Offering a take-and-bake pizza option could help with your pizzeria branding and boost customer loyalty, judging by the success of industry leader Papa Murphy’s.
In a recent article on the Consumer Picks report from research firm Datassential, Nation’s Restaurant News says Papa Murphy’s outscores all other leading pizzeria brands in terms of customer loyalty “in part because it offers a truly unique experience.”
Most pizzerias let patrons customize their pies, but Papa Murphy’s stands out because “its convenience and freshness are under direct control of the customer,” according to NRN’s Bret Thorn. Customers can still choose any toppings and crust style they like, but they get to bake the pizza on their own schedule, ensuring a fresh, hot pie every time.
“Even though they have to cook the food themselves, they get a specific type of convenience in that they can pick up the pizza and then run errands, go home and quickly have a hot meal on the table,” Thorn writes. “Or they can buy it the day before the big game or family reunion and have hot pizza on demand. They can even buy a bunch of pizzas and bake some of them at the beginning of the game and the rest at halftime.”
And when it comes to pizzeria branding, Papa Murphy’s has it all figured out, judging by the Datassentials report. NRN notes that 61% of the Consumer Picks respondents say they choose Papa Murphy’s because they have “a real desire to experience the brand as opposed to circumstance, the highest loyalty score received by any brand in the survey.”
Papa Murphy’s also claimed second place in a recent large-scale consumer study of the most popular quick-service pizza chains by Market Force Information. Blaze Pizza came in first with a composite loyalty index of 69% compared to Papa Murphy’s 66%. In contrast, Domino’s rating was 48%, with Pizza Hut and Papa John’s tied at 47%.
Pizzeria branding isn’t the take-and-bake chain’s only strong suit. In the Market Force survey, Papa Murphy’s ranked at the top of several metrics, including Food Quality (69%), Overall Cleanliness (67%) and Value for Money Spent (66%). It ranked No. 2, again behind Blaze Pizza, for Atmosphere, Curb Appeal and Healthy Options.
At the same time, Papa Murphy’s has struggled with high debt, unit closures and 13 straight quarters of declining same-store sales, according to Jonathan Maze of Restaurant Business. MTY Group of Canada acquired the chain earlier this year for $190 million. Additionally, customers today put a higher premium on convenience, and as Restaurant Business points out, Papa Murphy’s is “fundamentally inconvenient” because customers have to bake the pies themselves. The company has also been “slow to adapt to online ordering and mobile apps at a time when consumers are increasingly ordering their pizzas that way.”