Fast-Growing Pizza Chain Launches Its Latest Creation Available Online Only: 3-Cheese Garlicstix
When Scott Gittrich opened the first Toppers Pizza in Whitewater, Wisconsin 25 years ago, he did so with one goal in mind—to change the landscape of the competitive pizza industry, one delicious box full of Topperstix at a time. Since then, Toppers has established an audacious reputation as the forward-thinking pizza pioneers who never stop innovating. That’s why, on January 18, Toppers will unveil the newest addition to its legendary Topperstix family—and it’s cheesier than ever before: The 3-Cheese Garlicstix.
According to Scott Iversen, vice president of marketing for Toppers, nearly 40 percent of all orders include Topperstix. And with five signature flavors— Tacostix, Baconstix, Pepperonistix, Cinnamonstix and Chocolate Baconstix—the original remains the reigning champion, making it the perfect canvas for creating even tastier ideas.
“Hands down, our most popular Topperstix is still the original. We’re always looking for new ways to ramp up this great product, so we started asking customers what they love about Topperstix in the first place,” Iversen said. “They came back to us with two things: that they’re cheesy and garlicky. So we decided it was time to take it to the next level. We threw in two new cheeses—asiago and cheddar—and added a roasted garlic topping. It’s what our customers already know and love, just kicked up three notches.”
In a tribute to Toppers’ fanatical online fan base, the pizza chain will launch its 3-Cheese Garlicstix online and through word-of-mouth only—meaning no advertisements and no mentions on menus. With more than 40 percent of its annual sales coming from online ordering, Iversen said the new Topperstix will instead be featured on social media and delivery services like GrubHub.
“More and more, our customers are interacting with us online. We realized we have to live where they live every day,” Iversen said. “We succeed with traditional word-of-mouth, by friends telling other friends about us, but a big place where we can stay ahead of the other guys and be more nimble is in social media. It’s a natural extension of our business to launch this social media-based marketing.”
In addition to the launch of 3-Cheese Garlicstix, the chain will also introduce three new pizza toppings, making customization the toughest—and best—decision pizza fanatics will ever have to make come mealtime. Roasted garlic, Asiago cheese and fire-roasted jalapenos will make their menu debut early this year, joining the ranks of more than 30 other mouth-watering toppings.
With adventurous and unconventional options always on deck, it’s clear that innovation has long been at the heart of what makes Toppers so great. And as the palates of customers continue to evolve year after year, Iversen believes that it’s important for brands to closely monitor the changing flavor profiles people crave.
“To really stand out, you need to be at the forefront and stay ahead of the competition. At Toppers, we have a heritage of offering unique toppings, and Topperstix have given us this incredible opportunity to constantly dish up exciting new flavor combinations. In many ways, they’ve allowed us to be first-to-market with a lot of popular ingredients,” Iversen said.
But Toppers’ evolving flavors aren’t just grabbing the attention of customers. They’re also bringing in a horde of new franchisees that are on the hunt for a promising—and fun—business venture.
“Constantly changing our menu has helped our brand stay relevant,” Iversen added. “Franchisees know that we’re on the leading edge of innovation. It differentiates us from a lot of competitors out there, and franchisees see that. They’re drawn to the fact that we have things that others in the industry don’t. 2016 is going to be a huge growth year for Toppers Pizza and we’re excited to kick it off with this exciting new marketing strategy around 3-Cheese Garlicstix.”
Capitalizing on the booming better pizza category and fueled by the passion of Founder & President Scott Gittrich and a team of experienced industry veterans, Toppers Pizza has formulated the perfect recipe to appeal to both pizza enthusiasts and savvy investors. Headquartered in Wisconsin, Toppers is one of the fastest growing better-pizza chains in the United States. The brand has doubled in size over the last three years and completely sold out three states based on growth spurred by both existing franchisees and established multi-unit operators. Now with restaurants in 12 states and with territories immediately available across the country, Toppers plans to reach 700 stores in the U.S. within 10 years. Toppers is committed to quality and consistency throughout the system, and plans to maintain corporate ownership of 25 percent of all locations while the brand expands to continuously improve on best practices and product development. Toppers fanatics love the brand’s fresh, handmade and customizable pizza baked in about 360 seconds and delivered extremely fast, with more than a million combinations of fresh, high quality toppings, and the brand’s signature line of flavored Topperstix and baked Buffalo wings. In 2014, Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Toppers as one of the top 500 franchises in the U.S and QSR Magazine listed the company as one of the year’s Best Franchise Deals. For more information on how to join the rapidly growing Toppers family and for a sneak peek into the Toppers experience, visit http://www.toppersfranchise.com.