Mountain Mike’s Pizza, LLC, a leading family-style pizza chain for more than 40 years, known for its legendary crispy, curly pepperoni, Mountain-sized pizzas, toppings to the edge, and dough made fresh daily, announced that 2022 was another landmark year for the brand. Bolstered by considerable growth in 2020 and 2021, Mountain Mike’s successfully added in 2022 to its impressive 24-month track record by continuing to increase sales, debuting in new territories, including three new states, fueling brand awareness, and executing a strategic growth plan that lays the foundation for the introduction of dozens more restaurants in the coming year.
“2022 was the most substantial and significant growth year Mountain Mike’s has experienced since we acquired the brand five years ago, which is an achievement we are incredibly proud of, particularly because thoughtful and strategic growth has always been central to our development plan,” says Chris Britt, co-CEO and co-owner of Mountain Mike’s Pizza.
Throughout 2022, Mountain Mike’s Pizza signed more than 25 new franchise agreements, which includes five multi-unit deals, resulting in 38 additional units. The new deals included expansion into numerous new markets, including the brand’s first restaurant in Texas, which is projected to become Mountain Mike’s largest market behind California. New states planned also include Colorado, a natural next step as the acclaimed pizza chain continues to grow strategically throughout the West. More than half the deals inked in 2022 were with existing franchisees, a testament to the best-in-class support Mountain Mike’s provides to its network of franchisees, whose ongoing commitment to the brand continues to fuel organic growth.
Notably, 2022 also marked a major growth milestone for Mountain Mike’s, with the brand opening (then surpassing) its 250th restaurant. This was accomplished through the addition of 20 new locations in 2022. Mountain Mike’s ended the year with an impressive 265 restaurants open across seven Western states. In addition to Texas, the 20 openings in 2022 included restaurant debuts in Idaho and Arizona – two new states for the brand that currently have additional locations in development.
“Last year rewarded our patience, showcased mindful planning in action, and introduced Mountain Mike’s to three fantastic new states – market entries that, coupled with eclipsing our 250-store milestone, cemented 2022 as one of Mountain Mike’s most successful years to date. We are immensely excited to continue the climb in 2023,” adds Ed St. Geme co-CEO and co-owner of Mountain Mike’s Pizza.
Impressive 2022 restaurant growth spurred equally impressive sales results for Mountain Mike’s. Systemwide average unit volume (AUV) reached $1.1 million, a figure that represents a nearly 40% increase over the past four years. Moreover, the brand’s top 10% reached an AUV of $1.8 million, while the top 25% of locations reached $1.6 million. Mountain Mike’s also saw same store sales (SSS) increase more than 25% over the past three years. Total system sales (TSS) jumped by almost 10% compared to 2021.
Among the many 2022 accomplishments for Mountain Mike’s, according to Franchise Registry by FRANData, Mountain Mike’s Pizza ended the year with a FUND score of 915, which was in the top 1% of all evaluated franchised brands and is among the top four of all quick-service franchised brands. The FUND Score is a groundbreaking new risk evaluation system that develops a single cumulative score that offers lenders the ability to measure risk across franchise brands using a common scoring model. The FUND score is the best predictor of the future performance of a franchise system that publicly available information can provide.
Digital sales also played prominently and positively in 2022. Mountain Mike’s ended the year with digital sales accounting for 41.5% of the brand’s total system sales. The brand also saw a 132% increase in loyalty app members and experienced a 136% YOY jump in loyalty visits, underscoring its many successful digital marketing initiatives, which largely focused on driving Mountain Rewards app usership. Marketing efforts fueling guest engagement in 2022 included several consumer-facing contests, such as the Pineapple Chicken Luau Sweepstakes in June, where one lucky Mountain Rewards member won a free trip to Hawaii, and the Kick It To Win $49,000 Sweepstakes. In this football-themed promotion, which leveraged the brand’s proud role as the Official Pizza of the San Francisco 49ers, three contestants were selected to attempt a 40-yard field goal at halftime of the San Francisco 49ers game on Dec. 11, for the chance to win $49,000. Mountain Mike’s also successfully debuted the brand’s latest LTO, Mountain Fries, to much acclaim, and brought back the beloved Heart Shaped Pizza throughout February – and again on Father’s Day.
Beyond Mountain Mike’s partnership with the San Francisco 49ers, which reached its fourth year in 2022, a new and high-profile professional sports activation made headlines for the brand. After being proudly announced as an Official Pizza Partner of the iconic Los Angeles Angels baseball club, Mountain Mike’s activated its new baseball partnership with the Angels in a number of fan-friendly ways. Targeting the Angel’s passionate and growing fan base, Mountain Mike’s Shutout Challenge gave Mountain Rewards app members a free 6” one-topping pizza the day following a shutout by the Angels. An immensely effective campaign, more than 1,700 free pizzas were redeemed, averaging more than 100 pizzas per participating location. In addition to guest activations, Mountain Mike’s also partnered with the Angels to support the team’s foundation, including a sponsorship of the Angels Baseball Foundation Kids Holiday Party 2022, which served approximately 450 people from local nonprofits. The event featured carnival games, sledding, holiday crafts, and speed pitching with Angels players Mickey Moniak and Zack Weiss. Kids in attendance received pajamas, Angels hats, candy canes and a new toy from Santa.
“Sports and the communities in which they are played are woven into the fabric of the Mountain Mike’s Pizza brand, and we could not be more thrilled that 2022 included a collaborative partnership with the Angles, which was a seamless next step for us,” says Jim Metevier, President and COO of Mountain Mike’s Pizza. “As a brand that started in the Bay Area, we’ve been proud partners of the San Francisco 49ers for several years, but having relocated our franchise support center to Southern California, the opportunity to work with a beloved local team in our own backyard has been extremely rewarding, and we look forward to growing the relationship for years to come.”
Ending 2022 with 265 restaurants in operation, Mountain Mike’s is primed to continue expansion throughout the Western U.S. by extending opportunities to new franchise partners looking to diversify their portfolios with a popular family pizza concept.