- Papa Johns franchisees say the chain’s Doritos Cool Ranch Papadia, which launched in early May, has led to higher same-store sales, according to a BTIG report emailed to Restaurant Dive.
- Following calls with operators, BTIG found that the newest Papadia mixed at about 10% within the first three weeks of the launch and is outperforming franchisee expectations, with sales mixing as high as 13% in the most recent week.
- Franchisees also report that delivery times have improved by roughly 500 basis points, with 87% of delivery orders fulfilled in 35 minutes or less.
Papadias have successfully boosted Papa Johns sales since the product’s original launch in 2020, when it helped drive incremental check growth during that year. The Doritos Cool Ranch version is also helping strengthen the lunch daypart, with same-store sales growth improving by roughly 200 basis points on a two-year basis from April to May, according to BTIG’s data. Other Papadia flavors have remained at about 6% of mix before and after the Doritos Cool Ranch launch, which BTIG said likely means that the new product is incremental and not cannibalizing the Papadia menu.
“Our conversations with franchisees suggest this product could become a permanent menu fixture, as it is simple to execute and doesn't require many additional skews to complete (just seasoning and ranch sauce),” BTIG said.
Papa Johns has also seen a lot of success with its Papa Bites and the dessert category, which resulted in incremental sales, VP of National Calendar and Menu Strategy Kimberly Bean previously told Restaurant Dive. The pizza chain also has four to five new products coming out this year, which will include pizza innovation, she said. The company also plans to fill out its Papa Pairings category, its value menu, and look into more chicken options and Papa Bites.
Franchisees have been reporting growing sales with third-party aggregators, which the company started working with in 2019 to supplement its delivery workforce. This channel has increased 200 to 300 basis points within the past year and accounts for high-single to low-single digits in sales. While service times have improved, the company is still about 500 basis points from its historical levels, meaning there is still room for improvement. BTIG expects service times to continue to improve, with some franchisees saying they are back to being fully staffed, adding that improvements to delivery times will only help same-store sales grow.
Improvements in delivery times will help set Papa Johns apart from competitors, especially Domino’s. The competitor has been struggling with its U.S. delivery business for several quarters, but has been working on improving delivery times and is investing in its electric vehicle fleet to offer vehicles to potential drivers who don’t own a car. Domino’s has also been looking into increased flexibility and shorter shifts as a way to attract more workers.