Papa John's, desperate or smart?

Recently the PJ’s in our area has benn sending out flyers offering 50% off all menu items if you call that day. Some of our customers have told us about getting them, and the the other day i found one on my door at home. So are they losing sales or trying to get people to call them instead of everyone else. I can see both sides, but it is something i definately would not do. Any thoughts?

depends, there prices are usually so over inflated that a 50% hit only brings them down to slightly lower than many independents regular prices. then once they get them to order, if they do their job right… they may steel some customers.

it also gives them an idea how many customers in their drop zone can be influenced to buy immediately.

The two most important things advertising can do is get a buyer’s attention and influence immediate action. The Papa John’s promotion would do both of these things very well.

The other matter is one of building relationships. Think of your own behavior – When you find a supplier of a particular product or service who appeals to you, don’t you usually go back to that supplier the next time you want to buy what they sell? Getting a customer to buy the first time is the hardest part. If you satisfy the customer with that first experience, you are on your way to building a good relationship and creating repeat buying behavior. If a customer had a less-than-perfect experience previously, this could be your chance to show them how good you are at what you do and reset their attitude about you.

Papa Johns’ biggest problem (along with tall the other majors) is that they discount so aggressively. Overpriced unremarkable pizza isn’t a good way to keep customers coming back. You can take customers away from them by creating a memorable experience. Unique, delicious food and fantastic service at a fair, consistent price is a great way to keep customers coming back for more!

When you look at this promotion as a way of starting or restarting customer relationships rather than resisting it because you don’t want to “give away half the money,” you may feel differently. You aren’t giving away half the money from a customer that you wouldn’t otherwise have.

My vote is that Papa John’s is smart.

I agree this is a good promotion. However, this promotion is apparently being pushed by a store manager of a Papa John’s store. While he is aggressive in trying to create response and new customers with this offer, he is obviously doing this in an attempt to increase his store sales. If I know anything about Papa John’s managers, it’s that they’re managers in every aspect of the word. They manage everything in their stores to maximize production and to limit waste. They are not marketing gurus however unless they’re in one of the following two scenarios:

  1. The manager at the store is trying to make a name for himself by taking over a low volume store and trying to increase sales (most of those guys never really think about increasing customer base, therefore increasing sales in the long run. They’re more short-sighted with goals).

  2. The manager at the store is desperate and is doing everything he can to increase sales in hopes of a) retaining his position, or b) making money (which he apparently isn’t).

Either way, the PJ’s in your town isn’t living up to expectations. I’ve never seen them get that aggressive with marketing. Either way you’re in a good position because:

A. This guy will probably do good enough with this offer to get promoted and then he’ll be out of your area.

B. The store isn’t doing well and most goals set by these managers are “quick fixes” to take care of big problems.

C. If the offer doesn’t work you’re in a good situation to… how should I say this nicely… step on their necks.

My advice would be to keep the same type of advertising you’re doing but to increase the frequency. That’ll put a little pressure on 'em.


I don’t think offering any discount over 25% is smart.

They might be desperate, but I’m going for option C Marketing Ineptitude.

As far as I can tell he’s a better than average MGR. At least he’s trying to get more sales. The problem is that he’s looking for the quick fix, the magic key, the instant gratification. The elite MGRs out there methodically and systematically release their marketing arsenal upon the potential targets in their area at specific times to create a sustained, impactful campaign rather than a quick premature ajubulation sales spike.