Investment firm takes minority stake in Toppers Pizza

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An investment firm has bought a minority stake in Whitewater, Wisconsin-based Toppers Pizza, the chain said on Tuesday.

The “long-term minority equity investment” came from Great Plains Capital LLC, an investment firm based in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. The amount of the funding was not disclosed, but Toppers said he would use the money to accelerate his growth plans.

The quick-service pizza chain currently has around 70 locations, with plans to open up to a dozen stores next year and up to 30 locations each of the following two years.

“I couldn’t be more excited about our partnership with Great Plains Capital and the impact it will have on our ability to grow, now is our time,” Scott Gittrich, CEO of Toppers Pizza, said in a statement. . “Throughout our 30-year history, consumer demand for delivery, technology, small restaurants and ‘better’ food concepts has grown steadily every year. The COVID-19 pandemic has further advanced these trends. Today, Toppers is perfectly positioned to grow significantly over the next few years. ”

Toppers invests in franchise development as well as company-owned stores, increased training and technology upgrades.

The quick service chain, known for its nighttime hours and forgiving bread sticks, has seen 13 straight quarters of increase in same-store sales. Toppers said nearly three-quarters of its system-wide sales came from its digital platform and 70% was generated by its auto-delivery operation.

Toppers, which was founded in 1991, also sells wings and desserts.

In 2017, the chain pulled out of the Illinois market. Most of its units are in Wisconsin and Michigan.

Toppers achieved total sales of $ 62.6 million in 2020, up 7.9% from the previous year, according to data from sister company Restaurant Business Technomic.

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