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?