Mountain Mike’s Pizza announced that 2020 was the best sales year yet for the fast-growing franchise; beating out 2019 which held the previous record. The brand ended its fiscal year 2020 with total system sales up 13.3 percent, and same store sales up 7.3 percent over 2019. This strong sales growth was achieved despite its dining rooms being closed for most of the year, a testament to the resilience of its franchisees, loyalty of its fans and the underlying strength of its carry out and delivery business.
“We are so proud of our franchisees who responded to every challenge during this most difficult of years,” says Chris Britt, co-CEO/owner of Mountain Mike’s Pizza. “Remarkably, this year we had a handful of franchised restaurants break the $2 million annual sales barrier for the first time in the brand’s history, with the average sales of our top 50 percent of restaurants achieving close to $1.2 million in annual sales. It really has been breathtaking to see the growth in restaurant count and sales that many of our franchisees have experienced over the past few years.”
Amidst the pandemic, Mountain Mike’s Pizza opened 15 new restaurants, and signed agreements to expand into new western states including a 60-plus unit development deal in Arizona and Utah. Ed St. Geme, co-CEO/owner of Mountain Mike’s Pizza, adds, “despite the many challenges in 2020, from lockdowns and fires and all the related impacts, we were unwavering in our dedication to serving our communities, supporting our franchisees, and providing our guests with the exceptional pizza experience they've come to know and love in the safest way possible.”
A variety of factors contributed to the brand’s success in 2020 including growing digital orders by more than 120% during the year, reaching nearly 40 percent of total orders by year end, continued advancement of a more flexible, data driven and digital focused marketing strategy, and rapid implementation of contactless delivery, tamper free packaging and other safety protocols at the outset of the pandemic. Additionally, franchise support capabilities were expanded in the areas of operations, development and marketing at the brand’s new Franchise Support Center in Newport Beach, Calif., with support including royalty and marketing fee relief for five weeks in March and early April. Equally, if not most important, was the brand’s franchise owners doubling down on expanded community outreach during 2020 with Mountain Mike’s franchisees stepping up for their communities by donating thousands of meals to health care workers and first responders in their area, including hospital, fire, police and teachers.
“It’s no secret that 2020 was a big year for pizza, but it became our goal early on to set a standard in the segment and lead by example, which meant allowing our values as a brand to guide us in every decision we made,” says Jim Metevier, Mountain Mike’s president and COO. “As a family-focused brand committed to the communities we serve, we went to work finding ways to bring added value and convenience to our guests while doing everything in our power to make them feel safe when choosing Mountain Mike’s Pizza. Equally committed to our franchise partners, we amped up communication to ensure they were informed and had the tools to pivot and continue running their business with confidence.”
The brand’s ongoing partnerships with national sports teams, including its role as the Official Pizza of the San Francisco 49ers, allowed for some exciting activations during the year, culminating with a run at Super Bowl LIV in February. Value-added promotions throughout the year including the “Share the Love” campaign featuring heart-shaped pizzas, which led to Valentine’s Day competing with Halloween, New Year’s Eve and Super Bowl Sunday for the top sales day of the year. Additionally, Mountain Mike’s ramped up third party delivery integration with new guest incentives and launched a Brand Reputation/Guest Relations Department, which responded to 99% of all guest feedback submitted via email and telephone, leading to stronger guest engagement in all markets. Ownership and the franchise leadership team were also busy developing new store design prototypes which continue into 2021. Some of these new design elements were introduced in two new Orange County, Calif. restaurants over the summer, while others will follow throughout 2021 in multiple markets.
“There are many exciting developments for Mountain Mike’s in 2021; the planned launch of our new mobile app and guest loyalty program, active development into additional western states including Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and Utah with the help of new franchise partners, our existing franchisees continuing to open more restaurants, and the development and launch of new technologies to provide added support for our franchise partners while enhancing the guest experience,” continue Britt and St. Geme. “With all that our leadership team and brand have to offer, there has never been a better time to join the Mountain Mike’s Pizza family!”
With approximately 25 new Mountain Mike’s Pizza restaurants planned for 2021, the over 230-unit franchised pizza brand is primed to continue expansion throughout the western U.S. by extending opportunities to new franchise partners looking to diversify their franchise portfolios with a popular family pizza concept.