papa johns

i have 3 people that work for me now, that used to work at papa johns…they tell me that they get a truck 2 times a week with supplies of which has there froxen dough balls on it.
how is it legal for him to go on national TV and say his dough is fresh and never frozen?


It is my understanding that Papa Johns ships the dough at 33 degrees. One of my managers worked for the chain for a few years and that is the way they got around the fresh never frozen.

When I worked at Papa Johns our dough came in dough trays twice a week unfrozen. We were not allowed to use it till it was three days old and had to stop using it when it was seven days old. Seven day old dough doesn’t seem very fresh to me.

PJ’s didn’t have their thin crust yet when I worked there but at Dominos I believe it came in frozen. Anyone know if PJ’s thin crusts come in unfrozen.

i just think thats a crappy way of doing business…i lost alot of respect for that guy…but im sure he dont care…lol

It is difficult to make a cold fermented dough that can last 6-7 days. You need to use small amounts of yeast, very accurately control the finished dough temperature while allowing the dough balls to start to ferment, and then deliver the dough balls from PJ’s Quality Control Centers to stores that are fairly widely dispersed with the radii of the Quality Control Centers (there are only about 10 or 11 Quality Control Centers to cover the entire U.S.) while always keeping the dough balls cold. It makes sense to me that they would keep the dough balls as close to freezing temperature as possible once they are made and leave their Quality Control Centers. It may actually be a necessity if the dough balls are to last 6-7 days.

Most people, even within the industry, do not know that PJ does not deliver the dough balls to their stores. They use the logistics unit of UPS, using UPS refrigerated trucks (with the Papa John’s name on the trucks) and UPS employees (with Papa John’s uniforms). Ultimately, PJ is responsible but I can see how sometimes dough balls might end up freezing in the UPS trucks. If it’s intentional, that is one thing and PJ should be held to account. But, if it is accidental, that’s another thing.


Don’t know if it’s 33,32,or 42 degrees but I have to respect the man for having 3000 plus stores.

I just don’tnow how those big 3 keep employees


For some time, the founder of Mr. Jim’s has been taking shots at Papa John’s on the matter of freshness: Freshness can be debated but if the fermentation of the PJ dough balls is suspended as much as possible by keeping them cold as long as possible, a 6 to 7 day dough ball at the store level should still perform well. I have not detected any issues with dough balls that I have seen at the PJs near me. They have always looked pristine to me, without any signs of overfermentation whatsoever. Maybe I have not seen the 7-day old dough balls.

The business models of the big chains do not require that their workers at the store level know much about the doughs. Just about all of the know-how and trade secrets are back at the ranch and very closely guarded. The workers in the stores who make the pizzas are essentially pizza assemblers. They must be trained, of course, and they are audited by headquarters, but it is invevitable that turnover for such jobs will be high. With a weak economy, it’s even possible that turnover at the moment is not as high as it might otherwise be.


Lots of great info on Mr Jims website…

 I don't know if I would call it good info.  It shows the power of a good copywriter.  He spins it that his reconstituted sauce is supposedly better than a "fresh packed" sauce.  He then suggests that his QLC frozen cheese is better than a fresh mozzarella.  His writer spun it so well, he almost had me believing even though I know better.  Oh, I almost forgot, his beef with only a "little" tvp is a great choice for toppings.  I am starting to see how some of these politicians keep getting elected!

I have to agree. This guy is spinning big time. I do not want reconstituted anything in my food. I have been through the fresh packed operation from the field to the shipping dock and have seen the care and attention that goes into producing their product. I have stood beside my butcher as he made my pepperoni, ham, bacon, ground beef and sausage. I know exactly what goes into each product. To have this guy say his way is a better way just makes me shudder.

Perfect Pizza and Daddio beat me to the punch posting on this one! I got a huge laugh reading that. He assails PJ’s for their product and then goes on to talk about how he uses reconstituted sauce, frozen cheese, frozen dough and beef that is “virtually all meat”. It’s almost all meat!

Here’s my recipe for my beef topping (which we make ourselves): Beef, Salt, Spices.

For some reason this reminds me of a trip to Vegas where I saw a sign on the strip advertising the “All you can eat: Meat and Seafood Buffet!” All for like $3.95! I always wondered what kind of “meat” they would be serving… hmmm, does PJ run buffets in Vegas too? :shock:

All that write up and they did not spell check or proof read?

'No way im going to believe all that crap

We make our hand stretched dough every day in our kitchens. It is made 12 hours before we use it and is thrown away if not used within 96 hours. one sompetitor’s dough comes form their warehouse and isn’t even used until it’s much older than 12 hours. It sometimes gets so old that the dough gets spotted with darks spots which cause off flavors. They call these spots bran browning but the joke is there is no bran in their flour; or anyone else’s white flour for that matter. Most of the other chains get there dough shipped in already made and some even use dough that has been frozen.

Jokergerm . . . . the problem is the sentence before the one you highlighted . . . . .

They make their dough 12 hours before they use it . . . . and throw it away if it is not used in 96 hours.

Do they make it 12 hours before they use it, or do that make it, and use it for 96 hours (4 days)? 12 hours ain’t much fermentation for flavor development.

I cannot fathom how the guy really believes that his tomatoes processed down into a dehydrated compressed “clay like” brick is somehow fresher or superior in flavor to the high end guys who fresh pack their tomatoes right from the field, like Stanislaus and their market competitors. He went from saying the canned stuff isn’t exactly ‘fresh’ to changing the subject to talking about how his method makes for consistency and avoids pectin issues . . . by destroying the pectin with heat and dehydration!!! All in the span of like two sentences.

They are smooth, but likely full of chub. Given what they right, I would not trust the quality of their food or integrity of their business. Just cheesy sounding. At least with PJ, you KNOW they are working the word game . . . these guys accuse PJ then do it themselves.

Had to laugh at this on Mr. Jim’s website - his “dough cam” showing his “fresh” dough…

Look blown to me! :lol: 8 days old…

Anyone else get the heeby-jeebbies realizing that we are almost taking sides with PJ on this?? Jeenkies. I am not a huge proponent of their pizza or model . . . but I sure am getting flustered thinking about the job Mr. Jim is selling in his print assets. And that dough came is priceless . . . maybe not blown, but it is what we call ‘special handling’ dough that can potentially make a good pie, but it has to be handled ever so gently to avoid epic de-gassing and pointless pizza crust.

Or I bake it into a loaf of bread and use for crostini or breadcrumbs.

I might have taken Papa John’s side until I ordered some Sunday night (a simultaneous shop-the-competition and silence-whiny-kids moment). The only redeeming part of the product for me was their crust. By far the worst portion of the experience was what I thought was their Nacho Cheese breadstick dip, which was neither Nacho or cheese. I’m pretty sure it was cheese-flavored-margarine and I’m certain it was terrible.