PMQ: IN THE WORST-CASE SCENARIO, HOW
MANY CUSTOMERS WILL PILE ON EVERY
Iversen: Well, you see it occasionally. Almost every single
one of those is an online order. An order will pop up on
the screen that has, like, 30 toppings. Of course, we did
a lot of training with the team so they know how to reach
out and help the customer understand that the pizza won’t
cook with 30 toppings on it. When you really dig into the
numbers, though, this happens less than 1% of the time.
PMQ: WHAT WAS THE FRANCHISEE REACTION?
Iversen: We thought there would be more nervousness,
but we had already tested it for six months and were able
to show franchisees the impact on food costs and that it
raised order counts, so they felt good about it.
PMQ: DID MENU PRICES CHANGE?
Iversen: ;ey did, but, for the most part, they went
down. We intentionally lowered base menu prices at most
locations as part of the “Straight-Up Pricing” launch to
help improve our overall value perception. ;e average
menu price decrease was by one dollar at most stores.
Our overall food cost increased by only about .25%,
mostly because, during the periods prior to the rollout
of “Straight-Up Pricing,” we implemented some portioning changes in anticipation of customers increasing their
average number of toppings. ;e net result was, our order
counts were up significantly, our average check was down
by an average of 65 cents, and food costs increased by
.25% on average. All in all, the decrease in average check
and increased food costs were more than o;set by the
number of increased orders. We are very excited about
the momentum we’ve created for 2017.
PMQ: HAVE YOU FOUND ANY OTHER
TRADITIONAL PIZZERIAS DOING SOMETHING
Iversen: Not that we’ve found. A big reason we jumped
on it is so we could be known as that pizza place that
doesn’t charge for toppings. It’s working for fast-casual
restaurants in that you get to personalize and customize,
very simply, with a fixed price. Besides, we’re Toppers,
and we’re all about toppings!
Liz Barrett is PMQ’s editor at large.
Toppers Pizza has long been known
for its unique toppings and innovative