Papa Murphy’s International today announced that it closed 2008 with $585 million in total U.S. systemwide sales, a nearly 17 percent increase from 2007. Now the fifth largest pizza company in the U.S., Papa Murphy’s ended the year with 1,135 locations, opening 102 in 2008.

The company continues to be widely acknowledged for its excellence in value, quality, variety, service, and convenience. In fact, Papa Murphy’s was voted “Best Pizza Chain in America” for the sixth consecutive year by consumers nationwide in the Restaurants and Institutions “Consumers’ Choice in Chains” survey.

Last year Papa Murphy’s also took giant leaps towards meeting its long-term growth goals. The company signed 10 new area development agreements, which will yield more than 100 new stores over the next five years. Thirty-nine take ‘n’ bake stores are slated for three states new to the chain — Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina.

In addition to its “Consumer’s Choice in Chains” Platinum Award, Papa Murphy’s found success by the following measures in 2008:

  • Receiving Pizza Today magazine’s “Chain of the Year” accolade for the third time. Papa Murphy’s also won the title in 2001 and 2006 and is the publication’s only three-time winner.
  • Expanding its reduced-fat, reduced-calorie line of pizzas with the launch of the Chicken Bacon Artichoke deLITE
  • Securing a spot on Inc. 5,000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the country. Papa Murphy’s also took a place on the magazine’s list of the Top 100 Food & Beverage Companies.
  • Launching “Feed Your Neighbor,” a system-wide fundraising effort to benefit Feeding America (formerly named America’s Second Harvest).
  • Adding 40 new franchise entity groups throughout the country. Papa Murphy’s ended the year with 455 franchise owners in 31 states and two Canadian provinces.

“Our brand has found its sweet spot in this economy,” says Clarice Turner, president and COO at Papa Murphy’s. “Papa Murphy’s is a high-value, quality-oriented solution for families who are re-evaluating their out-of-home dining purchases.”

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