Saturday, 24 May 2008

Online Sales Prove to Be A Winner for Papa John's UK

Recent sales figures for Papa John's pizza suggest that when it comes to ordering pizza the dot-com bubble is still going strong.

The pizza company, famous for its 'Better Ingredients, Better Pizza' promise, saw its online weekly sales figures top £100,000 for the first time in May - marking a steady increase since the launch of online ordering two years ago.

The total for online sales now stands at over £6.5million, with the record sales figure illustrating a staggering 178 percent increase from the weekly average in 2006.

Simon Wallis, director of marketing, said: "We are delighted to have broken the £100,000 mark for the first time. The growth rate of our online trade over the last two years has been phenomenal.

"At the moment, our online sales currently average over 22 percent of total sales, a figure we expect to continue to rise as more and more customers look to the benefits and ease of ordering online.

"We know that as a society we are becoming more internet savvy and this is becoming clearly visible in our figures. In 2006 our total online sales were less than £2million, this year we will be looking to break the £5million barrier.

"This growth online reflects the growth of Papa John's as we continue to expand across the UK.

Already 2008 has seen seven stores open in the first quarter with another eight planned by June, as we look to grow our number of stores by 25 percent this year."

Papa John's recent figures in the UK echo those experienced by the company on the other side of the Atlantic.

In the US, the first week in May saw the company break the $1billion mark for total online sales.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Actor Arrested in Pizza Shop Hold-Up

A Utah teenager known for acting roles in Disney's "High School Musical" and as a quirky medieval warrior in anti-tobacco television commercials has been arrested on suspicion of robbing a Holladay pizza shop at gunpoint.

Read on...

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Friday, 16 May 2008

Talkaboutability - or how to generate free publicity for your pizza business

Domino's Pizza Smart Car

Tariq Khan bought himself a funky car for his Domino's Pizza Franchise in Waltham!

Read the story here

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Free Pizza - If You Can Eat It!

Are you up for a pizza challenge?

The Pizza Haus on East McCarty Street in Jefferson City features a promotion for the most daring of eaters.

For $30, any brave patron of the restaurant can purchase “The Haus,” an 18x18-inch pizza and a drink. If the eater can finish off the entire pizza within one hour, their meal is "on the haus".

And they'll be the first to be immortalized on the Pizza Haus Hall of Fame, complete with a photo. As an extra incentive, a winner takes a pot of money, to which each entrant contributes $5.

But there's several catches.

First, pizzas must have three meats of the eater's choosing.

Second, if eaters get sick, they are disqualified and must clean up their own mess.

And third, a failed attempt will also get your mug on the pizza joint's “Wall of Shame,” which currently features 25 losing eaters.

Restaurant owner Jason VanLoo bought the business 13 months ago.

VanLoo said he and a friend thought of the promotion while sitting in a booth at the restaurant before VanLoo had even purchased it.

“We were just sitting there,” VanLoo said. “We just wanted to know, ‘What can we do to get people in here?'

”VanLoo said all of the attempts so far have been from men, both young and old. “I'd love to see a girl do it,” VanLoo said.

VanLoo said a number of people have asked about the competition.

Others, he said, come by and purchase the pizza, which is an item on the regular menu, and test the waters before trying to eat the whole thing as part of the competition.

Some of those are scared off on their first try.“We've gotten to the point where everyone's scared of it,” VanLoo said. “It's a lot of food.”

The competition started out strong when VanLoo first began it just over a year ago, but VanLoo said participation has dwindled.

VanLoo attributes this to the size of the pizza, which is nearly the size of the restaurant's tables.

Those who have the opportunity to watch someone endeavor the challenge enjoy the entertainment almost as much as VanLoo and his employees do.

“Everyone kind of gawks just to see,” VanLoo said.

Often other diners in the restaurant will give competitors a pep-talk beforehand, or will offer support during the test. The eaters usually have something to say, too.“A lot of what I hear is ‘Oh, when I was younger I could have done it. Ten years ago this would have been easy,'” VanLoo said.

So far no one has made the “Wall of Fame” and actually finished the pizza.

The closest attempt was by a local fire fighter who ate the entire pizza except for four pieces, a tiny portion compared to how much he was able to finish.“I really think it might take a professional eater to do it,” VanLoo said.

VanLoo has yet to try the challenge himself, but said that if he were to try, he would order a pizza with pepperoni, Canadian bacon and sausage.

He said that competition is “all mental” and that he is excited to see someone do it - just not himself.

“I'm not crazy enough to try it,” VanLoo laughed.

The most recent attempt at the competition was April 19, when Mike Lewis finished just over half of the enormous pie.

“I was a little disappointed - I thought I could get a little farther,” Lewis said.

This venture was Lewis's second time to try the feat.

The first time he got further, leaving just two rows of pizza left.“I think it's pretty much impossible.”

