Papa John’s wants to be thought of as a tech company — not a traditional restaurant chain.
“We’re much more close, I would argue, to Amazon than we are to a brick-and-mortar restaurant,” Brandon Rhoten, Papa John’s chief marketing officer, told Bloomberg.
While a pizza chain positioning itself as an e-commerce company may seem odd, Papa John’s sales back Rhoten’s argument. In May, the company reported more than 60% of its sale came through digital channels, primarily in the form of mobile orders.
Papa John’s isn’t the only pizza chain taking cues from tech companies.
“I think what we’re going though is … the ‘Uber-ization’ of our customer experience,” Pizza Hut’s Chief Digital Officer, Baron Concors, told Business Insider in 2016. “A lot of people think Uber really transformed the transportation industry, but I think they have really transformed commerce.”
Having better tech is key to beating out the competition, as digital orders make up at least half of all sales at Pizza Hut, Domino’s, and Papa John’s. As a result, all three chains have debuted high-tech and occasionally bizarre innovations, such as Domino’s self-driving cars, Pizza Hut’s Bluetooth-enabled sneakers, and Papa John’s Apple TV app.
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