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Papa John’s same-store sales increased 24% last month

The pizza chain’s North American sales continued to surge during the pandemic as consumers ordered more delivery.
Photo courtesy of Papa Johns's

Papa John’s same-store sales rose 28% in North America last quarter, the company said on Tuesday, as consumers ordered a lot more pizza delivery while they sat at home in quarantine.

Same-store sales did slow in June, to a still-robust 24.4% in the five weeks ended June 28, slower than the 33.5% growth Papa John’s generated in May. The results rounded out one of the best quarters in company history.

“The events of the past few months have accelerated Papa John’s transformation into an innovation-driven organization, contributing to our strong business momentum today,” CEO Rob Lynch said in a statement. He noted that “no contact delivery” and the chain’s new sandwiches, Papadias, helped generate sales during the quarter.

The strong June sales also suggest that the company is only slowing modestly as states have reopened restaurants to dine-in service.

Same-store sales are up internationally, too, though not as much given closures in many countries. Same-store sales rose 5.3% last quarter. The company said that 225 of its 2,100 international locations are still closed.

In North America, almost all of its traditional locations are open and functioning, though some located in universities and sports stadiums are temporarily closed.

Papa John’s sales numbers, among the industry’s strongest, have come as consumers have rapidly increased their delivery orders, given its perceived safety during the coronavirus quarantine.

Third-party delivery companies and chains such as Papa John’s and rivals Pizza Hut and Domino’s have all performed well during the shutdown.

For the Louisville, Ky.-based Papa John’s those sales have accelerated its recovery from a bleak, two-year period amid controversy surrounding the company’s founder, John Schnatter. The company overhauled management, bringing in Lynch to be CEO, and added former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal to the board of directors. O’Neal has appeared in ads and the company this week introduced a pizza bearing his name, the extra-cheese, extra-pepperoni Shaq-a-Roni.

Same-store sales had been accelerating the past four quarters, and the coronavirus appears to have attached rocket boosters to them.

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