Hoverboards might not be gliding down the streets, but “Back to the Future Day” has helped at least one quick serve float a special promotion. On October 21, all six Chicago locations of Toppers are selling large pizzas for $10.21 to recognize the auspicious date (10/21/15) to which Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel in Back to the Future Part II.
“The franchisee at our Wicker Park location in Chicago came up with this idea. She was talking about the Cubs being in the playoffs, and it’s kind of a big buzz in Chicago right now,” says Scott Iversen, vice president of marketing for the 71-unit, Wisconsin-based chain. “When Marty McFly went into the future, he saw a thing that said, ‘Cubs win World Series in 2015.’ So we’re kind of playing off of that.”
To promote the special, Chicago franchisees distributed fliers around their neighborhoods and taped promos to pizza boxes in advance. A single day might seem too short a time frame to run a successful LTO, but Iversen reiterates that the excitement in Chicago is palpable. The Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908, but the team has advanced National League Championship Series this season. Although the odds of the Cubs moving through to the title game are slim, the timing does present a rare window of opportunity for Toppers.*
“It’s just kind of capitalizing on something that’s very trendy in Chicago right now,” Iversen says. “It’s a little bit hard to gauge [consumer interest] until the phones start lighting up and people start showing up in the stores. People have definitely connected to it because the Chicago media has been picking up on this as well.”
When Marty McFly traveled to the 2015, pizza was served in a little packet that was then put in a “rehydrator” machine to expand the pizza to its full size. Toppers, however, will serve its usual fresh-made pies.
If the Cubs do manage to advance, Iversen says Toppers might just bring the Back to the Future special back again.
“Any time they make the playoffs, everybody gets a buzz, but could this be the year” Iversen says. “For our sales sake, we’re sure hoping so!”
By Nicole Duncan
*Editorial Note: The Chicago Cubs were defeated by the New York Mets just before midnight on October 21.