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, has recorded impressive franchise growth and brand momentum in the first half of 2022. Fitting for a chain with the word mountain in its name, the exciting legacy brand continues to ascend the franchise industry ranks – with no signs of slowing down.
Through the end of June, Mountain Mike’s Pizza signed more than a dozen new franchise agreements, which includes its third multi-unit agreement in Texas in the last 12 months. The new deals add to the brand’s 70+ new franchise commitments in process as the pizza chain continues to experience significant increases in franchise development. Existing franchisees make up a significant number of signed franchise agreements through Q2 2022. And, as the brand attracts new franchisees in new markets, it is seeing a dramatic increase in interest in multi-unit development agreements. Generally, these have been in the form of three to five store development deals.
“Mountain Mike’s Pizza continues to be purposeful and driven in growing our footprint throughout the West, and this focus includes aggressively striving toward 400 units by the end of 2025,” says Chris Britt and Ed St. Geme, the co-CEOs and co-owners of Mountain Mike’s Pizza. “With the vast majority of our restaurants in California, one of the highest cost markets for real estate, labor and other operating expenses, Mountain Mike’s Pizza continues to prove itself time and time again as a fruitful franchise investment in the ultra-competitive pizza segment. And importantly, now, our success in California has proven to be a strong predictor of success in other states.”
Mountain Mike’s opened 10 new restaurants in the first half of 2022, celebrated its 250-store milestone and ended Q2 with 255 units in operation. Several locations opened in new markets, including Idaho, Arizona and Nevada, and by the end of the year, Mountain Mike’s expects to open a total of 30 new restaurants.
In the past four years, systemwide average unit volume (AUV) has grown nearly 40%, an eye-popping figure for a 44-year-old brand. Now, AUV has reached $1.1 million, and the top 25% of locations average $1.62 million in sales. Also, according to Franchise Registry by FRANData, Mountain Mike’s Pizza’s inaugural FUND score of 885 is in the top 1% of all evaluated franchised brands and is among the top four of all quick-service restaurant 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.
As 2022 reached its midway point, digital sales for the brand reached over 41% of total system sales – fueled by an array of successful early-year marketing initiatives, including the one-year “app-versary” celebration in May of the Mountain Rewards mobile app and loyalty program, plus the Pineapple Chicken Luau Sweepstakes and Promotion in June, where one lucky Mountain Rewards member won a free trip to Hawaii. Mountain Mike’s also brought back the fan-favorite Heart Shaped Pizza throughout February – and again on Father’s Day.
Building on the brand’s longstanding commitment to families, sports fans and the communities where it conducts business, Mountain Mike’s announced in April a partnership with Los Angeles Angels Baseball, which proudly named Mountain Mike’s as an Official Pizza Partner for the 2022-2024 seasons. The marketing partnership with the Angels complements Mountain Mike’s sports integrations in Northern California where it was founded, including a prestigious designation as the Official Pizza of the San Francisco 49ers – a popular football partnership Mountain Mike’s has enjoyed since 2018.
“The many guest-friendly initiatives created in the first half of 2022 by our dedicated franchise support team, all of which have been successfully activated by our experienced and passionate franchisees, continue to establish Mountain Mike’s Pizza as a go-to pizza experience in new and existing markets, and they illustrate our commitment to cementing the brand as a leader in the pizza industry,” says Jim Metevier, President and COO of Mountain Mike’s Pizza. “As we enter the second half of the year, the many exciting promotions that allow us to engage with our valued guests, not to mention our growing list of industry accolades, are testaments to the hard work everyone associated with the Mountain Mike’s Pizza family.”