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U.S. Units: 73
U.S. Franchised Units: 48
Systemwide Sales: $57,575,030
Franchise Fee: $30,000
Total Start-Up Costs: $260,000$490,000
Royalty: 5.5% of net sales
Renewal Fee: None
Marketing Fee: 3%
Toppers has earned a cult following among Millennials alongside steady unit growth. Over the last three years, the chain has doubled its store count, while 73 percent of all Toppers stores scored record sales results in 2015. That sales success pushed Toppers’ systemwide AUV above $872,000.
Toppers director of franchise development Mark Cairns says his chain, which favors experienced restaurant operators and successful multiunit franchisees, is built to scale and support its franchise partners. To wit: the Whitewater, Wisconsinbased company boasts a franchising support model that features a 2:1 ratio of stores to Toppers support staff.
Toppers has already invested in IT, operations, and marketing support staff now to support the future growth [of its franchisees], Cairns says, adding that the chain aims to hit 700 U.S. stores within the next 10 years.
According to FBR, 84 percent of Toppers franchisees own multiple units, while nearly half own four or more restaurants. Further, 100 percent of franchisees trust and respect the company’s senior management team led by energetic founder Scott Gittrich.
The company is really driven by his personality, Stites says of Gittrich.
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