Eye on the Chains: How Papa John’s Aims to “Conquer Lunch”

Papa John’s Aims to “Conquer Lunch” 

Papa John’s has introduced a new flatbread offering, called the Papadia, in an effort to “conquer lunch” and boost its sales. Described as a “toasty, hearty alternative to the same old sandwich routine,” the Papadia sells for $6 at all U.S. locations.

The Papadia was inspired by the piadina, an Italian folded flatbread sandwich from Northern Italy. Touted as a sandwich-pizza combination, the Papadia comes in four varieties, including the Italian, featuring Alfredo sauce, spicy Italian sausage, salami, mozzarella and banana peppers; the Philly Cheesesteak, with sliced steak, onions, green peppers, mozzarella and Philly sauce; the Grilled BBQ Chicken & Bacon, with grilled chicken, bacon, onions, mozzarella and a sweet, smoky barbecue sauce; and the Meatball Pepperoni, with spicy meatballs, pepperoni, red sauce, mozzarella and Italian seasonings. 

Papa John’s CEO Rob Lynch hinted at a new lunch sandwich in a November 2019 interview with Yahoo! Finance, noting, “The No. 1 thing our franchisees are asking for is to get our customers back and drive revenue, and we have a plan to do that.” He said the company’s strategy “has a lot to do with the product pipeline we are building with the core pizza menu and coming out with new ideas, things that we have never even looked at before that could help us penetrate new dayparts and drive business into parts of the day where our restaurants have a lot of capacity…I think we are going to conquer lunch first, and then we’ll start thinking about breakfast.”

As part of its comeback attempt after flat sales in the past couple of years, the chain recruited NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal as its first black member of the board of directors in March 2019. O’Neal, who owns nine franchises in the Atlanta area, praised the Papadia in a statement: “I can tell you, I couldn’t put down this new menu item that combines everything you love about pizza and sandwiches into one meal.”  

 

New franchisees won’t have to pay the $15,000 franchise fee to open a Snappy Tomato Pizza location in the next several months.

Snappy Tomato Waives Franchise Fees

The Snappy Tomato Pizza chain, headquartered in Fort Wright, Kentucky, announced in February that it will temporarily waive franchise fees for entrepreneurs who want to open their first Snappy Tomato store. Through the end of July, the company said, new franchisees won’t be charged the standard $15,000 franchise fee. The chain, which opened its first restaurant in 1978, is known for an oversized signature pie called the Beast, which is equal to three large pizzas. Currently boasting 47 locations in five states, Snappy Tomato hopes to accelerate its growth and double its total number of stores by making it more affordable to open a franchise in 2020. “We are excited to offer an incentive of this magnitude for our new franchisees,” said Jeremy Deters, Snappy Tomato’s president. “In waiving the $15,000 expense of the one-time franchise fee, we are looking to launch new owners in a ‘snap.’” Although franchise opportunities are available anywhere in the United States, Snappy Tomato plans to focus heavily on 10 states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

 

With its exclusive deal with DoorDash, Buddy’s Pizza has joined bigger chains like Pizza Hut and Papa John’s on the third-party bandwagon.

Buddy’s Joins Forces With DoorDash

Buddy’s Pizza, the originator of Detroit-style pizza and a member of PMQ’s Pizza Hall of Fame, has buddied up with industry leader DoorDash to offer delivery. The company said it had already seen off-premise sales grow to 41% of its business through DoorDash prior to finalizing the new partnership. “While the majority of Buddy’s business is dine-in, off-premise—including delivery—continues to be a key growth area,” Buddy’s CEO Burton Heiss said in a statement. “DoorDash allows our current customers to have their favorite pizza delivered while also introducing Buddy’s to a brand-new customer base.” In celebration, on February 7, Buddy’s offered free Original 4-Square pizzas to the first 250 patrons who placed a minimum $5 order through DoorDash using the promo code PIZZABUDDYS at checkout.