In an era where new technology is critical for restaurants looking to remain relevant to younger consumers, Toppers Pizza knows how to stave off the competition.
Just ask Shane Quail, a multi-unit franchisee who has helped to introduce Toppers to South Dakota. He’s not afraid to admit that when it comes to technology, he generally avoids it like the plague—in a time when even grandparents have Facebook accounts, Quail says he’s perfectly content staying away from the behemoth social network. Fortunately, when it comes to staying ahead of the technology curve in the booming QSR pizza industry, Toppers has him covered.
In 2015, a new and improved Toppers.com was launched as an e-commerce site. Enhancements were made to simplify and speed up the online ordering process, and a new responsive design allowed customers to have a pizza delivered to their door in less than 25 minutes with the touch of a button. Since then, Toppers has seen nearly 42 percent of system-wide orders being placed online.
Today, roughly $400,000 in annual revenue per franchisee is generated from online ordering alone—creating a built-in customer foundation and almost guaranteed base of revenue when a location opens up in a new market. Online order tickets are generally larger than in-store orders, too, by as much as five percent.
“Online ordering is great—it’s the wave of the future. Everybody is on their smartphones, and it’s forcing a lot of businesses to be where their customers are,” Quail said. “Toppers has really embraced that, and their online site is incredibly user-friendly. It’s allowed for fantastic ease-of-use for customers and for operators. We’re not wasting time on the phone taking orders from customers, and our customers can conveniently and quickly place their orders.”
In addition to its simple interface (which allows customers to peruse every single topping option, making it easier than ever to customize the perfect pizza online), Quail believes that the appeal of the new Toppers.com is also in its attitude. This helps to attract customers who may not otherwise be familiar with the brand.
“Our website is fun. It gives our customers a good snapshot of what our product is like as soon as you land on the homepage,” Quail added. “It really sucks you in—it portrays our culture in a much easier and more accurate way than we ever could on a paper menu.”
To promote online ordering even further, Toppers has also been executing social media engagement strategies to drive additional traffic back to Toppers.com. According to Bridget Vetter, Toppers’ manager of marketing, social media and public relations, it’s about attracting as many people as possible to Toppers.com—once they’re there, the website speaks for itself, and people generally stick around to see an order through to the end. This includes promotions through Facebook, such as a “buy one, get one free” deal on Tuesdays and Topperstix specials every Wednesday.
“It’s our goal to give customers a reason to visit our website. We find that once they land on the ordering section, they go crazy and spend a lot of time browsing and customizing,” Vetter said. “Word travels at light speed online, so we’re able to reach a ton of new customers in a short amount of time. Toppers is truly on the cusp of this online ordering revolution, and we’re just as good—if not better—than a lot of the bigger competitors out there.”To learn more about franchising opportunities with Toppers, click here.