As Papa John’s seeks to meet “extraordinary demand,” the quick-service restaurant (QSR) reported that May comparable sales jumped 33.5 percent in North America and 7 percent internationally. President and CEO Rob Lynch said in a statement that the company’s workers and franchisees provided “the best sales period in the company’s history” in May for the second consecutive month.
Lynch said in the statement, “Our teams continue to meet the needs of new and returning customers and their communities, while making health and safety our top priority. We entered the pandemic with strong growth and momentum, and are fortunate that our delivery and carry-out model has enabled us to meet an essential need for high-quality food, safely delivered to consumers’ homes.”
The pizza chain noted that approximately 320 of its roughly 2,100 international franchised stores are closed for the time being, mainly in the Middle East, Europe and Latin America. It also noted that some global markets are open “predominantly” just for delivery, like Britain. While the company noted that nearly all traditional restaurants in North America “remain open and fully operational,” it said that many non-traditional restaurants in stadiums and colleges are shuttered for the time being.
The news comes as the mobile ordering industry has continued to gain momentum: Almost 50 million diners are forecasted to tap into food delivery apps by 2021. And dine-in bans, as well as stay-at-home orders, are causing diners to seek delivery and carryout via mobile apps.
QSR chains are looking into a number of initiatives and promotions to help weather the coronavirus crisis, which has forced 44 percent of eateries to close temporarily or permanently. Chipotle, in one case, provided complimentary delivery services through March and April on orders of $10 or greater.
And Yum! Brands has adapted to the coronavirus with digital technology and contactless delivery. CEO David Gibbs said the company witnessed early indications of recovery in markets that were first impacted by the virus and stabilization, per a report in late April.