Papa John’s International Inc. intends to focus more on the quality of its ingredients and pizzas.
That makes sense. As Chipotle steals the limelight with its messaging about high quality and non-GMO offerings — and traditional fast food sales continue to plummet — fresh is definitely what’s selling these days.
“We are finding ways to more effectively communicate our commitment to using the best quality ingredients,” CEO and company founder John Schnatter said during a recent earnings call. “That has always been part of what distinguishes Papa John’s from the rest.”
“In recent months, the company has added garlic knots and cinnamon knots to its menu, as well as limited time offers like a Greek pizza and Philly cheesesteak. It also added lighter pizzas with fewer calories,” notes Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN).
Papa John’s customers like what they’re seeing, hearing, and eating. Same-store sales in the second quarter were up 5.5 percent in North America, the 19th straight quarter of domestic same-store sales growth.
Where’s the top line growth? Digital.
“The top-line growth is coming amid a continued shift in customers using digital ordering. More than half of the orders at Papa John’s now come through digital orders, and half of those digital orders are now coming through mobile technology,” reports NRN.
The company is also analyzing improvements to its loyalty program, Papa John’s Rewards, launched in 2010.
“If you don’t evolve every aspect of your business, it’s not long before you’re in trouble,” Schnatter said.
The company has added 71 locations worldwide so far this year, most of them in international markets. Currently, 1,388 of the chain’s 4,734 locations are outside of North America.
“We’re going to grow our international side of our business through our tried and true principles,” Schnatter said. “The best people, the best ingredients, the best pizza, period.”