It’s the night before Thanksgiving. Your kitchen is already inundated with pots and pans and plans for a whole day full of cooking, but the family is still hungry. So what do you do?
If you are like many Americans, you will be ordering in, and according to the data you will likely be ordering from Toppers Pizza.
Toppers Pizza, the better pizza franchise from Whitewater, Wisconsin, typically has one of its biggest sales days of the year the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. In fact, system-wide Toppers sees a 44.59% increase in sales on the average “Black Wednesday” as opposed to the average non-holiday middle of the week.
"Wednesday is always a great day, we just try to hang on,” said Toppers Pizza Director of National Marketing & Menu Innovation Mac Malchow. “A lot of times people are traveling back home and going out and we like to be a part of their night. We're open late and people are typically up later the night before Thanksgiving."
While the onrush of customers the day before Thanksgiving is great for the bottom line, one might expect issues related to operations and staffing the day before a major holiday. However, according to Eau Claire, Wisconsin Toppers franchisee Caro Johnson, her team enjoys taking on the challenge of a special and hectic day.
“One of the great things we do for our employees is that we are always closed on Thanksgiving, so we don’t have a lot of requests off for Wednesday,” said Johnson. “This allows us to be properly staffed up and ready to handle everyone that doesn’t want to cook the day before Thanksgiving.”
In Eau Claire, where the Toppers locations tend to see anywhere from a 50-70% sales increase, Johnson says they are always looking at their numbers from the last year to be prepared staffing-wise for what the day might bring. She also says that includes some additional challenges, such as an increase in big group orders as offices and families look to prime their stomachs ahead of the gluttonous day to come.
“This isn’t a normal shift we are talking about, but everyone is willing to sweat because it’s a special day,” said Johnson. “When it gets tough and we get those extra orders, our team says ‘let’s do it, this is what we are here for’ and we knuckle down and get through it.”
This year, to give back a bit more to their hungry and loyal customers, Toppers is also rolling out a Cyber High Fiver deal starting the day after Thanksgiving. The promotion, which runs from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, offers 50% off pizzas with an online order.
"We have historically seen great support from Black Friday businesses that are staffed to the brim and are working long hours,” said Malchow. “Black Friday has started to extend through the whole weekend into Cyber Monday, so we thought it would be good to roll out a program that can last the entire weekend. It's our way to show appreciation for our customers who are working that weekend, or those shopping and building up a hunger."
As great deals like the Cyber High Fiver bring even more customers through the door, Caro Johnson says her team will be ready and excited to serve them all.
“We are like football players with a pre-game high of adrenaline on these big days,” said Johnson. “Our team will be loud, yelling out orders, and taking care of everyone that comes in.”