ResTech

Facebook Users Will ‘Like’ Ordering Papa John’s Via New ‘Start Order’ Button

Papa John’s is giving Facebook users one more reason to never leave the app: now, customers can order Papa John’s pizza, desserts and sides using the social media giant’s new “Start Order” button.

“The only thing that could make the video of your friend’s new puppy better is a Papa John’s pizza being delivered while you’re watching it,” said Brandon Rhoten, global CMO of Papa John’s.

This builds on the pizza delivery company’s legacy of digital firsts, which began in 2001 when the company incorporated digital ordering at all of its U.S. delivery restaurants way ahead of the curve. It was letting customers order by text message in 2007, offering digital rewards by 2010, and became the first national restaurant brand to launch a custom Apple TV ordering app.

Facebook joined forces with Delivery.com and Slice in October 2016, at which time it introduced features to promote local events, share recommendations, request appointments at participating salons and spas, get a quote from a local business and order tickets to events and movies via Fandango.

It announced the “Start Order” button in May, when it rolled out the capability to select users in a beta test. The feature is part of Facebook’s overall strategy to keep eyes from wandering off its platform. It has been duplicating the functionality of various other sites with offerings like weather, city guides, job boards, fundraisers and games to increase users’ linger time on the site.

Previously, users of the social media platform were able to order food from certain individual restaurants, but they had to look up that restaurant’s page in order to do so. Now they can browse available menus, build their cart, add a tip and pay securely, all in one convenient place.

Meanwhile, the option to “Start Order” from Papa John’s national Facebook page isn’t going anywhere, either. Whichever option customers choose, the popular pizza company is offering a 25 percent off deal on orders placed through Facebook to encourage customers to try the new feature.

“Our goal is to meet Papa John’s customers wherever they are,” said Mike Nettles, chief information and digital officer at Papa John’s. “This is core to our strategy for simple, easy ordering for our guests.”

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