When looking for a great franchise opportunity, franchise prospects are sold on dreams–dreams that revolve around awesome-looking stores and a best-in-class product. But that’s not what sophisticated franchisees are interested in buying. Instead, they’re on the hunt for something much more. They want to invest in a culture they believe in.
This is why at Toppers, pizza culture is our defining mission: the combination of a great pizza product and a true passion for leveraging culture to drive our business. Toppers is powered by passion with an obsessive compulsion to give customers exactly what they want. People in our entire system are proud of what we have built. And, most importantly, Toppers gets that anything in life worth doing has to be fun.
From boomerang pizza people (those who remember the rush of working in the pizza business) to business leaders who desire something more, Toppers is growing through a pack of passionate franchisees who live and breathe our core values.
Scott’s unwavering affection for pizza became a full-fledged love affair when he decided to drop out of college to focus on a career at Domino’s after only two weeks on the job. The gamble paid off as he worked his way up through the company’s system. It did not take long for Scott to realize that he had the guts and drive to start his own concept. The table stakes were unique and fresh pizza was made from scratch. The rest was a good deal of fun, and involved even more passion.
“Pizza is the best food in the world,” Scott said. “There’s nothing that’s as celebratory and fun as pizza. It brings people together like no other product on earth."
Kendall’s childhood dream was to become the coolest accountant on the planet, so it was only a matter of time before he landed in the middle of the Toppers Headquarters.
From operations to franchising strategy, Kendall learned all the do’s and don’ts of the pizza biz while serving at his posts as CFO at Cousins Subs and franchisee at Domino’s.
“The economics and the model here work,” he said. “With a lot of franchises, it’s just a model, but Toppers backs it up and walks the walk.”
Much like Toppers founder Scott Gittrich, Adam was seduced by the pizza industry. As a delivery driver for Toppers, he fell in love with the brand almost immediately. He quickly rose through the ranks, eventually becoming one of Toppers’ most accomplished general managers, recognized by receiving the company’s most distinguished award, “Manager of the Year.” Ten years since joining the ranks, Adam oversees 20+ company-owned locations – a number that has nearly doubled since he took over as director of corporate operations in 2013. Now as vice president of operations for Pizza People, Inc. Adam is still bringing it with passion every day.
Robin’s “love affair” with Toppers Pizza came about by a chance meeting with Scott Gittrich in 1993 when there were only two locations. In 2007, Robin joined the team and devoted her career to Toppers Pizza, serving the people who work at Toppers as vice president of human resources. A member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) for 10+ years, Robin has held several leadership roles, most recently serving as the president of the local SHRM chapter, Jefferson County Human Resource Management Association.
“Being a part of the Toppers family, I’ve learned to be more fearless. I’m not going to compromise how I am if I feel passionate about an issue, especially when it comes to our team members.”
As a student at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Tony spent many late nights chowing down on the brand’s famed Topperstix. Decades later, everything came full circle, and he’s now taking Toppers Pizza’s overall technology strategy, innovation and execution to the next level as vice president of information technology. The pizza landscape has changed drastically due to the influence of technology, and Tony is keeping the brand ahead of the game.
“Technology needs to be a support system for our brand—not something that will slow us down. We want to continue focusing on what we’re really good at and what sets us apart from other pizza brands. By introducing better, faster and more streamlined technology to our system, we’ll be able to grow at a quicker rate than ever before.”
On January 20, 2020, Greg’s oldest daughter ordered Toppers Buffalo Mac and Cheese pizza after she gave birth to Greg’s first grandchild (the wonderful Alana Grace).
Having played a key role in building some of the most iconic restaurant brands on the planet (Jersey Mike’s, Jimmy John’s, and BW), he knew in "that very moment" that Toppers was something special, that Toppers was a company that consumers across the country would connect to and become passionate about.
On October 3, 2020, Greg became vice president of marketing for Toppers Pizza.
Greg firmly believes that Toppers’ one-of-a-kind product puts big-chain pizza to shame and that consumers' love of that product will drive the growth of the brand from an emerging concept to a dominant concept within the QSR pizza category.
Another great “growth from within” story, Matt started off as a delivery driver in 2001 and continued to create success in different management and training roles, eventually leading him to his current position as franchise operations director. Pizza sauce flows in his veins! Matt credits a lot of the company’s success to great leadership, vision, and care.
“This is a people business through and through,” Matt said. “We win as a company when we understand the needs and goals of each franchisee, how they overlap with the company’s needs and goals, and how we can work together to achieve them. Together, we’re stronger than the sum of our parts.”