An Ontario-based pizza brand is going national. Topper’s Pizza announced that it is embarking on the most significant growth initiative in the company’s history with a goal to increase from 35 to 140 pizzerias by 2018.
While it may seem like an ambitious goal, Topper’s Pizza has bolstered its team to meet the expectations. Topper’s Pizza recently hired Jeff Dillon, who became the company’s Vice President.
Dillon will leverage his extensive franchising and executive leadership experience to oversee daily operations and direct strategic growth initiatives. “Topper’s Pizza is a brand that values family and is focused on exceeding its customers’ expectations.
I am incredibly thankful to be part of this first-class organization,” Dillon said. “The Toppazzini family has laid a solid foundation, which has set the table for significant expansion.”
Additionally, Topper’s Pizza strengthened its development team by hiring Andrew Diveky as its new Director of Franchise Development.
During Diveky’s franchising tenure, he was a highly successful developer for A&W and Boston Pizza. “Jeff and Andrew are consummate professionals with successful track records. Together, they have developed a carefully crafted growth plan, which will yield impressive results,” Topper’s Pizza President and Chief Operating Officer Keith Toppazzini said.
The first phase of the growth plan will focus on adding pizzerias in key Ontario markets such as Ottawa, which currently has three corporate-owned locations that generate impressive sales numbers. “Ottawa’s population growth and its citizens’ passion for the best pizza make it a key destination,” said Diveky. “As a result, we plan on bringing at least 15 new pizzerias to Canada’s capital in the next five years.” In addition, Topper’s Pizza will add franchise-operated pizzerias in Kitchener, Waterloo, Georgetown, London and Thunder Bay.
Along with building its Ontario presence, Topper’s Pizza intends to expand its footprint into Manitoba by adding franchise units in Winnipeg. The company also plans to enter various cities throughout Alberta. “Through this initiative, Topper’s Pizza is opening the door to entrepreneurship for countless individuals. This strategy will also generate more than 1,000 jobs, and we are very excited to put people to work across Canada,” Topper’s Pizza Chairman and CEO Kelly Toppazzini said.
Topper’s Pizza’s history dates back more than 100 years – to when Giuseppe Toppazzini, the Toppazzinis’ great grandfather, left San Daniele, Italy, and settled in Canada. Giuseppe brought along his family’s secret Italian bread recipe, which has been passed down for four generations.
The Toppazzini family used the same Italian bread recipe to make the crust for their homemade pizzas. The crust, along with fresh cheese and toppings, was such a hit with family and friends that Ron Toppazzini, Kelly and Keith’s father, founded Mr. Topper’s Pizza in 1982. Each day, every Topper’s Pizza franchisee uses the same secret recipe to make the freshest, most delicious pizza dough in all traditional pizzerias. It is this century-long tradition of excellence and uncompromising approach to quality that has made Topper’s Pizza the only choice for pizza lovers.
The company began franchising in 1989. But growing Topper’s Pizza from a regional to a national brand did not come to light until about two decades later. “Before embarking on national expansion, it was important for Topper’s Pizza to build a first-class franchise system and operations team,” Kelly Toppazzini added.
In addition to developing its traditional delivery and takeout pizzerias, Topper’s Pizza will provide franchisees with opportunities to open and operate fast-casual, dine-in locations. In March 2014, Topper’s Pizza opened its first fast-casual, dine-in concept in Chelmsford, Ontario, to a resounding response from the local community.
As a result of the success, Topper’s Pizza plans to build out a dine-in location in the city of Collingwood, which will open in September 2014. “We listened to our customers and franchisees and they indicated that there was a demand for a fast-casual, dine-in concept.
It now gives us the option to welcome customers into our own ‘dining room’ to enjoy Topper’s Pizza,” said Keith Toppazzini. Topper’s fast-casual pizzeria has about 75 seats and the menu includes pizzas, salads, bread sticks and chicken wings. As the concept takes shape, the company anticipates the dine-in model will play a key role in all of the Topper’s Pizza markets. “We are focused on working with multi-unit franchisees with proven track records.
Ideally, a franchise partner will open a fast-casual pizzeria, which acts as an anchor, and they would open multiple take-out, delivery pizzerias. From an operations and revenue standpoint, the model sets our franchise system up for success,” said Dillon.
As Topper’s Pizza begins implementation of its development plan, Keith and Kelly Toppazzini believe the initiative will further distance their brand from its competitors across Canada. “Our customers are just as passionate about Topper’s Pizza as we are, and we can’t wait to introduce new customers to our one-of-a-kind pizzas,” Kelly Toppazzini added.
ABOUT TOPPER’S PIZZA Founded in 1982, Topper’s Pizza is one of Canada’s most popular pizza brands. The company began franchising in 1989. Topper’s Pizza currently has 36 pizzerias throughout Ontario. The recipe for Topper’s success includes quality ingredients, an unbeatable crust, a proven system and first-class Franchise Partners. As a result, Topper’s Pizza amazes its customers. For information about Topper’s Pizza franchising opportunities, visit www.toppersfranchise.ca.