Friday, December 19, 2008

Ordering pizza pies on the Interweb

I don't order chain-store pizzas very often. When I do, however, I get 'em from Papa John's. Why? I once ordered me a pie from Papa John's via their Web site, and then I started receiving some pretty serious online offers from Papa John's on an almost daily basis. (Last week, I took 'em up on their $10 extra-large two-topping offer.)

Why do I mention this? Well, the Wall Street Journal has published an article in which it informs readers that pizza pies can be purchased online, via text message, or via Facebook. To wit:

Pizza chains are offering even more ways to satisfy your carb cravings.

Now instead of just picking up the phone, pizza eaters can order a pie digitally -- over the Web, through cellphone applications and even via Facebook, a social-networking site. Moreover, couch potatoes can order a Dominos pizza from their TV by using the broadband TiVo service available to subscribers.

It's all a push to stay competitive with what may be the country's most popular food.

"Right now, the No. 1 food that people bring home is pizza, no doubt," says Harry Balzer, vice president of NPD Group, a consumer-marketing firm. "It's the third-most-popular food ordered in restaurants [behind burgers and fries] and the No. 1 food ordered by children under the age of 18," Mr. Balzer adds.

But the major pizza chains, such as Pizza Hut, a unit of Yum Brands Inc., Domino's Pizza Inc. and Papa John's International Inc., are fighting for their share of the pie these days. Mr. Balzer cites the growing number of restaurants offering take-out meals, as well as the growth in supermarkets that offer frozen, restaurant-quality pizzas.

To keep customers coming back, major pizza chains are adding more menu items, such as appetizers and desserts, and offering more ways to order. We tested some of these ordering methods to see if technology offers an edge when ordering slices.

Read the rest here.


vertiginous indigo said...

if you speak ill of papa johns, you and i will have a problem

Joltin' Django said...

Something that piqued my interest when I read that WSJ article was this:

"In our Domino's test, we placed our most-complicated order, a 14-inch pizza with three toppings: mushrooms on the whole pizza, black olives on one half and green peppers on the other half. (Oddly, customers can even specify if they want the toppings on the left half or the right half of the pie."

Why in the world would Domino's even allow its customers to specify on which half of their pizzas they want "half only" toppings? I'm not the world's biggest expert on geometry, but couldn't a customer turn his or her pizza around to get their half-toppings on the "right" side?!