Grab-and-go items, once a staple of nontraditional spaces like college campuses and airports, have gone mainstream.
Today, operations ranging from convenience stores to standalone quick-service restaurants are adding prepackaged items like fresh carrots with ranch dip, pre-made chicken wraps, or yogurt parfaits. And they’re doing so for a good reason: Every day, 28 million Americans eat a grab-and-go snack, according to data from consumer market research firm The NPD Group.
Those numbers are driving a change not only in the preparation of on-the-go foods so popular in nontraditional locations, but also in packaging. Brands are quickly innovating the way they present these items to keep up with consumers’ desire for mobility, healthy eating, green living, and personalization. Continue Reading
Q&A with Toppers Franchise Owner Brad Vinton
Owner of three Toppers franchises (with four more on the way) and self-proclaimed pizza fanatic Brad Vinton opens up about opening his first franchise and gaining his first fanatic, a three-year-old.
What were you doing before you opened your first Toppers?
Before Toppers I spent 13 years in sales, mainly pharmaceutical. Though I liked what I did, my dream was to build something special of my own.
What made you decide to become a franchise owner?
My business partner Dan and I had always wanted to open our own business. We kept our ears to the ground after we graduated and waited for the right opportunity. That came when we ran across Toppers Pizza. The brand, the leadership, the fans, everything about it stood out to me. And the pizza’best thing I’ve ever tasted. I was sold.
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In the admittedly crowded pizza segment, Toppers, a 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 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. Toppers 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.
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.”