Jimmy John’s Franchisee Provides Toppers Pizza to Portfolio By New Multi-Unit Deal | Franchise Information

Jimmy John’s Franchisee Provides Toppers Pizza to Portfolio By New Multi-Unit Deal | Franchise Information


Not getting a promotion set Corbett Harris on a completely totally different profession path. That point in his life stays a motivating issue because the Jimmy John’s franchisee pursues development with a second model.

By a seven-unit take care of Toppers Pizza, Harris plans to broaden the Wisconsin pizza model identified for its creative flavors and premium elements in japanese North Carolina. His settlement covers Greenville, Raleigh-Durham and Chapel Hill, and never solely provides one other idea to his portfolio but in addition permits him to raise leaders on his crew.

“I’ve some people who would hit their ceiling in Jimmy John’s, and it jogs my memory of the place I used to be earlier than I received into franchising,” stated Harris of 1 purpose he needed to diversify with a brand new model. “Individuals are hungry for alternatives and development.”

Now a 35-year-old multi-unit franchise proprietor, 10 years in the past Harris was the supervisor of a kitting group inside an organization that dealt with tasks for Fortune 500 shoppers equivalent to Lowes, Household Greenback, Financial institution of America and Wells Fargo. After making use of and never being chosen for a promotion, Harris stated he reevaluated his long-term profession objectives and started researching franchises.


Franchisee Corbett Harris plans to open seven Toppers Pizza shops throughout a number of markets in North Carolina.

With a nest egg created from the worker inventory possession plan at his earlier firm after which partnering along with his dad, Harris opened his first Jimmy John’s restaurant in 2015. Within the eight years since, he’s grown his retailer depend to 13 by “acquisitions, constructing and a few partnerships,” with areas in North Carolina, Colorado, Virginia and New Mexico. He’s set to open two extra Jimmy John’s inside the subsequent week, in South Carolina.

Beginning his seek for a second model two years in the past, Harris stated he evaluated “all the things from espresso outlets to taco eating places,” and sought a enterprise he may “actually get behind.” He discovered that in Toppers, which he famous has a artistic menu—its pizzas embrace Wisconsin Curds ‘N Bacon, Buffalo Hen Mac N Cheese and Loaded Tot-zza—and continues to put money into know-how innovation and franchisee assist.

Toppers, based mostly in Whitewater, Wisconsin, has 71 areas and did $86.5 million in systemwide gross sales in 2022, a rise of 11.6 %. In 2021 it attracted a minority funding from Nice Plains Capital with plans to extend its unit development tempo. Toppers’ common unit quantity was $1.18 million in 2022, with a typical retailer measurement of 1,400 to 1,600 sq. ft.

Earlier this 12 months Toppers promoted Adam Oldenburg, who began as a supply driver and rose to vp of operations, to the chief govt put up. Oldenburg took over for founder Scott Gittrich, who transitioned to chairman of the board.


A typical Toppers Pizza restaurant is 1,400 to 1,600 sq. ft.

Harris stated he labored at a pizza store when he was youthful and sees a possibility to introduce Toppers to a area he believes is missing in high quality pizza choices. The model did have just a few areas in Raleigh and Chapel Hill, however that franchisee closed the outlets and exited the system in 2018.

Toppers does nonetheless have a presence within the Charlotte space, the place franchisee Invoice Stayduhar operates 4 areas, and Harris stated he’s exploring cross-marketing methods to leverage and prolong the model’s consciousness. His markets are additionally residence to 4 universities—East Carolina, North Carolina State, Duke and the College of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—and a number of other massive hospital methods, which he intends to focus on.

In constructing the Jimmy John’s enterprise, Harris stated he’s discovered the largest think about his success is forging robust relationships. “It’s about creating proactive workers that’s going to battle for you day in and time out,” he stated. Just a few years in the past, he continued, he made an “astronomical shift” in how he runs the enterprise, placing God on the middle.

“I’m not going to drive it down your throat, however I make it a part of the identification of the corporate,” he stated. “It’s opened the door for us to be extra clear as an organization and extra open as an organization.”

He likewise attracts on the group’s CRAFT core values—caring, resourceful, consideration to element, ahead considering, belief—in getting ready for extra development. “We use these as our guiding ideas,” he stated.

Harris has two letters of intent signed for Toppers areas in Greenville and expects to open his first pizza restaurant later subsequent 12 months.

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