If you’ve ever celebrated a special occasion at Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream, you know just how memorable the restaurant’s parties are. From iconic pies, like the original Taco Joe, to special appearances from mascot Happy the Dog, there’s something for every kid — and kid at heart — to enjoy.
And this month, the beloved quick-service pizza chain is adding a little something extra to make special occasions even better. Through March 31, guests who purchase one of the restaurant’s party package options will receive a free large dessert pizza to accompany the rest of their festive fare. Guests have a variety of dessert pizza options to choose from to make their experience even sweeter. A popular favorite is the Cinnamon Dessert Pizza, but partygoers can also choose from a wide selection of Fruit Dessert Pizzas as well. And if they’re looking for something a bit more unique, the new Birthday Cake Pizza, in March 2023 at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, Happy Joe’s Birthday Cake Pizza was highly recognized as the 2nd most innovative pizza in the country by PizzaMarketplace.com, is the perfect option for a big day. A welcome addition to the brand’s pizza-inspired dessert fare, the Birthday Cake Pizza starts with a moist cake batter topped with creamy vanilla pudding and celebratory birthday sprinkles.
For Chief Happiness Officer and CEO Tom Sacco, it’s the little things like this that he believes help make the pizza party experience all the more magical for guests. “We love to create a fun and family-friendly atmosphere for all our guests to enjoy. Whether it’s a birthday or an office party, we have all the perfect ingredients to put a smile on all our guests’ faces no matter what the celebration is.”
The fun isn’t stopping at free dessert this spring. Guests at participating locations can sign up to win a party or event for up to 10 people. No matter what kind of fete you’re planning, Happy Joe’s is a venue no one will forget. From birthdays to anniversaries, graduations, office parties, fundraisers, and more, Happy Joe’s Pizza brings people together in a way few restaurants can claim. The lucky winners of this free pizza party will be announced the first week of April.
A true foodie’s paradise, Happy Joe’s offers attendees many more options than standard pizza and ice cream. Guests can order a plethora of different dishes to fit their cravings, like rich pastas, salads, wings, sandwiches, or Walking Taco Kits made with the brand’s custom-made taco chips. And if your bash is a bit on the early side, have no fear. Breakfast options — like the build-your-own omelet pizzas — are the perfect way to kick off an office meeting or morning tailgate gathering.
Of course, no party is complete without fun and games. After enjoying plenty of pizza and ice cream, guests can test their skills at arcade games, winning tickets that can be redeemed for a selection of awesome prizes. Partiers should also be on the lookout for Happy the Dog, who loves to make appearances for birthday celebrations.
Continuing the Company’s Tradition of Hosting the Best Parties
In 1972, “Happy Joe” Whitty opened the first Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream in Bettendorf, Iowa. With a unique take on classic pizza flavors (like the very first taco pizza) and a focus on family-friendly service, it quickly grew into a Midwestern favorite. Over 50 years later, the tried-and-true formula is still going strong, bringing pizza and ice cream fans together across the globe. And with new expansions into Texas, Florida, and the Middle East, the iconic brand shows no signs of slowing down. Recently, the company was recognized and named a FastCasual Top 200 concept, Franchise Times Top 400 business, and Nation’s Restaurant News Top 500 restaurant.
Celebrating at Happy Joe’s is a magical experience for anyone, especially kids. This is by design, thanks to the Happy Joe’s brand being built on kid-friendly fun and community-driven purpose. And while the COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on many of the company’s events, 2022 saw the exciting return of one of Happy Joe’s most anticipated kid-focused galas.
This past December, special needs kids across the Quad Cities areas congregated in Moline, Illinois, to participate in Happy Joe’s biggest yearly occasion. Since the company started in 1972, children with special needs and their caregivers have been invited to celebrate each holiday season — an iconic tradition the company couldn’t wait to return to.
Over the course of two days, the Happy Joe’s team hosted four holiday pizza parties, bringing 1500 special needs kids together for a jubilee they’ll never forget. Along with a lunch of hot and fresh pizza, soft drinks, and ice cream, honored guests got to enjoy a slate of holiday-themed entertainment. Each function kicked off with the national anthem, sung by local advocate Kate Holsen. Afterward, kids could sing and dance along with performances from Happy the Dog and the Happy Joe’s hip-hop dance team.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the day was when old St. Nicholas himself visited, delivering a holiday message and posing for photos. He also brought enough gifts to ensure each child went home with a memento. As they left, guests received Happy Joe’s branded hats and a book.
These holiday parties are just one example of the commitment and care founder “Happy Joe” Whitty had for special needs children and their families. Today, that dedication is stronger than ever, with every franchise encouraged to host their own parties for their local communities.
As Tom Sacco noted, “The holiday season is the most important time of year to give back, and nobody deserves to have a more festive time than children with special needs. Happy Joe’s strives to be the top choice for great food and a fun time together. These parties have been designed to ensure these wonderful children feel appreciated and included in our community. We’ve been told that for many of these kids, this is the highlight of their holidays, and their teachers and parents are thrilled these parties are making a comeback.”
All in all, it’s clear that Happy Joe’s knows how to throw a shindig, whether large or small. And in this year’s upcoming holiday season, it’s clear that the brand plans on one-upping itself, creating a holiday party that’s bigger and better than ever.
“This is one of our favorite events to host each year, and we’re happy to have it back and plan on making it better than ever,” Sacco said.
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