The Future 50
Toppers Pizza is a limited-service pizza chain focused primarily on serving a younger crowd of college kids. The chain bills itself as an eclectic, off-the-wall type of place where customers can find a variety of food not normally on its competitors’ menus. Specialties include some 17 different house pizzas, signature cheesy breadsticks, oven-toasted sandwiches, Buffalo wings, quesadillas and other beer-friendly, hangover-helping grub. Toppers Pizza Inc. operates and franchises the chain. Units are located in college towns either on or in close proximity to campuses. The restaurant keeps long hours, often from early in the morning to well past midnight. Scott Gittrich founded Toppers Pizza in 1991 in Champaign, Illinois. The concept soon expanded to a handful of upper Midwest locations. In 1993, Toppers launched its now-signature Topperstix cheesy bread sticks. The growing chain launched a franchising program in 2000. Future growth is expected to come primarily via franchising.