Toppers Pizza (American restaurant)

Last updated
Toppers Pizza
Industry Quick Service Restaurant
Founded Champaign, Illinois, United States (1991;30 years ago (1991))
Headquarters Whitewater, Wisconsin, United States
Key people
Scott Gittrich, Founder and CEO
Kendall Richmond, CFO
Products Pizza, Topperstix, Wings

Toppers Pizza is a chain of pizza restaurants in the United States. The company was founded by Scott Gittrich in 1991 in Champaign, Illinois. In 1993 the first Toppers Pizza location in Wisconsin opened in Whitewater, Wisconsin, where the company is headquartered today. [1] The first franchise store opened in Eau Claire, WI in 1997. [2]



There are Toppers Pizza franchises throughout the United States. The chain includes both company-owned locations and franchise stores. It has more than 65 locations in the states of Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky, Nebraska, Michigan, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. [3] The chain's target market is college-aged students and other customers between 18 and 34 years old. [4] [5] [1] As part of its targeting of college students, most of the chain's stores remain open until 3:00 a.m. or later to accommodate late-night business. [1] [6] As of March 7, 2017, it was reported that all Toppers Pizza locations in Illinois closed as part of a restructuring. [7]

Toppers founder Scott Gittrich entered the pizza business in 1984 when he was a college student at the University of Illinois and took a job as a Domino's Pizza delivery driver. He rose through the company, serving as director of operations for a group of 22 franchise locations in Charlotte, North Carolina, when he left in 1991 to start his own pizza business. [6]


In the late 1990s, the company resolved legal challenges to the use of its name and "Toppers" is a registered trademark of the company. The company name is intended to convey its reputation for numerous and unusual pizza toppings.


In 2013, the business was named as one of Nation's Restaurant News' 50 Breakout Chains for 2013, was ranked by Entrepreneur magazine as one of the top 500 franchises in the United States and was ranked at #58 of the top 100 pizza companies by Pizza Today. [8] [9]

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 Lynne Miller, Ones to Watch: Toppers Pizza, QSR Magazine, July 2008
  2. "Toppers Timeline".CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. Toppers Pizza - Locations, website accessed December 22, 2017
  4. 1 2 Stuart Elliott, Hat’s Off to Pizza Makeover, New York Times, September 11, 2006
  5. Fernie Tiflis, Toppers Pizza: Editor’s Choice 2008 Archived 2009-01-06 at the Wayback Machine Food and Drink, 01 December 2008
  6. 1 2 Jane Burns, Executive Q&A: Toppers Pizza founder Scott Gittrich on pie appeal, Wisconsin State Journal , February 27, 2010
  7. , website accessed April 7, 2019
  8. "Toppers Pizza". Log Cabin Democrat. August 29, 2013. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  9. Leute, Jim (February 6, 2014). "Toppers Pizza to open Janesville store". GazetteXtra. Retrieved December 5, 2017.