Industry News | April 26, 2010

Get Your Specialty Pie Up on Papa John's Menu

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Papa John's International Inc. is asking its loyal customers to share their ideas for the next great specialty pizza as part of the company’s first-ever “Papa’s Specialty Pizza Challenge.”

Whatever the name and combination of ingredients, Papa John’s is offering the contest winner a “slice” of the sales in return for the top recipe, which will be featured in the future as a Papa John’s offering alongside other Specialty pies like The Works, Tuscan Six Cheese, Garden Fresh, The Meats, BBQ Chicken and Bacon, Hawaiian BBQ Chicken, Spinach Alfredo, and Spicy Italian.

“We hear every day from customers who have a favorite combination of ingredients and there is usually a story behind it,” says Papa John’s chief marketing officer, Andrew Varga. “Our customers know that better ingredients make a better pizza. Now they have the opportunity to put their creativity on display for the right to have their pizza offered alongside ‘The Works’ and ‘The Meats,’ and also to claim a slice of the sales of that pizza as well.”

Through June 14, participants can enter “Papa’s Specialty Pizza Challenge” through Facebook. Consumers will be asked to create and name their very own specialty pie on Papa John’s 14-inch crust with sauce, cheese, and a combination of up to seven Papa John’s ingredients, including: fresh-packed tomato sauce; cheese made from 100 percent mozzarella; 100 percent real meats, including bacon, beef, ham, grilled chicken, pepperoni, sausage, and spicy Italian sausage; fresh-cut vegetables, including onions, green peppers, and Roma tomatoes; and other high-quality ingredients, including baby portabella mushrooms and black olives.

But Papa’s Specialty Challenge isn’t just about recipes. Participants must also share in 250 words or less what makes their pizza so special for a chance to win. Judging criteria throughout the contest will include: overall appeal, taste of the final product, creativity of the name, and interest of the pizza’s story.

All entries will be featured in a gallery on Papa John’s Facebook page, from which “Papa” John Schnatter himself and his team of experts will choose 10 semi-finalists. Those 10 recipes will then be tested and tasted by Schnatter and other judges at company headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky. Schnatter, who personally developed many of the specialty pizza combinations offered by Papa John’s, will trim the choices to his three favorite recipes, which will be showcased temporarily on Papa John’s menu (August 2–29), with the ultimate winner being the highest-selling pizza.

Because the stakes—a portion of sales dollars from the winner’s recipe—are so high and to assist with the sales of each pizza, Papa John’s is offering the top three finalists a marketing budget of $1,000 to help drive sales of their respective pizzas.

The grand prize winner will also receive free Papa John’s pizza for life as well as a chance to appear in a “Papa’s in the House” TV commercial.