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Happy Joe’s Kicks Off 50th Anniversary Celebration

Happy Joe's logo

Happy Joe's logo

Happy Joe's restaurant render

Happy Joe's restaurant render

Happy Joe's 50th Anniversary car giveaway

Happy Joe's 50th Anniversary car giveaway

The Midwest-based pizza chain celebrates a new milestone

Happy Joe’s has strived to create magical moments for all our guests, wherever they may be. Ninety percent of all restaurants operating in the USA cannot say they have achieved this milestone.”
— Tom Sacco, CEO & Chief Happiness Officer

UNITED STATES, December 15, 2022 / -- Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream has been bringing smiles to families for 50 years. From its famous “Taco Joe” pizza to its unmatched community involvement, the beloved pizza spot has been a fan favorite since 1972. After an incredible year in 2022, the Iowa-based company is reveling in its new milestone.

“For 50 years, Happy Joe’s has strived to create magical moments for all our guests, wherever they may be,” said Tom Sacco, Happy Joe’s CEO and Chief Happiness Officer. “Ninety percent of all restaurants operating in the USA cannot say they have achieved this milestone.”

A number of goals were reached for the family-friendly chain in 2022. As the year comes to a close, the company enjoyed eight consecutive quarters of positive sales. Following this growth, the brand announced expansion in several new locations, including Missouri, Arizona, Florida, and Texas, along with the brand opening a new location in Egypt. The chain is primarily based in the Midwest, so these expansions represent an exciting forward movement for the brand. More openings are in the works for 2023 and beyond, with a new Happy Joe’s image and a well-tested brand design. On a larger scale, the company is preparing to expand its global footprint, with more locations slated for Egypt, the Middle East, and Bolivia.

Forward-thinking innovation has been a cornerstone for the brand, especially after the pandemic began. Faced with supply chain challenges and social distancing mandates, the company got creative. To keep up with the demand for hot and fresh pizza, the company built a new online ordering system to support its already robust, in-house delivery system. Since then, the company has continued reinventing its brand and guest experience. 2022 saw a new, streamlined website design to better capture the brand’s voice. Additionally, Happy Joe’s customers can use a new loyalty app powered by Punchh to earn points toward new orders. These technology enhancements are among the major milestones the 50-year-old company achieved in 2022.

For many in the industry, COVID-19 was a wake-up call. Restaurants must be willing to accept change. What’s more, the fast-casual restaurant space is highly competitive, meaning only the most flexible brands can stay afloat. It’s a true testament to the Happy Joe’s brand that it’s cracked a formula that’s kept guests coming back for half a century. However, a great formula doesn’t mean change never happens. With Sacco’s leadership, he truly understands that changes are necessary for a brand to remain relevant. The greatest brands embrace continuous reinvestment to remain attractive to changing consumer preferences, which is why being “Best-in-Class” has been a wholly united effort.

“Unlike the competition, the restaurant doesn’t look at its pizza as a commodity,” Sacco says. “Instead, the company sees its pizza and pasta recipes differently. Each recipe is seen as creative, innovative, unique food products that touch breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.” And with an array of dishes spanning from pizza, pasta, sandwiches, breakfast bowls, and more, guests can enjoy the Happy Joe’s experience any time of day.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the company has taken its commitment to philanthropy to the next level. In partnership with the Happy Joe’s Kids Foundation, the company is distributing $50,000 in donations to families of children with special needs. The program was launched on Sept. 10 — founder “Happy Joe” Whitty’s birthday. In partnership with Whitty’s nonprofit, the pizza chain celebrated Whitty’s birthday and the brand’s 50th anniversary by bringing donations to the communities it serves.

Fifty families of children with special needs will each receive a donation of $1,000. These donations will help uplift families struggling to pay for expenses. All funds are intended to alleviate medical costs and mobility needs, as well as any educational and therapeutic programs. To make the impact as significant as possible, the initiative is taking a companywide, collaborative approach. Both general managers and franchisees of all 50 Happy Joe’s pizza restaurants will take part in the program by helping locate families in need of financial assistance.

In addition to giving away $1,000 to 50 families of kids with special needs, the company is offering guests a chance to win a brand-new 2022 Ford Explorer ST. Everyone is invited to enter for a chance to win this vehicle by calling 844-648-2832 or by registering online at To cover taxes on the new vehicle, the winner will also receive $17,000. All proceeds will go to benefit children’s charities, and participants can double their entry into the contest by making a $25 donation to the Happy Joe’s Kids Foundation or a similar children’s charity.

After an incredible year, the Happy Joe’s team remains committed to its core tenets of great food, great service, creating magical children’s memories, and philanthropy. With big plans in 2023 and a 50-year milestone under its belt, the company hopes to provide exceptional experiences and continue to create magical memories for years to come.

About Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream

Founded in 1972, Happy Joe’s brought a new restaurant concept to life. Whitty had a unique dream that involved presenting America’s two favorite foods — pizza and ice cream — as part of a fun, celebratory guest experience. First established in Bettendorf, Iowa, the quick-service pizza chain quickly became a fan favorite. Beloved for its creative recipes (like the first-ever taco pizza) and family-friendly atmosphere, Happy Joe’s has created a restaurant like no other. Today, the quick-service chain is one of America’s most iconic pizza places. Spanning across the Midwest and South with a location in Egypt, the company has gone from strength to strength in 2022. To date, after recently being inducted in Pizza Marketplace Magazine’s “Pizza Hall of Fame,” Happy Joe’s has been recognized and named a Fast Casual Magazine “Top 200” concept, a Franchise Times “Top 400” business, and a Nation’s Restaurant News “Top 500” restaurant. In August, it was recognized by QSR Magazine as a “Top 50 Contenders for 2022,” a rising star ready for new explosive growth over the next five years.

Kristel Ersan
Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream Parlors
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