After finishing as much as he could, Lewis could only describe how he felt as “Miserable. Just miserable. Really full.”

Customers are welcome to try the challenge any day Pizza Haus is open -- no appointment necessary

Domino's Pizza Celebrates 25th Anniversary in Canada

Domino's Pizza, the recognized world leader in pizza delivery, this month celebrates its 25th anniversary in Canada and Mike Schlater, who opened the first Domino's Pizza store outside the United States on May 12, 1983, is celebrating his homecoming after recently being named president of the Master Franchise.

Today (Monday), Domino's Pizza stores throughout Canada will be donating $2.50 per order to local charities in celebration of the 25th anniversary.

Founded in 1960 in the U.S. college town of Ypsilanti, Michigan, Domino's Pizza grew slowly but steadily throughout the United States in its first 20 years, but it was a pioneering young entrepreneur who saw the potential to deliver pizza to hungry customers in Canada.

Mike Schlater, originally from Ohio, opened his first store in Winnipeg, thus turning Domino's Pizza into an international enterprise, which today has more than 8,600 stores in more than 55 countries.

In 2008, Domino's Pizza of Canada Ltd. is a system comprised of 140 individual franchise owners, who operate a combined 280 stores. Domino's Pizza has a presence in every province, and two of the three territories. The northern-most store in the Western Hemisphere is in Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories. Delivery personnel there can often be seen making deliveries via snowmobile when the weather dictates.

The store that lays claim to being the "most remote" Domino's Pizza store in Canada is in Whitehorse,Yukon. Schlater, who operated stores in Canada for several years before becoming a multi-store franchisee with stores across the U.S., recently returned to Canada after being named President of Domino's Pizza Canada Ltd., which is now based in Leamington, Ontario.

"I feel like I've come full circle," said Schlater. "It's hard to believe that 25 years ago, I was just opening that first store in Winnipeg and now, I've got the pleasure of leading this great company into the next quarter century. We've had our ups and downs over the years, but the strength of our system is in our business model and in our franchisees.

I see great things in store for us." Schlater noted that Domino's Pizza is looking to build momentum by opening at least 75 stores within the next five years, with the goal of having at least 350 Domino's Pizza stores operating by the end of 2013, the year in which Domino's Pizza of Canada will be celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Domino's Pizza CMO Makes Abrupt Exit

Ken Calwell Domino's PizzaDomino's top marketing executive, Ken Calwell, is leaving the company after nearly seven years on the job.

The chain's president, Patrick Doyle, will be taking over the position on an interim basis.

"We want to thank Ken for everything he has done for Domino's Pizza," David A. Brandon, the fast-feeder's CEO, said in a statement. "This included five years of his contributing to our 12-year string without a negative same-store sales comparison. We wish Ken and his family the very best in their future endeavors, and consider them great friends of Domino's Pizza."

Mr Doyle will oversee the search for a new CMO, which the company said is already under way.

An executive familiar with the matter said Mr. Calwell's departure was abrupt and unexpected.

While the chain's worldwide same-store sales have been positive, the domestic comparisons haven't been as strong. Domino's first-quarter same-store sales were down in the U.S. 2.4% at company-owned stores and down 5.5% at franchisee-owned stores.

The disappointing performance follows a shift in the chain's creative account, which moved to Crispin Porter & Bogusky in September. Crispin developed the chain's "You Got 30 Minutes" campaign. Domino's decision resulted in some controversy because the Miami agency also has the Burger King business.

The two companies have a close relationship, however. Domino's CEO, Mr. Brandon, is a member of the Burger King board, and the companies share sponsorship of a Nascar team.

Burger King's marketing efforts, meanwhile, have been extraordinarily successful. The company has credited Crispin's "Whopper Freakout" campaign with its industry-leading same-store sales.

Pizza Hut To Close Kansas Call Centre

Pizza Hut Inc. will close its Overland Park, Kan. call center June 30 and lay off 180 employees, a company spokesman said Tuesday.

The company is in the process of outsourcing all call-center operations for its company-owned locations, spokesman Chris Fuller said.

Pizza Hut will try to find other jobs for the laid-off workers within and outside the company, he said.

Pizza Hut has almost 6,200 restaurants in the United States and more than 4,000 restaurants in 100 other countries.

Pizza Hut Unveils "Ultimate Grill Pizza"

The toppings, including steak, chicken and vegetables, are enhanced with a backyard grilled flavour.

The company is also dangling a Char-Broil Grill2Go Express Grill in a sweepstakes at

One Grill2Go will be awarded every hour from midnight to noon through June 7.

