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Papa John’s sales continue to soar

Same-store sales rose 33.5% in May, even as states started reopening restaurants for dine-in service.
Photograph courtesy of Papa John's

Papa John’s found a way to improve on the best month in its history.

Same-store sales at the Louisville, Ky.-based pizza delivery chain soared 33.5% in North America in May, besting a 27% performance in April even as states began reopening some restaurants for dine-in service.

“We entered the pandemic with strong growth and momentum, and are fortunate that our delivery and carryout model has enabled us to meet an essential need for high-quality food, safely delivered to consumers' homes,” CEO Rob Lynch said in a statement on Wednesday pre-releasing sales numbers.

“As states and communities slowly reopen, we continue to show strong performance.”

Internationally, same-store sales also improved, to 7% between April 27 and May 24, up from 1.4% the previous month. Papa John’s operates 2,100 international locations, 320 of which are temporarily closed.

The sales results were reported Wednesday, a day after the chain’s rival, Domino’s, reported its own strong performance this month.

Delivery concepts in particular have flourished during the pandemic, buoyed by a customer base that is at home and not always keen on preparing their own meals. Wingstop has similarly reported remarkable April results, and just about every restaurant chain with a delivery contract has seen those sales blossom.

That both Domino’s and Papa John’s have seen their results persist well into May, after states like Texas and Georgia reopened, suggests that they could continue for weeks, until economies reopen more fully and consumers are eating out in restaurants again.

For Papa John’s, the chain has seen strong success with its Papadias sandwiches, which cost $6 and are frequently added on to pizza orders or are ordered at lunch—giving the chain business at a daypart when it’s historically not been as strong.

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