Toppers Pizza

Driving the Market

The father-son team of 57-year-old Jon S. Crowe and 28-year-old Jon P. Crowe shines at their two Toppers Pizza units in Nebraska. The pair opened a store in Lincoln in February 2012 and one in Omaha this past June. By next summer, they plan to add another new location in each city. The duo’s business savvy garnered them the Franchisee of the Year award from Toppers for 2014, as well as another six-unit franchise agreement.

Holding It Together

Grab-and-go items, once a staple of nontraditional spaces like college campuses and airports, have gone mainstream.

Today, operations ranging from convenience stores to standalone quick-service restaurants are adding prepackaged items like fresh carrots with ranch dip, pre-made chicken wraps, or yogurt parfaits. And they’re doing so for a good reason: Every day, 28 million Americans eat a grab-and-go snack, according to data from consumer market research firm The NPD Group.

2014 Best Franchise Deals

The quick-service and fast-casual brands that offer the best bang for the franchisee’s buck.
Top fast food brands offer potential franchisees value in their growth.
Ohio-based barbecue concept Old Carolina Barbecue Company has an AUV of more than $1.4 million. Old Carolina Barbecue Company

When it comes to developing a quick-service concept, Wingstop CEO Charlie Morrison understands that the economic model remains a large piece of the puzzle. In creating a strong franchise deal that fosters company growth, however, Morrison and many other quick-service leaders know that many other tiles complete the mosaic, including corporate support, marketplace differentiation, and sales momentum.

Start to Finish: Scott Gittrich

I was taught by good people that you can capture magic if you’ve got a wonderful place that attracts really good people who believe in what you do. The thing that really gets me is there are about 1,300 Toppers team members out there today, and by and large, those people are highly engaged and believe that we’re building something special; they’re very passionate about what we’re doing.

For Toppers, Creativity is Key in New Pizza Development

Toppers Pizza is demonstrating its “irrational love of pizza” with three new house pizzas, which it launched November 4: Three Little Pigs, the Loaded Tot-zza, and El Cubano.

Scott Iversen, vice president of marketing for Toppers, says the brand's creativity and willingness to think outside the box will help drive the new pizzas.

Toppers Rolls Out a Menu Revamp

Toppers Pizza, a 50-unit franchise pizza delivery brand, announced a menu makeover. The adjustments to the menu, which will officially launch on November 4, will roll out more of the customizable options for which Toppers has become known, like pizzas with tater tots, pulled pork, diced dill pickles, or French fried onions, in addition to it Mac ‘N Cheese Topper and Taco Topper.

Fall Spurs Brands Into Action in Fight Against Hunger

Amy Kavanaugh meets with students during a trip to Ecuador with Yum! Brands.

Fall hunger-relief initiatives like September’s Hunger Action Month and last week’s World Food Day from the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) have spurred quick serves into action to thwart the global hunger problem.

Taco Bell raised a record $3 million through its World Hunger Relief promotion, which ran September 26 through October 17. Customers were offered an opportunity to donate $1 to the WFP, which reaches more than 97 million people in 80 countries.

See Right Through You

With the media and industry experts touting the importance of executive transparency, many brands and leaders are placing a greater emphasis on being open both with their staff and customers. But while the definition of transparency may seem as simple as being honest about actions and motivations, putting it into practice in the quick-service and fast-casual environment can be complex and challenging, especially when it comes to striking the balance between oversharing and secrecy.

Toppers Boosts System-Wide Sales by 40% in Q1

Despite the crowded pizza category, Toppers Pizza is taking its share of the more than $40 billion pie.

System-wide sales increased by more than 40 percent for both company-owned and franchised units in the first quarter of 2013, and same-store sales for company units were up 13.59 percent in the same period.

Franchise units saw a same-store sales increase of 12.58 percent in Q1, compared to the first quarter of 2012.

The Pizza Thief

Toppers Pizza isn’t shy about one of its biggest ambitions: taking market share from the national chains. That’s why the brand launched a television campaign designed to appeal to the 18–34-year-old Millennial demographic and steal the spotlight from its biggest competitors.

The “Taste Test” commercials feature customers putting a Toppers pizza through several situations—a slip-and-slide and an angry girlfriend, for example—and determining, “Yep, still delicious.”

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