As candidates chewed over issues like the economy, foreign policy, and income inequality in both the Democratic and GOP debates, Americans were indulging in pizza in record numbers for both parties, according to data gathered from more than 650 Marco’s Pizza stores in 35 states nationwide.
The Toledo, Ohio–based fast-growing pizza chain tracked orders across its franchise system over the past three presidential debates, finding increases in orders of as much as 40 percent over the same weeknights last year in several markets.
Nationwide, while the company reported that orders spiked during both party debates, spectators of the October 28 GOP debate rung up 12 percent more orders over viewers of the Democratic debate on October 13.
“You have to admit it’s a little ironic to see how liberally Americans consumed pizza during the Republican debates,” says Bryon Stephens, president and COO of Marco’s Pizza. “We’re finding that when people gather together for any national televised event—whether it’s presidential debates, sporting events, or award shows—our orders rise significantly. The debates have been healthy for the pizza business. Having said that, Game Two of the World Series didn’t hurt the spike.”
Following a 38 percent national surge compared to the same date in 2014 during the September 16 GOP debate, the fast-growing pizza franchise posted an increase of 28.5 percent during the GOP debate on October 28 as compared to the same date last year. Sales during the October 13 Democratic presidential debate resulted in a spike of slightly more than 25 percent over last year on that date.
There is one thing that remained steady throughout all debates: Pepperoni was the most commonly ordered topping across the country.
Read more of QSR's coverage of the debate-related pizza spike.