Toast Customer Story

Amore Pizzeria Grows Business By 16% With Toast Capital

Chris and Danny Simone opened Amore Pizzeria in 2003 to bring New York-style pizza to Zionsville, Indiana. Now, the Simone brothers are exploring new ways to continue building on Amore’s success.

The Simone brothers grew up in New York as part of a large Italian family. Many of their family members started their own businesses, so when Chris and Danny moved to Indiana, they jumped on the opportunity to bring authentic, 100% hand-made New York-style pizza to the area. Since opening, Amore Pizzeria was ranked second out of 300 pizzerias in the state of Indiana, got to the top of the Zionsville Times Sentinel Z-List 2018 for “Best Family Dining” and “Best Pizza”, and is beloved by customers for their community involvement.

Due to Amore’s popularity, it’s no surprise that their kitchen nearly reached its max volume. To keep up with demand, the brothers decided to add an additional pizza oven to their kitchen to increase the number of orders they could fill each day. They also wanted to replace some of their kitchen equipment and spruce up their space.

Chris leveraged Toast Capital to make the changes to grow his business.

“There’s no way we could expand without Toast Capital,” says Chris Simone. “I’ve used other capital companies in the past, yet I’ve never had a good experience with them. They want to do your credit card processing, and the interest rates are so high. Signing up with one of these companies requires two weeks worth of paperwork. It was just too time-consuming and clumsy.”

“We’re up 16% this year. For Amore to be 15 years old and growing at that rate is astonishing. The average growth rate for a restaurant like us is 4-5%. Once we expand locations, it’s going to be a waterfall.”

Chris head shot

Chris Simone

Co-Founder of Amore Pizzeria

Why Toast Capital Stood Out From Other Funding Options

Toast Capital stood out from other sources of financing Chris explored thanks to its quick, simple application process and flexible repayment method. Because Chris was already powering Amore with Toast, it was an easy decision to move forward with Toast Capital. He felt confident in expanding his partnership with Toast because Toast truly understood his business and its opportunity for continued growth. 

“I’ll never mess with a bank because all they see is a small restaurant. They don't take us seriously,” he says.

Amore Pizzeria's Sausage Parmesan

Growth with Toast Capital

Amore has flourished since Chris’s investment in his business. With funds from Toast Capital, Chris was able to make purchases that would result in high return.

“With Toast Capital, I’ve been able to upgrade the restaurant. I had a painting crew come in the week after we got the funding. It’s also allowed me to buy new hand-fryers and a $20,000 oven.” Chris mentions that since he’s approaching his max volume, getting an extra oven allows him to make more money. “I applied for funding from Toast Capital in November, and I got everything done within a few weeks,” he says.

Since partnering with Toast Capital to invest in his business, Chris has started thinking about expanding Amore to multiple concepts. “We have a solid avenue for growth. We’re up 16% this year. For Amore to be 15 years old and growing at that rate is astonishing. The average growth rate for a restaurant like us is 4-5%. Once we expand locations, it’s going to be a waterfall.”

Chris is also thinking about introducing new revenue streams to accelerate Amore’s growth. “It’s insane that we do the amount we make without alcohol or delivery. With Capital, we’re thinking of adding alcohol and delivery next year.”

Amore Pizzeria's Selection of Handmade New York-Style Pizzas
Amore Pizzeria's Selection of Handmade New York-Style Pizzas

The Positive Experience with Toast Capital

“The application process for Toast Capital was seamless. I applied right in the backend of Toast,” Chris laughs.

Chris was impressed by how quick and simple the application and approval process was.

“I said, ‘there’s no way it can be that easy’, but it was,” Chris states. “I’ll definitely use Toast Capital for all of my future expansions.”

When asked what his favorite part is about Toast Capital, Chris says, “It’s the ease of use. You can log into the backend and see your funds right there. It's the easiest business process I’ve ever been through. The holdback is low too; Toast takes it right out of my credit card processing, so I don’t even miss it.”

For Chris, his relationship with his POS provider was more important than anything else.

“I don't want to get stuck with a company I don’t get along with. With the prior relationship I had with Toast, I felt comfortable to continue working with Toast. In one and a half years, I can still say I’ve never had a bad experience with Toast.”

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