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Top That plans to grow from 10 units to 1520 by the end of the year
<p> Top That! plans to grow from 10 units to 15-20 by the end of the year.</p>

Fast-casual pizza: Top That! Pizza

Restaurant Hospitality breaks down the leading concepts in the booming fast-casual pizza segment. See all the concepts &gt;&gt;

Home Base: Tulsa, OK

Key Players: Founders Jeff and Lori Walderich, with help from a private investment group

The Story: What brought husband and wife Jeff and Lori Walderich to this concept is an issue facing many couples. “He likes olives, and I hate them,” she says of their pizza preferences. “I felt like I always had to compromise.”

The marketing and operations veterans with experience working for chain restaurants saw a business opportunity, and a way to avoid fighting. Lori, with the restaurant experience, had watched the growth of the better burger and burrito fast-casual segments and wondered why an assembly-line system couldn’t work with pizza. The conversation began in 2007, and two years later, Jeff found the fast-cook ovens online and the discussion heated up.

Disputes over toppings sparked the idea for Top That!

The first location was the conversion of a sub shop and took just five weeks to complete. Now a snappy online animation on their website shows just how easily another quick-service restaurant can be converted.

Basic Price: A six-inch pizza with unlimited toppings is $5.49, while the 10-inch version is $7.49.

Cook Time: Three minutes in a fast-cook conveyor oven

First Store: Tulsa, OK, in October 2010

Units Open Now/By Year End: 10 (mostly in Oklahoma and Texas) / 15-20

Growth Plan: The concept was built to franchise from the start. The first location is the only corporate-owned store. Lori says Top That! Pizza will have up to 60 more units in five years.

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