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Surprisingly, This Is the Pizza Brand Consumers Are Most Loyal To

A hamburger and fries might be about as American as you can get when it comes to comfort foods in the U.S., but I'd contend that pizza comes in a very close second. When the big game is on TV or your children have a big test coming up the next day in school, there's perhaps no easier go-to food than pizza.

You certainly don't have to look very far to find the nearest pizza chain to you with research firm CHD Expert in September 2012 reporting that there were 71,856 pizzeria stores within the United States. As CHD also reports, these pizza joints brought in a cool $36.79 billion dollars in the fiscal year ending Sept. 2012, with Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM  ) -owned Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizza (NYSE: DPZ  ) , Papa John's (NASDAQ: PZZA  ) , and Little Caesars comprising about 15%, 9%, 6%, and 4% of the "revenue pie," so to speak.

Source: Daveynin, Flickr.

Obviously having a bigger store presence can help boost sales as in the case of Pizza Hut. CHD Expert notes that Pizza Hut owned 10.57% of the 71,856 stores open as of Sept. 2012, followed by Domino's, Little Caesars and Papa John's. But there's more value to be had in quality than quantity when it comes to making pizzas and appealing to consumers.

With a projected growth rate of 1.6%, the pizza industry within 10 years could be generating $43.1 billion per year in sales, which for investors could mean hefty profits. For consumers, it could also mean an influx of new names and a watering-down of flavors as companies lose sight of the big picture: their core consumer.

That's why today we're going to take a closer look at a study conducted by Brand Keys utilizing its proprietary Customer Loyalty Engagement Index that examines how well a company engages with and retains customers.

However, before I reveal which of the seven pizza chains that Brand Keys examined topped the list, let's have a closer look at why customer engagement and loyalty even matter in the first place.

Source: Scott Bauer, Wikimedia Commons.

Why pizza chains need to focus on their customers
When an advertising blitzkrieg simply isn't enough for the nation's top chains, they'll often turn to promotions to draw in consumers. I can personally vouch that I've tried pizza at a few different chains over the years specifically because a promotion enticed me to walk through the door. While getting customers in the door can be somewhat easy if a company angles its promotion correctly, keeping them loyal and turning them into higher-margin consumers who aren't sale-dependent is the true key to pizza chain success.

A pizza chain more adept at pleasing consumers through its superior customer service and quality taste is more likely to make them customers for life. These core customers are ultimately less reliant on promotional deals and provide the stability of cash flow that pizza chains need to expand. In addition, these core customers are also less likely to flee when a company inevitably raises its prices. Without these core customers we'd simply see pizza chain earnings fluctuating wildly on a quarter-to-quarter basis.

Pizza that'll make you say "Doh!"
As you might imagine, there can only be one top dog on Brand Keys' survey among seven pizza chains, so many simply didn't make the cut.

Although it's my personal choice, Papa Murphy's (NASDAQ: FRSH  ) only snagged the No. 5 spot, likely having to do with the convenience factor of needing to take your pizza home and cook it yourself for a similar price (or higher) than purchasing a fully prepared pizza at another chain. Of course the trade-off is that you receive what are perceived to be fresher ingredients and get to watch your pizza be prepared. Ultimately, though, it would appear that pizza-hungry consumers value their time and their wallet more.

Little Caesars and Pizza Hut, despite their size, aren't going to the take the crown, either. These giant chains finished fourth and third, respectively, in Brand Keys' study.

For Little Caesars it's been a lack of adequate branding. With considerably fewer storefronts than Pizza Hut and Domino's, for example, it needs to work twice as hard simply to draw consumers in the door. It doesn't have a signature dish or draw factors that really draws consumers over the long run.

Pizza Hut is actually doing quite well thanks to its size advantage and deep pockets. One area where it's seen loyalty improvement is with social media. By turning to the Internet Pizza Hut has been able to spread the word of mouth on promotions and new products with ease. Based on Brand Keys' results it still has a ways to go, but things are heading in the right direction.

Between Papa John's and Domino's Pizza, the customer loyalty king is ...?
Based on what we've seen so far this leaves only two possible pizza chains to claim the top spot in brand loyalty: Papa John's, led by its CEO and familiar face in ads, John Schnatter, and Domino's Pizza, led by CEO J. Patrick Doyle who has appeared in quite a few mea culpa Domino's ads in recent years.

Before I spill the beans, do you have a guess which pizza brand you believe is the head cheese?

Got your answer?

Did you say Papa John's? If you did, you guessed incorrectly!

Source: Papa John's.

Why not Papa John's? I would surmise it has a lot to do with PR flubs over the past couple of years rather than the quality of pizza or service. John Schnatter was heavily criticized in August 2012, when he announced that the implementation of Obamacare and the need to provide health-care options to his full-time workers would add $0.11-$0.14 per pizza, or $0.15-$0.20 per order. Many consumers took that as a slap in the face, as well as a reminder that workers in pizza chains often make relatively low wages which can make it very difficult for them to pay for their own health insurance.

As for Schnatter's advertising campaign ("Better ingredients, better pizza"), it appears to be spot-on, drawing a fairly regular group of new consumers and retaining a good portion of them. In Papa John's most recent quarterly report the company delivered a comparable-store sales increase of 9.6% in North America and reaffirmed its full-year guidance. Simply put, even though its CEO might be hurting the company's image, it's clear that consumers like the pizza. Since image snafus tend to blow over fairly quickly, I'd contend the company still has a bright future, and perhaps an eventual shot at the No. 1 brand loyalty spot.

Source: Domino's Pizza.

