For entrepreneurs looking to get a slice of the lucrative $40 billion pizza industry, Toppers Pizza is an obvious choice. The brand offers a seemingly endless list of benefits to its franchisees, from a strong business model to a network of 74 restaurants that’s only going to grow. Over the past two decades, the brand has proven that it works with a variety of local business owners. But for franchisees making the move from the sandwich industry to Toppers, the transition into the booming pizza segment is even more seamless.
“There are a lot of similarities between the two industries. That’s why it’s easy for sandwich franchisees to jump right into Toppers and hit the ground running,” said Mark Cairns, director of franchise development for Toppers Pizza. “Our business models both center around catering and serving local communities that build upon another and scale into multiple units and market saturation.”
The similarities between the sandwich and pizza segments don’t stop there. Both franchise systems feature brands that offer delivery service, like Toppers and Jimmy John’s. The industries also typically operate out of locations with comparable square footage and involve a team of 18 to 25 dedicated employees, making the physical set up familiar for new franchisees. That familiarity then makes it easy for local owners to build their business and quickly expand.
But franchising with Toppers Pizza gives business owners the opportunity to grow at a much faster rate. Major sandwich chains like Jimmy John’s, Firehouse Subs and Jersey Mike’s already saturate most territories across the country. Toppers Pizza, on the other hand, is in growth mode. The brand was recently named one of the top five fastest-growing and up-and-coming brands in the limited-service pizza restaurant category of the 2016 Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report. That momentum allows franchisees to successfully bring Toppers to new markets across the country.
“We’re really giving brands like Pizza Hut, Domino’s and Papa John’s a run for their money. Toppers is delivering a better product and a better experience, and customers can tell the difference,” said Cairns. “We have the infrastructure and system in place to compete with the pizza industry’s biggest players in a very cool—and successful—way.”
Franchisees who break into the competitive pizza industry from the sandwich segment also have an advantage that other local business owners are missing. Ray Fabik, President of Growth Coach, says it’s beneficial when entrepreneurs diversify their portfolios with complementary brands.
“When franchisees are looking to expand their reach with a new brand, they have the opportunity to leverage their previous experiences. That’s why it makes sense for them to invest in a brand within the same realm as their background—it enables owners to be smarter and faster when opening up their new business. In this industry, nothing can replace experience,” said Fabik.
Toppers Pizza also gives sandwich franchisees unparalleled access to the next generation of American consumers. The brand’s tapped into the millennial market in a way that other companies haven’t been able to copy through social media and online ordering. Toppers’ strong digital presence opens up the door to even more expansion opportunities.
“It really comes back to the fact that we nail our customer positioning upfront. We’re dialed in on millennials in a way that other pizza chains aren’t—our e-commerce site, customization ability, freshness and transparency are all superior. That’s why we’re able to stand out in the crowded pizza industry,” said Cairns.
To learn more about franchising opportunities with Toppers Pizza, click here.