Donette Beattie wants to make sure you’re getting the tastiest and highest-quality ingredients possible.
It’s late on a Friday night. You’re couch- and Netflix-bound and hungry. In a search for sustenance, Toppers Pizza emerges as your beacon of hope, and a pie loaded with ranch sauce, mozzarella cheese, tater tots, bacon and green onions appears at your doorstep to provide salvation.
But in between those bites of life-saving pizza, have you ever had one of those existential moments and wondered where it all came from? That’s where Donette Beattie comes in. She’s Toppers Pizza’s vice president of supply chain, and she’s here to make sure you’re getting the tastiest and highest-quality ingredients possible.
For more than 30 years, the food world has been Beattie’s way of life. Armed with a degree in nutrition and food science, her plans to become a dietitian were pleasantly derailed when she stumbled into the restaurant industry. Over the years, she worked her way through the business, first with Sysco Food Services, and then onward to Country Kitchen International, where she served as the vice president of purchasing and product development. Culver’s and Steak ‘n’ Shake came next, and it was at these two franchises that she honed her skills as vice president of supply chain. Then in January 2016, she decided to make her first foray into the world of pizza, joining the team at Toppers Pizza.
“I didn’t have background in the pizza industry, but for me, that was the allure—to work in a category that’s new. I really wanted to be a part of the fun of selling in the pizza business and no one is more fun than Toppers,” Beattie said.
But Beattie didn’t want to be a part of just any pizza restaurant—she wanted to join a concept that could truly shine in a competitive industry that’s becoming increasingly saturated. Toppers was a breath of fresh air for Beattie, and ultimately, it was the brand’s core values that really helped make her decision. The basic—yet admirable—principles of integrity, passion and fun resonated with her, and she was mesmerized by Toppers’ simple and earnest guiding ideologies.
“Many companies have long, drawn out mission statements and core values, but the culture of the company and the actions of the people don’t reflect those sentiments—they’re just lifeless words on paper,” Beattie said. “Toppers is the opposite! There aren’t many companies out there who not only ask team members to be passionate about what they do, but rather inspire them by building something special every day while having fun doing it. It was spot on with my personal core values.”
Since starting last year, Beattie is teeming with creative ideas that she hopes will inject Toppers’ five-star system with even more synergy, energy and passion. And in a tribute to her roots, her work starts with nutrition.
One of Toppers’ core values has always been to give the customers what they want—and Beattie knows that customers are increasingly asking about allergens and food ingredients. That’s why, in an era where food transparency has become increasingly important, Beattie is helping Toppers assess their nutrition and ingredient information in preparation of looming modifications to food labeling laws.
“My expertise is in the details of food, so I realize the importance of making sure that all of our food’s information, whether it’s on a menu or our website, is readily available to any of our guests,” Beattie said. “Toppers is a world-class business with a strong commitment to being the best in a competitive industry. Transparency is a big part of who we are as a brand, and I’m looking forward to helping Toppers evolve with these constantly-changing requirements and regulations.”
Putting continued care into detailing Toppers’ ingredients is just the beginning of her job. In addition, Beattie reviews all suppliers for food safety process and protocol.
“When I came onboard, I realized just how important safety and discipline matters to Toppers when it comes to where its food comes from. My job now is to make sure that we as a company are continuing to do everything in our power to make sure we’re upholding that promise to our customers—that our products are always sourced from a safe place with impeccable business practices,” she said.
And when it comes to having a little bit of fun with the food itself, Beattie has that part covered, too. Another key focus as the vice president of supply chain is to boost culinary innovation—something the brand is already quite familiar with, as evidenced by its variety of Topperstix and unconventional pizza toppings. Beattie hopes to bring her enthusiasm and many years of product development experience to the innovation team. In the end, it’ll further solidify Toppers’ mission to be a fearless and cutting-edge brand.
“Toppers is in this very unique position that allows us to push out on the fringe of innovation and flavor trends—we’re at the top of our game. Our Mac ’n Cheese and Loaded Tot-zza pizzas are great examples of that. I want to inspire our team to ‘never settle’ and to continue to lead the charge with fun, on-trend flavors,” Beattie said. I think that’s always been what makes Toppers so unique and I can’t wait to see what’s next.”