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Papa John’s sales are still in the stratosphere

Same-store sales rose 24% in August and rebounded internationally as pizza delivery remains popular.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Customers are still ordering a lot of pizza.

Papa John’s on Tuesday said that its same-store sales in North America rose 24.2% in August, continuing a months-long surge as consumers stayed home and ordered delivery.

Same-store sales internationally rose 23.3% between July 27 and Aug. 23, as more of its restaurants outside the U.S. reopened. The company said that only 150 of its 2,100 international locations are closed.

All locations in the U.S. are open, outside of some university and stadium locations the company says are “not material” to its revenues and operating results.

In a statement, CEO Rob Lynch credited the company’s product innovation—the chain introduced its new Papadias sandwiches just before the pandemic started—as well as improved service. Customer satisfaction scores have increased even as the chain increased customer count during the pandemic.

Delivery sales have soared over the past five months as consumers have ordered food to be brought to them. That has provided a backstop for traditional delivery chains, including Papa John’s rivals Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Little Caesars.

For the Louisville, Ky.-based Papa John’s, however, the sales accelerated a recovery from a weak two years following controversy surrounding its founder, a controversy that led to a management overhaul and the addition of a major new investor in Starboard Value.

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