Breadcrumb Navigation

2014 Best Franchise Deals - QSR

2014 Best Franchise Deals - QSR

The Rising Stars - Established brands ready for the national spotlight
Toppers Pizza

TOTAL U.S. UNIT COUNT: 56 (38 franchised)


TOTAL START-UP COSTS: $302,042–$528,453

ROYALTY: 5.5% of net sales


MARKETING FEE: 3% of net sales

In the admittedly crowded pizza segment, Toppers chief development officer Chris Cheek says his Wisconsin-based company distinguishes itself with a focus on product innovation.

Toppers features fresh, made-from-scratch dough, real Wisconsin cheese, and unique toppings, such as oven-roasted tomatoes, mac ‘n’ cheese, and tater tots. Paired with its playful personality, Toppers’ outside-the-box menu creations produced AUV of $889,000 in 2013.

And Cheek says Toppers is just getting started.

Last year, Toppers earnings claim showed company units averaging more than $143,000 in net income, a figure that continues attracting franchisees into the system at a record rate. Cheek projects the opening of 20 units across seven states by the end of 2014, a pace that positions Toppers to hit its goals of 100 units by the end of 2016 and 500 by the end of 2020.

“New store growth is one of the most important components to our success,” Cheek says.

An Outside Perspective: Boroian likes Toppers’ good-looking, differentiated product, as well as the impressive income it delivers to its franchisees. Above all, though, he appreciates how the concept has clustered units.

“This makes brand awareness and unit support effective,” Boroian says. “It also is a great model to show multiunit franchise developers.”