One Thing No Ones Resolving to Give up This Year: Pizza and Football!

Football playoffs, busiest month of the year prompts Papa John’s known for its “Better Ingredients” to highlight group orders, online ordering options

LOUISVILLE, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Like baseball is to hot dogs, pizza is forever linked to football. It’s the “unofficial” official food of football fans everywhere. Especially this time of year.

Papa John’s, the world’s third-largest pizza company, estimates it will sell more than 3 million pizzas (24 million slices!) during the remaining pro football playoff games. That includes more than 750,000 pizzas during “The Big Game” on February 1.

That’s a lot of pizza – enough to cover more than 52 football fields. And since last year’s Big Game in Phoenix, Papa John’s has used more than one billion tomatoes to make its fresh pizza sauce, enough to go back and forth between Phoenix and this year’s host city, Tampa, 36 times!

“Saturdays and Sundays spent watching football are cherished blocks of time for pizza lovers,” says John Schnatter, Founder and CEO, Papa John’s International. “As we get closer to the end of the season, what’s on the menu becomes even more important. Football fans aren’t interested in queso sauce or fumbling around with a fruit salad. They want pizza. And for 25 years, Papa John’s pizza’s better ingredients have been a part of football parties across the country.”

According to the National Restaurant Association, 58 percent of all takeout and delivery restaurant orders for Super Bowl gatherings will include pizza. In addition, the Yellow Pages Association reports that the term “pizza” was searched more than 60 million times in January last year, its highest total of the year. The term is searched more than a half billion times every year.

Just in time for its busiest day of the year, Papa John’s offers up its catering and “group suggestions” menu. Whether it’s a party of four or 40, the Papa John’s catering menu features order recommendations to satisfy the appetite of any group. Entertaining 10? Two pizzas, 30 wings and two 2-liters of Coke ought to do it. Serving 16? Four large pizzas with three toppings each will hit the spot.

Papa John’s offers the following tips for party planners this football season:

  • One large pizza feeds 3-4 adults
  • The most popular combination of toppings is pepperoni, sausage and mushrooms
  • Provide a variety of pizzas with different toppings. For large groups, always include a cheese or pepperoni pizza as well as a few specialty pizzas
  • Complement any order with an array of side items – wings, breadsticks, even dessert “sweet treats”
  • Don’t forget icy, cold beverages from Coca-Cola

Plus, Papa John’s continues to lead the industry in convenient ordering options. The pizza company was the first to introduce ordering online in 2001, which now accounts for nearly one-quarter of its business. The company’s unique advance online ordering option at enables consumers to place orders and specify the time of delivery or pick-up (up to three weeks in advance).

In 2007, Papa John’s managed another first – ordering by SMS/text message. Simply indicate your favorite order online and text that “favorite” number to “4PAPA” (47272) and your pizza will be on its way. The company’s mobile Web ordering site is a convenient avenue for the person on the go and its Facebook page is an ideal spot to check out the latest offers and promotions from Papa John’s to its Facebook “fans.”

Other fun facts about pizza:

  • 93% of Americans eat a slice of pizza at least once a month
  • The average American consumes 46 slices or 23 pounds of pizza per year. Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza each day, or about 350 slices per second
  • 86% of Americans plan to eat during the Super Bowl, and more than half of them (52%) said they plan to eat pizza (
  • 62% of Americans prefer meat toppings on their pizza, while 38% prefer vegetarian toppings
  • The most food is consumed during halftime – six out of seven viewers said they planned to eat pizza during halftime
  • Papa John’s expects to have three times as many employees working during the Big Game than during a regular day
  • Most delivery drivers make $75 to $100 more in tips on the Sunday of The Big Game than they would on a regular night

Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) is the world’s third largest pizza company. For nine years running, consumers have rated Papa John’s No. 1 in customer satisfaction among all national pizza chains in the highly regarded American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Papa John’s also ranks first among pizza companies in the 2008 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, was honored by Restaurants & Institutions Magazine (R&I) with the 2008 Silver Award for Consumers’ Choice in Chains in the pizza segment, and was named 2007 Pizza Today Chain of the Year. For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John’s at