, recently hiring its first ever vice president of information technology, Tony Ellis. As a key member of the brand’s leadership team, he will take the brand’s overall technology strategy, innovation and execution to the next level. His first priority is creating a cloud-first and mobile-first approach to technology. He’ll also be the driving force behind Toppers’ efforts to launch a next generation e-commerce platform.
“Seamless technology is essential for any organization, and it’s something that Toppers Pizza has always excelled at. That’s why I’m thrilled to build on the brand’s strong momentum by making sure its digital presence is helping Toppers grow at a rapid rate,” said Ellis. “Offering superior technology to both our customers and local franchise owners is just another way that the brand outshines the competition in the pizza industry.”
Toppers Pizza’s strong second quarter builds off the momentum it created from one of its most successful years to date. In 2015, 73 percent of Toppers’ stores broke sales records. That impressive growth led to the brand being named one of the top-five fastest-growing brands in the entire limited service pizza restaurant category of the 2016 Technomic Top 500 Restaurant Chain Report.