by Tom Sacco, CEO, Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream
To most people, the term “pizza for breakfast” probably makes them think of a college student eating a cold leftover slice in the morning on the way to class. But for those who live in the Midwest, the phrase takes on a whole new meaning. It brings back memories for multiple generations as people look back on magical morning moments created with friends and family at Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream.
For nearly 50 years, Happy Joe’s has been dedicated to serving specialty, gourmet pizzas. We’ve never been afraid to reinvent what pizza looks like, which is how we became the go-to destination for pizza for breakfast. In the ‘90s, Happy Joe’s Founder Joe Whitty wondered why other local restaurants were getting breakfast business when he felt Happy Joe’s could offer something just as good – if not, better – than the competition. Whitty used his fearless mindset, commitment to creativity and drive to stand out … And then, voila! The Omelet Pizza was born.
From there, Happy Joe’s expanded its Omelet Pizza lineup to include one-of-a-kind creations like the Denver, Three Meat, Bacon & Bacon, and Create Your Own, all of which are pan-style crust pizzas with scrambled eggs, cheese and tasty toppings. We serve these delicious pizzas every morning with other items like breakfast burritos, freshly baked giant cinnamon rolls and breakfast scramblers, along with a variety of other non-breakfast items. We do it up even bigger and more bountiful on Sunday with our Brunch Buffet.
Breakfast became a core piece of our brand’s success. In 2020, breakfast pizzas accounted for about 4.5% of Happy Joe’s sales, and the average check size was $20.66. Everyone knows breakfast is the most important meal of the day, which is why the lineup ranks in our top 10 best sellers. There’s even a strong correlation between locations that offer breakfast and highest average annual revenue. Happy Joe’s restaurants that fill their pipeline with breakfast items available for delivery or pick-up tend to perform better with a much higher AUV.
Along with offering innovative creations that boost sales, our breakfast day part gives us a competitive advantage in the pizza segment because it identifies Happy Joe’s as an ideal gathering place in the mornings. Weekend brunch draws in large crowds, like family gatherings after church and sports teams looking for a fun, celebratory meal after a big win. With arcade games, sirens, flashing lights and a large model train set that runs around each restaurant, visiting our lively, family-friendly atmosphere for brunch is every kid’s dream when they wake up on a Sunday morning.
But it’s not only fun and games for kids at Happy Joe’s. Adults love our Omelet Pizzas, too! During the week, groups like business clubs, PTAs and book clubs have morning meetings in our restaurants. We even deliver and cater our breakfast lineup, which is a popular option for hosting in-office and hotel meetings, as well as serving residents at senior citizen centers. Happy Joe’s breakfast pizza continues to be the perfect option for not just the young, but also the young at heart!
Everybody needs a little magic in their life, and for Happy Joe’s, our breakfast day part is a key component of our “fairy dust.” We’re all about being an exciting place to create lasting memories, but our unique breakfast offerings make us shine brighter than the rest.
Call me cheesy, but it’s just like Dr. Seuss said – why would Happy Joe’s fit in with all the other pizza brands when we were born to stand out?
To learn more about Happy Joe’s franchise opportunities, email Kat Davidson at KatD@drhnow.com or call 678.485.8413.
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