What is in this article?:
- Toppers Pizza ramps up growth efforts
- Attracting large franchise businesses
The pizza chain opened its 50th restaurant last week in Ann, Arbor, Mich.
Mark Cairns, director of franchise development at Toppers Pizza.
Toppers Pizza is planning aggressive growth with new franchise deals that could add 30 new restaurants to the 50-unit chain’s portfolio this year.
The Whitewater, Wis.-based concept took 22 years to grow to 50 locations, but plans could see it quadruple that unit count by 2020, necessitating a new focus on multiunit franchise deals, executives said.
The chain has inked its largest franchise agreements to date in the past few weeks, with two separate deals calling for five locations in the Minneapolis and Little Rock, Ark., markets. Since its founding in 1991, Toppers has grown via 13 corporate restaurants and single-unit franchise agreements, though several longtime operators now have built additional restaurants.
With its five-unit deals, Toppers expects new franchisees to build one restaurant in 2013 and another two units in 2014 and 2015, allowing the chain to meet accelerated goals, said Mark Cairns, director of franchise development.
“The five-unit deal does a couple things,” Cairns said. “It allows somebody to carve off a piece of territory, so they know where their future stores are going to be. It also allows them to search for real estate throughout a market instead of looking for just one intersection perfect for one store. So it broadens and might speed up the site selection process.”
Toppers’ 50th restaurant opened last week in Ann Arbor, Mich., which is coincidentally the headquarters of Domino’s Pizza, where Toppers founder and chief executive Scott Gittrich got his start in the pizza industry as a delivery driver. To date, Toppers has opened units mostly in Wisconsin and neighboring Midwestern states, but a new franchise push targets Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Texas and Arkansas.
The chain disclosed an average unit volume of more than $930,000 and an average net profit of more than $130,000 per unit.