Papa John’s, the third-biggest pizza delivery chain after Pizza Hut and Domino’s, now lets customers place food orders directly through its Facebook page and in the site's main navigation on both desktop and mobile, according to a statement.
Papa John’s Facebook page has a “Start Order” button to select from its menu of pizzas, desserts and side dishes. Hungry users can also click on the “Order Food” option, indicated by a hamburger icon while viewing a Facebook timeline. Facebook customers will receive 25% off regular menu prices by entering promo code: FBIX.
Facebook ordering is the latest step in the way Papa John’s works with digital channels, which make up more than 60% of total U.S. sales, the restaurant chain said. The company provided digital ordering at all of its U.S. delivery restaurants in 2001, text ordering in 2007 and a digital rewards program in 2010.
Facebook launched the new Order Food option in its main navigation in May, bringing together all supported restaurants in one place. Ordering food and delivery through Delivery.com and Slice takes place entirely on Facebook to make the process convenient for consumers. For Papa John's, the news shows it is trying to keep up with competitors Domino's and Pizza Hut, which have aggressively embraced a variety of digital ordering methods. For Facebook, the news suggests its food ordering option may be starting to gain traction.
Papa John’s, which has 3,428 locations in North America, clearly recognizes that its survival depends on reaching its customers through all available communication channels. As people devote more time to interacting through social media, pizza delivery chains need to provide the convenience of ordering food within an app like Facebook. Meanwhile, Pizza Hut updated its mobile app to provide real-time delivery tracking and Domino’s has a series of mobile apps that can be integrated with smart-home systems.
Food ordering by mobile application, text message and the internet grew 18% in March from a year earlier as consumers sought greater convenience by eating at home rather than at a restaurant, according to market researcher NPD Group. The trend is spurring restaurants to build or improve their apps.
Mobile ordering is growing at a time when overall results are weak, with same-store sales for restaurants falling 1.1% in May from a year earlier, according to data by TDn2K cited by Restaurant News. Papa John’s bucked that trend with 2% same-store sales growth in North America during Q1 2017, the company said. Papa John’s stock has declined 9.5% year to date, but is up 13% in the past 12 months.