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The Internet sure has changed the way we get things done, hasn’t it? Fifteen years ago, could you have ever imagined that you would be able to pay your bills online, shop for clothes online, or better yet, order your pizza online? Over the last several years we’ve seen the large pizza chains who have the money to support the technology, offer their customers the option to place their pizza order online. In other words, a geek’s two favorite things have collided, technology and pizza.

One of those large chains with the funds to support the technology is Papa John’s. Since 2001 when they launched online ordering, they’ve invested $15 million into it, but the investment has paid off. The results from offering such an option are huge, and Papa John’s recently surpassed the $1 billion dollar amount in online pizza sales. Wednesday was the big day for them, and while it took seven years to hit that amount, they expect that it will only take a few years to reach their next billion because of the increase in online sales. According to the associated Press, online sales of pizzas have increased more than 50 percent each year.

Papa John’s isn’t alone in online ordering because other chains like Dominos and Pizza Hut offer it as well. And now it’s getting competitive as one company tries to out-do the other. Take Dominos for example, just offering online ordering wasn’t enough. Now they’re offering a “Pizza Tracker” so that hungry customers can keep track of their pizzas as they are placed into the oven, and when they’re on their way being delivered. For those wanting to greet their delivery person by name, they can get that information too. Crazy, isn’t it?

Now the next big thing will be ordering pizza via web-enabled mobile phones (something Dominos offers) or sending text messages (something Papa John’s offers). Pizza Hut is moving yet another direction by offering customers the option to download a widget as a “shortcut” to ordering their pizzas. The convenience of ordering pizza thanks to technology has given these pizza chains a bump in business. John Freitas, an operating partner for Papa Johns in the D.C. area said in regards to the technology used for ordering pizza, “I knew it would be a big part of our business, but this has blown my expectations away, and I think it’s even going to go higher.”

Just as sending a letter to a friend via the post office is “old-fashioned” so too is using a phone to order pizza. Who woulda thought?

There Are 5 Comments

  1. Yeah, a few local chains up here in Ohio have started doing online ordering, too.
    IMO, it’s not that big of deal for me. I can pick up the phone and talk to someone. To me it’s more reliable. If someone picks up, I know my order got through. If I do it online, I won’t be 100% sure until the pizza actually gets to my door.

  2. dkong wrote:
    Yeah, a few local chains up here in Ohio have started doing online ordering, too.
    IMO, it’s not that big of deal for me. I can pick up the phone and talk to someone. To me it’s more reliable. If someone picks up, I know my order got through. If I do it online, I won’t be 100% sure until the pizza actually gets to my door.

    We’ve tried out the online ordering a couple of times and they actually do send you a confirmation via email letting you know that they received your order, which is nice. I see what you’re saying though- it’s just as quick, maybe even quicker to pick up the phone and place the order.

  3. What I’d like to see is more local take-aways over here doing it. It just makes the whole thing easier, especially if they allowed online payment too. The tracking thing goes a little too far, but I guess it could alert you if there was a problem. It doesn’t require masses of money either, in fact I’m half tempted to offer some local ones a free site in return for some free grub!

  4. Inferno_str1ke wrote:
    What I’d like to see is more local take-aways over here doing it. It just makes the whole thing easier, especially if they allowed online payment too. The tracking thing goes a little too far, but I guess it could alert you if there was a problem. It doesn’t require masses of money either, in fact I’m half tempted to offer some local ones a free site in return for some free grub!

    I’m sure it’s probably pretty expensive for the local types of places to start this kind of system, but it would be nice if they did!

  5. I’ve got a year’s 400MB hosting for $10 and my domain is £5 for 2 years – aside from an initial outlay it wouldn’t cost the places much. The question is whether it would give them business, and how much easier it would be on the receiving end.

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