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Papa Murphy’s remakes its image

The take-and-bake pizza chain introduced its first new logo in more than a decade, and its first store redesign since 2014, as its sales rebounded during the pandemic.
Papa Murphy's redesign
Image courtesy of Papa Murphy's

Papa Murphy’s on Wednesday revealed a new logo and a new store design that the company hopes will help it maintain momentum generated during the pandemic.

The company introduced a “Kitchen Delite” store design with an open kitchen that “enhances the in-store experience for consumers and employees alike.” It is the first new redesign for the company since 2014.

Papa Murphy’s also revealed its first new logo in more than a decade.

The rebranding represents a “reintroduction” of the brand, the company said. “Ensuring the retail environment at our stores conveys the brand’s equity and maintains relevancy is important to guest satisfaction and driving profitable sales,” Victoria Tullett, senior vice president of development for the Vancouver, Wash.-based chain, said in a statement.

Papa Murphy’s has quietly been a pandemic success story. The take-and-bake pizza chain went public in 2014, immediately after it was sued by franchisees over the financial performance representations in its franchise disclosure documents.

The company struggled in subsequent years as operators far away from the chain’s Northwest home couldn’t convince consumers to bake their own pizzas—system sales have averaged a 2% decline over the past five years, and some 13% of its locations have closed over that time.

Papa Murphy’s was sold in 2019 at a discount to the Canadian brand collector MTY Global. And in 2020 the pandemic hit.

Pizza delivery chains have largely thrived over that time, but concepts that generally rely on consumers walking into their restaurants—including many fast-casual and casual dining pizza chains—have generally struggled. Papa Murphy’s, which is more grocer than restaurant in many respects, saw sales rebound—U.S. system sales rose 6.5% last year even as the chain shrunk by 38 units.

“One of the things we noticed when we acquired it just over a year ago, was everybody loved the brand, but nobody goes,” Eric Lefebvre, MTY’s CEO, said last year, according to a transcript on the financial services site Sentieo. “So I talked to my Uber drivers, to my cab drivers. They all said, ‘Yes, we love Papa Murphy’s.’ And when I asked them when was the last time you went, they said, ‘Well, maybe 10 years ago.’

“So that’s not good enough for us. We’re trying to make the brand relevant. We’re trying to make the brand fun, younger, also to attract a different crowd, and it seems to be working at the moment.”

Papa Murphy’s under MTY has been testing a reimage for several months and Lefebvre told investors that the company was working with its franchisees to determine the right way to go about it.

The design works with 1,200-1,500-square-foot spaces but can be adapted to freestanding buildings and drive-thrus. Papa Murphy’s said the design helps encourage online ordering, third-party delivery and other strategies.

The design is available for all of its locations around the country, the company said.

The primary brand logo along with secondary brand logos features Papa Murphy’s red, with alternate black and white options. It will be visible in new “Kitchen Delite” store remodels and in marketing and corporate messaging.

“Papa Murphy’s is a fun and innovative brand, with a focus on being family-friendly,” Kim Bee, senior vice president of guest experience and brand marketing for the company, said in a statement. “The brand is evolving its position to match the family mindset of today, and this new logo complements this evolution.”

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