The key to any franchise brand’s success is putting the right team in place. As Wisconsin-based Toppers Pizza has continued to grow – entering three new states and opening 16 new restaurants in 2017 – the company has continued to find valuable talent to bolster a corporate team focused on supporting its system of franchisees.
With that philosophy in mind, Toppers Pizza recently brought on a new Director of Social Media and Public Relations as well as a new Franchise Sales Coordinator.
Colleen Glendinning is very familiar with the Toppers Pizza brand, having experienced it as a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“When I was in school, I attributed a portion of my ‘Freshman 15’ to Toppers Pizza,” laughed Glendinning. “I fell in love with Toppers at my first bite of Topperstix. It's not just breadsticks, it's something that is so unique and craveable, just like the brand itself. The second I saw the position for Director of Social Media and Public Relations advertised, my brain immediately went back to that first experience I had years ago. It's like that old comfortable friend you haven't seen since college and pick right back up.”
Glendinning got her start after college in the restaurant industry working for a Qdoba franchisee in Wisconsin. From there, she worked at Noodles & Company as part of the field marketing team, eventually being promoted to Regional Marketing Manager. In the role, she was responsible for developing the local marketing plans in her territory. In her time at Noodles & Company, Glendinning oversaw the opening of 82 restaurants, preparing her for Toppers Pizza where the company has plans to have 200 locations open by 2020.
“I’ve always felt pulled to the restaurant industry,” said Glendinning. “Toppers Pizza approached me and it felt like the right time and the right need. The collaboration here between the field marketing team, to the design team, to the agency partners and everyone else involved is what really sold me. I'm loving it every day so far. There's so much that we can do and I'm so excited for the potential.”
Meanwhile, as Toppers Pizza continues its mission of growth and expansion, new Franchise Sales Coordinator Joanne Esser will be working with qualified franchise prospects interested in bringing a Toppers to their neck of the woods.
“I've only been here a few short weeks, and it's a really great group to work with,” said Esser. “I've never worked for anyone like this before. They're really concerned about your well-being and your mental state. You're not just sitting at a desk and you're not just here to do a job. I didn't want just an 8-5 job. I want to be proud of what I'm doing and make a difference.”
Previously, Esser worked at Batteries Plus Bulbs before deciding to leave in order to pursue a dream to start her own day care business as well as a call to work as a special education paraprofessional. She returned to Batteries Plus Bulbs in 2015 and came across the Toppers brand while the company was researching different business websites out there, including Toppers Pizza’s page.
“I had my first slice of Toppers Pizza after having my first phone interview,” said Esser. “I did a lot of research on the brand before going in to interview and liked everything that I saw. Now, I'm hooked. We start our meetings with the core values. I've never experienced that before. We each take one of the core values and give an example or talk about what it means to us. It's a really cool way to start a meeting - it changes the tone and gives it a very positive feeling.”
Both Esser and Glendinning will provide valuable assistance to a corporate team that continues to hone in on ways to improve unit level economics and pairing it with strategic growth. At the end of the day, the goal is to make customers happy.
“At Toppers, we care about what consumers want and we give it to them,” Glendinning said.