Home Restaurant Happy Joe’s Cooks Up Extra-Large Success in 2023, Looks to Go Even...

Happy Joe’s Cooks Up Extra-Large Success in 2023, Looks to Go Even Bigger in 2024

Popular pizza-and-ice cream chain celebrates new locations, menu items, partnerships, awards and more

Happy Joe's Cooks Up Extra-Large Success in 2023, Looks to Go Even Bigger in 2024There’s no such thing as too much pizza, too much ice cream, or too much good news. And in 2023, Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream enjoyed a long list of positives – from awards to growth to creative new menu items. It was an extraordinary year for the beloved Midwestern pizza brand, its franchisees, employees, and of course, customers.

Happy Joe’s continued to share its love of pizza, ice cream and smiles with new restaurants opening in Branson, Mo., and two in Egypt – the SODIC strip in Giza and two locations in Cairo. The brand also welcomed new franchisees to the growing family in Billings, Montana; Dallas, Texas; Fargo, North Dakota; and Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.

“We love making great pizza and creating happy memories for our guests, so it’s natural for us to work on opening more Happy Joe’s locations across the country and around the world,” said Tom Sacco, CEO, Chief Happiness Officer and President. “With more people enjoying the Happy Joe’s experience across the globe, our team is focused on delivering new and exciting innovations to keep them coming back for more!”

The brand introduced several unique promotions in 2023, including the “Let’s Party” offer rewarding any guest who bought a party package with a free large dessert pizza, and the BBQ Month celebration featuring a variety of limited-time, barbecue-focused items, including three different BBQ Pizzas, BBQ Pork Wings and the new, sweet Dr Pepper barbecue sauce.

As anyone might expect from the brand that was first to introduce the Taco Pizza, the creative Happy Joe’s kitchens introduced several limited-time specialty pizzas, including the spicy-and-savory Jalapeño Popper Pizza, the sweet-and-tangy Sloppy Joe Pizza and the New York-style thin-crust Square Pizza. Plus, Happy Joe’s continued to outshine its competitors by adding Pizza Burgers to the menu, combining people’s love of pizza and burgers – using the same toppings found on Happy Joe’s beloved, extensive pizza menu, to top your burger with the same iconic flavors Happy Joe’s Pizza is known for.

The Happy Joe’s commitment to give back to the community inspires a variety of charitable partnerships and programs. For example, the Happy Reader program motivates students to improve their reading levels while earning prizes delivered by the brand’s mascot Happy the Dog, and the class that shows the most improvement wins a pizza party from their local Happy Joe’s. Another program involves schools and community groups being invited to group tours, where they get an inside look at the pizza-making process and learn how a restaurant is run on a day-to-day basis.

In addition, Happy Joe’s partnered with the charitable organization CORE – Children of Restaurant Employees – to bring relief to restaurant employees facing a life-altering health crisis, injury, death or natural disaster. For several months, a dollar from every Happy Joe’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizza sold was donated to the cause, and with the successful partnership, Happy Joe’s is extending the C.O.R.E. Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizza through the first quarter of 2024.

To strengthen Happy Joe’s expansion efforts, the company established a partnership with Integrated Digital Strategies – launching a new franchising-only website and implementing IDS’ proprietary franchise lead generation process. Both of these efforts will be integral to the brand’s explosive growth planned for 2024 and beyond.

As the company grows, so has its list of awards and recognitions – including being listed in the Franchise Times Top 400. From the Pizza Marketplace Awards, Happy Joe’s was named one of the Top Pizza Brands to Watch, ranked 2nd in the Top 15 Menu Innovation Category, and Tom Sacco was listed #8 in the Top 25 Executive Category for Pizza Marketplace. Happy Joe’s was also recognized by Flavor & The Menu with the Best of Flavor Award for its Crab Rangoon Pizza.

Stephanie Bailey, GM of the Happy Joe’s in Burlington, Iowa, was featured on “The Power List” from the Nation’s Restaurant News for building a family-style culture among her team. The article showcases how her positive attitude and level of dedication is an inspiration to team members and guests alike.

CEO Tom Sacco was featured in QSR’s “Restaurant Leaders in Franchising,” as well as several interviews with industry publications. Franchise Times covered the Dallas and Egypt franchisee signings, while Restaurant Development & Design wrote about Happy Joe’s new prototype in “The Vibe Shift” and the brand’s focus on nostalgia in their “Back to the Future” article.

Sacco also led the charge in hiring a variety of new executives in marketing, finance and operations roles, including Director of Marketing Josh Spiller, Director of Community and Public Relations Kristen Ersan, Director of Purchasing and Supply Chain Jenny Culp, Franchise Business Consultant Christopher Anschutz, and Director of Training and Culinary Ashley Balluff.

Founded in 1972 by Joe Whitty in Davenport, Iowa, Happy Joe’s dream was to create a restaurant concept that focused on serving America’s two favorite foods – pizza and ice cream – in a family-friendly, celebratory environment. Owned and operated by Dynamic Restaurant Holdings Inc., Happy Joe’s has been named a QSR Magazine “Top 50 Contender,” Pizza Marketplace “Top 100 Movers and Shakers” pizza brand, FastCasual “Top 200” concept, Franchise Times “Top 400” business, and Nation’s Restaurant News “Top 500” restaurant. The family-centric pizza brand has three company and 43 franchise locations throughout the Midwest, with more in the pipeline. To learn more, visit HappyJoes.com, contact Kat Davidson at [email protected], or follow Happy Joe’s on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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