Toppers Pizza continues to see system-wide growth as it expands geographically and begins to provide new menu offerings. The restaurant opened three new stores this year, signed deals for an additional 11 and reported a 7.2% increase in year-over-year sales growth.
“We have seen same-store sales growth trending upwards for 18 quarters in a row,” says Scott Gittrich, CEO and founder of Toppers Pizza. “Toppers Pizza has been proven to be a reliable business model, and our continued growth and innovation make us even more appealing to guests.”
In a U.S. pizza market valued at over $55 billion, ongoing menu innovation played a key role in the brand’s 2022 growth. Over the course of the year, the brand continued to lean into its position as QSR’s most crave-worthy pizza, rolling out multiple product lines.
Catering to a diverse customer base, the brand included multiple plant-powered recipes, including the Vegan Buffalo Chicken-Less Pizza and Veganstix, a spin on the beloved cheesy breadstick. Toppers also partnered with Madison cult-favorite Chocolate Shoppe, creating Toppers-Pizza-specific flavors of frozen custard pints that customers could both pick up or have delivered. The brand’s mass of nearly a quarter million loyalty members reflects just how popular the unique offerings are among their guests.
“For us, our franchisees win when our customers win, and we are working hard to create an ecosystem for Toppers that continues to propel the brand’s reach and growth,” Gittrich says. “Our consistent growth has shown that we are on the right path, and we are poised to finish the year even stronger than our competitors — yet again."
Toppers also expanded its offerings by launching its first ghost kitchen in Q4. This initiative, known as WTF Wing Co., has allowed additional sources of top-line revenue and an opportunity to grow beyond the brand’s core product lines.
The concept also welcomed James “Jimmy” McFeeters to the team as its Vice President of Development. McFeeters most recently held a position at WOWorks but brings over a decade of experience in franchise sales and development. As Toppers has focused energy on its corporate development in recent years, McFeeters brings the expertise to position the team for success as it pivots toward franchise development.
“When I visited with the team before being hired, I immediately experienced the warm, inviting and highly relational culture that Toppers has built,” adds McFeeters. “There's a lot of rich history here with the Toppers team, and it is apparent that Toppers has built a team that is deeply connected to its mission, vision and origins. The brand's longevity and the team's culture are major reasons I took this position.”
McFeeters will leverage the concept’s streamlined approach to real estate for this growth, saying he expects to open nine new units in 2023 and build an even more robust pipeline for 2024.
As the brand continues to grow and innovate, it is targeting Charlotte, Des Moines, Dallas-Fort Worth, Kansas City and beyond to open an additional nine units in 2023.