Daily winners will be eligible for the grand prize, a Char-Broil Infrared Commercial Series Grill, The Big Easy Oil-Less Infrared Turkey Fryer and an assortment of Char-Broil Grilling Tools.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Papa John's Sells an Impressive 75,000 Pies in 23-cent Pizza Promotion

Papa John's reversed some recent negative publicity and estimates that they sold an estimated 75,000 pizzas on Thursday in Ohio during a promotion that offered pizza lovers the chance to snag a pie for just 23-cents. More than 80 Papa John's locations in Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Toledo, and Columbus took park in the one-day special.

The promotion netted more than $17,500, with all proceeds going to the LeBron James Family Foundation. Papa Johns also donated an additional $10,000 to James' foundation, as well as another $10,000 to the Cavaliers Youth Fund.

Papa Johns offered the promotion to Ohioans after backing the wrong team in the playoffs, and giving away t-shirts making fun of "cry baby" LeBron James. After numerous complaints, Papa Johns decided on a 23-center special, taking inspiration from LeBron's #23.

Obviously more than just Cavs fans showed up for the special deal, and throughout the day there were reports of long lines, traffic problems, and complaints about long waits.

In a press release issued by the company, Tim North, a division vice president, said: "We salute Cleveland fans for coming out in incredible numbers. Papa John's employees across Northeast Ohio worked incredibly hard (Thursday) to keep up with orders and to show how committed we are to Cleveland, the Cavaliers and LeBron James."

Pizza Hut Rolls Out All Natural Pizza

YUM! Brands Inc's Pizza Hut said on Friday it is responding to consumer demand for healthier food options by rolling out a new pizza made with all-natural ingredients.

The move comes as Yum is expanding menus at its domestic Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants to better compete with rival fast-food companies.

Consumers are increasingly clamoring for healthier fast-food menu options and are often willing to pay a premium for meals with natural or organic ingredients.

While the overall industry has had mixed results with healthy or low-calorie fare, Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill has grown swiftly on sales of burritos stuffed with naturally raised meats.

The new pizza, called The Natural, has a multigrain crust sweetened with honey, a red sauce made with organic tomatoes and is topped with all-natural cheese. Available toppings include all-natural chicken sausage and roasted red peppers.

Kelly Buckley, Pizza Hut's chief food innovation officer, said the natural and organic pizza market is virtually untapped.

"It's a big opportunity for us," she said.

The pizzas, which are already being sold in Seattle, Denver and Dallas, will be available nationwide next year, spokesman Chris Fuller said.

A medium Natural pizza with one topping sells for around $11, about $1 more than the average medium, one-topping pizza, Fuller said.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Pizza Turns Into Weekend Treat as Credit Crunch Hits

In what appears to be another sign that consumers are trimming back on restaurant spending, foodservice consultants Technomic found that consumers have shifted their pizza-ordering habits, cutting back on weekdays but ordering more often on weekends.

In 2006, Technomic found that 35 percent of consumers indicated that they would primarily order pizza for dinner during the week, and just over a quarter (28 percent) typically ordered pizza for dinner during the weekend. Today’s consumers, however, report that they order pizza for dinner on the weekend (32 percent) slightly more than they do during the week (29 percent).

“We believe that increasing consumption of pizza on weekends over weekdays is likely tied to consumers’ desire for more economical options,” noted Darren Tristano, Executive Vice President of Technomic Information Services. “Instead of going out for a sit-down meal during the weekend and ordering pizza for dinner during the week, consumers are scaling back by having an affordable pizza meal on the weekend and preparing more weekday meals at home.”

The survey was conducted for Technomic’s new Pizza Consumer Trend Report. Other findings presented and interpreted in the report include:

When eating pizza, health and wellness is a concern for 69 percent of consumers, yet half these consumers do not let their concerns influence their consumption behavior.

To appeal to those truly interested in healthier alternatives, pizza operators must not sacrifice taste, focusing instead upon ingredients that carry a health halo, such as those which are coined as all-natural, fresh and artisan.

Frozen pizza has become increasingly competitive with foodservice pizza, both in terms of overall quality and in providing an affordable pizza option. For foodservice pizza to compete, they will need to focus marketing efforts on what differentiates these products from retail options and why they provide an overall better value.

Consumer preferences, particularly for pizza crust and sauce, vary regionally and ethnically. For example, sweet sauces are favored by more consumers in the Northeast (25 percent) than among Southern (18 percent), Midwestern (17 percent) and Western (13 percent) consumers. Also, pesto-flavored sauce was preferred by 14 percent of all consumers; Asians, however, chose pesto more than any other ethnic group (24 percent).

Hey Cleveland - Here's How to Get Your 23 Cent Papa John's Pizza

You've called us. You've commented on our blogs but what you want to know exactly is how to get your 23-cent Papa John's pizza on Thursday.

Huddle up, team. Here are the official rules for what will likely be noted in Cleveland history as The-Great-23-Cent-Pizza-Day (aka The-Day-None-of-Us-Could-Stop-Talking-About):

1. All 40 Greater Cleveland locations are participating, from Mansfield to Painesville to Uhrichsville (it's south of Canton). Youngstown and Toledo locations also are in on the deal. Click here to find them.

2. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

3. You're limited to one pizza per person.

4. It's carryout only. No Internet orders, but phone calls are fine.

5. You get one topping on your large pizza. That means you can have sausage or pepperoni, people, not both.

Papa John's promises they've ordered "massive amounts" of extra food to satisfy the demand. "Crazy-busy," a Westlake employee predicted.

Um, you think?

Make sure your pizza game plan includes comfy shoes; there's bound to be a wait.

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Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Papa John's Announce Impressive UK Expansion Plans

Tom Hudson Coronation StPapa John’s has opened six outlets in three months as part of its rapid expansion plan to open 25 new stores nationwide this year.

Stores have been opened in Haringey, Morden and Worcester Park and express outlets in Haven holiday camps in Devon, East Sussex and Yorkshire.

The company is now looking to open further outlets in Manchester & the M62 corridor, Leeds, Birmingham, Oxford, London inside the M25, Cambridge, Chester, Newcastle, Bristol and Cheltenham.

Indeed pictured her is Coronation St actor Tom Hudson, who was present to lend a hand at the re-opened, totally re-branded branch in Sale.

Director of Property and Franchising for Papa John's Alan Mason says: "Papa John's has had a great start to the year, now it needs to keep that momentum as it looks to open eight more stores in quarter two and deliver on its commitment of 25 new stores in 2008.

"As Papa John's continues to grow it creates a strong demand for new locations and sites, which are suitable for its stores. Therefore, the company has appointed Colliers CRE as its national retained agents to aid this search as Papa John's looks to expand across the UK."

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Friday, 2 May 2008

Water on Tap at Pizza Hut in Green Move

Staff at a chain of pizza restaurants throughout South Wales will encourage customers to drink tap water instead of the bottled variety.

Pizza Hut is taking the action in a bid to save customers money and reduce the environmental impact of drinking bottled water.

Research has shown that one in five people are “slightly nervous” or “too scared” to ask for tap water. The restaurant has said that tap water will be freely available.

Madeleine Brindley - South Wales Echo

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If You Like Your Pizza with Onion, You'll Like This

Potential Employee Uprising Quelled With Free Pizza

The Onion

Potential Employee Uprising Quelled With Free Pizza

NEW YORK—Besides suppressing office acrimony, the pizza appeared to subdue frustrated employees on a physical level, leaving many full and slightly fatigued.

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Domino's Pizza in Texas to Route Orders Thru Call Center to Ease Effects of Staff Shortages

To prevent customers from spending Friday nights on hold, local Domino's stores in West Texas will divert orders to a call center starting Monday May 5th so Midlanders can order dinner without waiting to connect with an employee.

With the consistently low unemployment rates in Midland, Jim Gerety, area franchisee, said they've struggled to maintain the staff needed to personally take orders while also running the store.

So starting Monday, callers will be directed to an automated answering service based in Lubbock that will use a voice recognition system to prompt customers through their pizza order, he said. Customers also will have the option of talking to a live person at any point, he said.

"This is a challenging time to be a business owner and a customer in Midland," Gerety said. "But we are determined to seek solutions to improve the customer's experience at Domino's Pizza."

Ideally, Gerety said, stores should have eight to ten people working in the store on a busy night. But in past months local Domino's locations have usually had just four to five employees, he said.

Jason Rodriguez, a Midland College student who's worked at the Domino's on Big Spring for nearly a year, said when the phone lights up on a busy night he often has to stop filling the about 40 pizza orders listed on the store's screen to take additional orders.

"We really don't have enough people," he said, adding the job requires hours that are best for students who prefer nights and weekends, which makes it difficult to keep other employees.

Gerety said they've offered incentives programs, cash bonuses and health benefits to try to maintain employees, but still have come up short-handed.

If they could hire enough employees to handle orders, Gerety said, it would be cheaper than utilizing the automated call center, but at this point that's not an option.

"It's not real cost effective to do this," he said. "This is not a cost driven decision, this is a customer driven decision."

Gerety and co-owner Cassie Nettles said they got the idea after going through the drive through at Jack in the Box, where they said a friendly automated voice took orders and was fairly effective at moving people through the line quickly.

Nettles said in addition to the automated service, customers are encouraged to order online where they can visually walk through the process of selecting coupons and order preferences.

"There's just too few people and too much work out there," Gerety said.

Kathleen Thurber - Midland Reporter/Telegram

Thursday, 1 May 2008

We're Bloody Normal Blokes Actually - Wills and Harry Order a Pizza Delivery

Online Videos by

From the TV Show Headcases, Episode 1 of "We're Bloody Normal Blokes Actually" - Wills and Harry Order a Pizza

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