Foodservice Industry News: Weekly Headlines

There is no denying the popularity of pizza in the United States. It’s one of the country’s most popular foods,  and according to our Foodservice Database Easy2FIND, there are over 70,000 pizzerias in the US, which is the largest menu type by total number of restaurants. This week, we saw three of the leading brands announce new plans and changes to their business that could take their operation to the next level.

Here are three new announcements in the pizza industry that caught our eye this week (Jan 20 – Jan 24):

Copyright: NRN – Dominos Pizza to Remodel All Restaurants By The End of 2017

Domino’s Pizza, which operates or franchises nearly 5,000 locations in the United States and more than 5,600 restaurants in 70 international markets, will accelerate its remodeling program to convert all of its nearly 11,000 restaurants worldwide into their “Pizza Theater” prototype by the end of 2017. The news comes days after the company’s biggest competitor, Pizza Hut, announced the opening of two stores will sell single slice pizza.

“If we get this right and get this done,” chief executive Patrick Doyle said, “this is one more thing as you look at the transformation of the Domino’s brand, both in the U.S. and around the world, that we think is going to continue to really drive the momentum on this brand.”

To read the full story, click here.

Our Thoughts: Consumers are always searching for more convenience and better restaurant environments. In response, fast-food chains continue to make attempts to offer better-quality food in a modern environment. This move seems to be Dominos response to an increase in new fast-casual pizza concepts trending in the industry. It will be interesting to see if the better-looking restaurants have a significant impact on their sales.

Copyright: PapaJohns.com – Papa Johns Offering Digital Gift Cards on Their New Mobile Web Site

Papa John’s, the world’s third largest pizza delivery company, launched the pizza industry’s first system wide mobile-optimized Web site, powered by CashStar. With the new digital gift card ordering system, Papa John’s customers can now design and purchase customized Papa John’s gift cards, and select the specific delivery date via their mobile device.

“This is a big win for consumers,” said Bob Kraut, Papa John’s chief marketing officer. “You’re not always at a computer when you remember you missed someone’s birthday, or you want to say ‘thank you’ to someone. This allows you to instantly send a Papa John’s digital gift card wherever you are through your mobile device.”

To read the full story, click here.

Our Thoughts: Papa Johns is no stranger to the Internet. They were the first national pizza company to offer online ordering, SMS text ordering, and a nationwide digital rewards program in the U.S. Since the early 2000s; they have embraced technology, using it to enhance their customer experience and increase their sales. The Internet has changed ordering habits. It will be intriguing to see a complete mobile optimized website will positively impact  the number of gift cards purchased.

Copyright: PizzaHut.com – Pizza Hut Launches New Hand-Tossed Pizza

Pizza Hut, the world’s largest pizza company, introduced a new Hand-Tossed pizza featuring a lighter, airier crust. To celebrate the launch, Pizza Hut is selling the pizza at an introductory price of $10 and will guarantee that if a consumer doesn’t love the new pizza, the next pizza is free.

“Our new Hand-Tossed pizza has been years in the making, and we believe we’ve delivered the best tasting pizza in the category,” said Carrie Walsh, chief marketing officer at Pizza Hut. “For a long time, consumers have looked at hand-tossed as the ‘white bread’ pizza of the category, and we set out to completely blow up the notion that all pizzas are created equal. We feel so strongly about this, that we’re offering consumers the next pizza on us if they are not completely satisfied with our new product.”

To read the full story, click here.

Our Thoughts: The new Hand-Tossed pizza allows the company to differentiate itself from competitors and not just be another white breadpizza. Unlike the previous crust, Pizza Huts new crust puts more emphasis on taste, topping it with Mozzarella cheese and brushing it with a garlic buttery flavor. In such a crowded market place, Pizza Hut is trying to separate itself from the competition by rolling out the tastiest pizza crust in the industry. We are eager to look back in a few months and see how customers are responding to their new crust and what kind of impact it will have on their business. 

We hope you enjoyed last week’s stories and don’t forget to check back here next week to get a roundup of the week’s biggest restaurant and foodservice news! We’d love to hear from you, so please share your thoughts, views, and opinions in the comment section.

Also, if you are a business looking for foodservice data on pizzerias and/or Italian restaurants in the United States or anywhere else in the world, please email us at cathy@chd-expert.com.