Wisconsin-based Toppers Pizza turned in a 13.59 percent same-store sales increase in the first quarter of 2013.

Additionally, company-owned units averaged $889,086 in gross sales/year with $143,519 net.

"With the pizza segment continuing to grow and more pizza being consumed than ever before, we have an opportunity to steal more market share in a sea of sameness," said Scott Iversen, vice president of Marketing of Toppers. "Despite our stiff competition in the segment, we have been able to distinguish ourselves by remaining young at heart and staying true to our loyal fan base who continue to spend their hard-earned money with us."

Other highlights from the quarter include:

  • Franchise-owned units up 12.58 percent in same-store sales;
  • A systemwide sales increase of 41.05 percent among both company-owned and franchise-owned units through Q1;
  • The opening of the brand's 50th location.

"Our aggressive media behavior, innovative social media techniques, consistency in operations and continued franchise growth and dedication all contributed to an impressive first quarter," said Scott Gittrich, founder and CEO. "Our collaboration as a system and strong commitment from our leadership team has positioned us for a very strong 2013 and beyond."

Marketing and menu

Toppers also launched its first regional TV advertising campaign during Q1.

"Our vision of interacting and engaging with our customers on the three major screens — TV, mobile and computer — has started to take shape and our customers are responding positively," Iversen said.

Toppers also kicked off the year with complete menu reengineering focused on ease of ordering and store profitability. According to the company, 70 percent of its sales come from items not traditionally found on competitors' menus, including its signature item, Topperstix, a product the brand actively marketed in Q1.

Throughout the remainder of this year, Toppers forecasts a larger presence throughout Minnesota, Indiana, and Illinois with the first location in Arkansas set for Q3 2013. The company has already contracted 15 locations to be built by the end of 2013, and has projected an additional 25 units for 2014. Additionally, Toppers plans to reach 150 locations by the end of 2015 and 500 by 2020 primarily through the focused support of multiunit operators.

Read more about franchising and growth.

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