Industry News | August 2, 2010

Three Finalists Vie to Be Papa John's Specialty

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Papa John’s announced that the three finalists in its Papa John’s Specialty Pizza Challenge will have their pizza recipes on the chain’s menu from August 2 through August 29.

Blair Dial of Springfield, Illinois, Kendra Chapman of Ball Ground, Georgia, and Barbara Hyman of Los Angeles are each competing for the prize. Each were given a $1,000 marketing budget to push their entries.

Dial’s “Big Bonanza,” Hyman’s “Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu,” and Chapman’s “The Workin’ Fire” will be featured on the Papa John’s menu. The contest finalist who sells the most pizza will be declared the winner and receive a “slice” of the sales (up to $10,000), free Papa John’s pizza for life, and the chance to appear in the next Papa’s in the House commercial.

“While $1,000 obviously won’t fund a massive ad buy, we do hope our three finalists will find creative and cost-effective measures to raise awareness and initiate sampling of their pizzas, as the highest-selling recipe will ultimately be determined the winner,” says Andrew Varga, Papa John’s chief marketing officer. “We’ve been really impressed so far with their enthusiasm and initiative, whether it’s designing flyers, organizing pizza parties, or even promising part of the prize money to charitable causes.”

On Facebook, Dial’s “Big Bonanza” is leading the pack with more than 600 likes, while the “Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu” and “The Workin’ Fire” each have eclipsed 100 likes. Chapman, meanwhile, is distributing flyers across her community, hoping that this is one “Workin’ Fire” that will spread. Hyman is planning to wrap her car with Papa John’s “Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu” advertising and promises that a portion of prize money would be donated to the National Wildlife Federation.

Papa John’s received more than 12,000 entries in the Papa John’s Specialty Pizza Challenge that were narrowed down in July by a panel of judges that included the Food Network’s Ted Allen and Rich Eisen of the NFL Network. On August 5, the three finalists will travel to Papa John’s headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, to tour the facility and make their pizzas for the company’s corporate staff.