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Sizzling Expansion: Toppers Pizza Secures Multi-Unit Deal in Minnesota

Sizzling Expansion: Toppers Pizza Secures Multi-Unit Deal in Minnesota

May 30, 2013
Jennifer and Barry Friends Join Eclectic and Unique Pizza Family;

Further Develop Brand’s National Expansion Strategy

WHITEWATER, WI – Toppers Pizza (Toppers), a rapidly growing eclectic pizza delivery franchise brand, is proud to announce it has recently awarded a five-unit area development agreement for Chanhassen and the western suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jennifer and Barry Friends joined the 50-unit pizza brand with plans to open five units for four of their children to operate and manage. Marking its first five-unit deal in the state of Minnesota, Toppers continues to aggressively expand its pizza-print throughout the United States.

“With the success of 2012, this will be another explosive year for us as we move forward with our aggressive growth strategy,” said Mark Cairns, Toppers’ Director of Franchise Development. “We are extremely proud to have the Friends family join our team; their vibrant and energetic personalities as well as their decision to include their children in the concept is a perfect representation of the Toppers brand and culture.”

With a strong background in the foodservice and franchising industry including positions at Sysco, U.S. Foods, and Reinhart Foodservice, Barry Friends has always wanted to open up a restaurant. Barry and Jennifer were impressed by how Toppers Pizza takes a typical pizza concept and shakes it up with creativity and a youthful personality. The edgy and unfiltered character of Toppers Pizza was created and maintained through the leadership and guidance of President and Founder, Scott Gittrich.

“I have an irreverent sense of humor and they [Toppers] appeal to the young and the young at heart,” said Jennifer Friends, who will oversee operations of all units along with four of her children. “Dominos is the leader in the pizza chain business, yet they lack the flair and panache of Toppers. Our goal is to produce a good product, but also have a good time doing it.”

Using their development strategy to rapidly spread locations in and out of Wisconsin, Toppers has expanded across the Midwest region to allow for better brand recognition and a devoted cult following. Focusing on Wisconsin markets for the first 20 years of inception, Toppers then moved on to open new locations in surrounding states, including Minnesota and Illinois. By the end of 2015, these three states are expected to anchor 70 stores.

Currently, the brand boasts 50 locations throughout Wisconsin, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, North Carolina, Indiana, Texas and Nebraska.

“We have been able to differentiate ourselves among competitors in the pizza segment by creating an experience that is focused on the customer,” said Scott Iversen, Director of Marketing. “The eclectic and unique experience that we’ve cultivated across the system has not only enabled us to turn our guests into fanatics but has also empowered us to continue driving growth into new and untapped markets.”

Toppers will also add additional states to its growth strategy, with the first Arkansas location set to open in 2013. In addition, corporate forecasts a larger presence throughout Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Texas and Nebraska. The company has already contracted 15 new locations slated to be open by the end of 2013, with the ultimate goal of opening a total of 30 in that same year. Additionally, the brand plans to reach 150 locations by the end of 2015 and 500 by 2020.

“This is a very exciting moment for Toppers,” Iversen said. “As we begin to secure more multi-unit operators, we will be able to sustain our continued growth not only through the Midwest, but nationwide.”


With a mission to be the best pizza company in the world by killing it on every detail of the customer experience, Toppers Pizza is a 50-unit eclectic pizza delivery franchise brand, headquartered in Whitewater, WI. Toppers takes a unique approach to the crowded pizza segment by appealing to the young, and young at heart, in an irreverent way that unquestionably separates them from the competition. Ranked No. 343 in Entrepreneur Magazine’s top 500 franchises and one of the Nation’s Restaurant News 50 Breakout Chains for 2013,Toppers’ menu includes 18 house pizzas; the franchise’s signature product line Topperstix; Oven-Toasted Grinders; Buffalo Wings; Q'Zas (a pizza style quesadilla); and cold drinks. The brand has strongly established itself in Wisconsin, and is now in the midst of Midwest and national domination. By focusing on Toppers’ demographic friendly markets, Toppers is able to continue building a fanatical relationship with its customer base. For more information on Toppers, visit