Why this Domino didn't fall
A couple of factors have worked in Domino's favor to help push it to the top of the ladder in terms of brand loyalty and help it earn the trust of consumers.

First and foremost, Domino's was able to pull off the very rare mea culpa ad campaign. With CEO Patrick Doyle at the helm it went on TV and admitted that its pizza wasn't that good and announced its intentions to get better through new recipes and by listening to consumers' feedback. What we've witnessed is an incredible response by the public, with same-store sales growing nearly 5% in the first-quarter and its EPS jumping 15%. It also marked the 81st consecutive quarter (more than 20 years) of international same-store sales growth. By focusing on the quality of its product rather than the quantity of storefronts it has Domino's has been able to hang onto a number of new customers.

Source: Domino's Pizza.

Perhaps more importantly, its mea culpa campaign also allowed the company to reach out to consumers on a personal level. These campaigns don't always work, but with Doyle reaching out and essentially fessing up to his company's mistakes -- see its recent "Failure is an option" campaign -- it brought Domino's down from a high-perch and placed it on a more level playing ground with John and Jane Q. Public.

Another winning strategy has been Domino's usage of social media to spread its message and relate to consumers. Take Papa John's which, as of yesterday, had made some 18,600 tweets and claimed about 197,000 followers on Twitter since it joined. By comparison, Domino's has made more than three times as many tweets (60,300) and has more than double the followers (538,000) which would imply that it's simply trying harder to go the extra mile for its customers – and clearly that's showing in its results.

Domino's is not going to be handed this honor lightly every year, and it'll need to remain innovative if it hopes to maintain its growth within the U.S. and overseas, but it's clear that its current strategy is working, and that's great news for existing shareholders.

If you want to learn a thing or two about loyalty, look no further than legendary investor Warren Buffett, whose philosophy is to buy stocks for the long term. Find out which stock he's been recently gobbling up.
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Read/Post Comments (114) | Recommend This Article (117)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 4:18 PM, josh995 wrote:

    I thought Papa Murphy's went out of business? Several years ago, there was one near my house when I lived in Indiana. It was closing, and I asked why and the guy making the pizza said it's because they were going out of business.

    Now I live in Virginia, and I see there's one 45 minutes away from my house. Guess I'll be making the trip.

    Papa Murphy's makes a darn good pizza! I like the fact that I take it home and bake it, as I can control how done it is. :)

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 4:23 PM, Dondo7 wrote:

    Ugh. We can't even read an article on Pizza without Politics entering in to it.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 4:31 PM, Noshirt wrote:

    Pizza Hut is my favorite pizza. I tried Domino's once, it tasted like soda-infused cardboard. I called Papa John's once, and the kid told me they did not have "medium" pizzas, so I decided to Pizza Hut, and everything has been fine.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 4:35 PM, jimwolf511 wrote:

    Papa Murphy's is the best piping hot pizza right out the oven.. It is ready when you are and not waiting for that dam doorbell.. It is full of quality ingredients and toppings galore..

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 4:42 PM, phillipzx3 wrote:

    Papa Aldo's and Papa Murphy's merged in the mid 90's. Papa Murphy is still doing well in my area of Vancouver, Washington (not to rub it in, but we have at least six within 10-15 minutes from me).

    Great tasting pizza for a reasonable price. Try cooking one on a Weber BBQ sometime. :-)

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 4:50 PM, paultheonlypaul wrote:

    None of these Pizza Chains has pizza worth eating. Come to Brooklyn, NY and you will taste what pizza should taste like!!! The BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 4:52 PM, speculawyer wrote:

    Well the CEO of Papa Johns is the one who decided to go political with it.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 5:01 PM, gwatsof195577 wrote:

    Papa Murphy's and my very own Pizza oven.. it was worth the $300 I invested.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 5:04 PM, gwatsof195577 wrote:

    After the Papa John's founder went out his way to oppose the ACA, and said he would demote his workers to minimum hours to avoid compliance, I had purchased my last Pizza from him.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 5:07 PM, KimACady wrote:

    I am by no means a pizza connoisseur, but I love pizza and eat all kinds. It is surprising that Papa John's pizza is rated so highly here. Frankly, I think it is the worst pizza I have ever tried (and I've had some bad ones)! EVERY local or regional pizza I've tried has been better than Papa John's (and most chains, too).

    PS I don't consider Cici's to be pizza.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 5:13 PM, speculawyer wrote:

    I vote for Papa Murphys. Love that Pizza. Sadly the franchises closest to me closed down. :-(

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 5:16 PM, Ralphy wrote:

    The only pizza I find worth eating is one of the several family owned pizza parlors down the street. Even in a pinch, none of these fast food pizza joints are worth the bother. When on the road, you can still find local pie somewhere.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 5:17 PM, Taz wrote:

    We have several good non-pizza chains near our house but their products are of uneven quality. Sometime you get burned or greasy pizza and sometimes it is cold by the time it hits my table. Not so with Papa Murphy's. Quality is spot-on every time. Never have to wait for it and I can store and cook it when convenient for me (very handy if a group is coming over). For eating at home it is Papa Murphy's. Dining out, I'll go to a real restaurant.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 5:18 PM, kantpatel wrote:

    Try Jet's Pizza, much testier and reasonably priced than the ROM chains.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 5:22 PM, Zipper wrote:

    Papa Murphy's is the best hands down. Always fresh and their pizza offerings such as chicken. bacon, artichoke and chicken garlic are much better choices than your average run of the mill Pepperoni or sausage or three cheese and the like from the other pizza chains.Domino's was in our area but has disappeared and the closest one is ten miles away. he pizza market is saturated. Within five minutes of my house I have Papa Murphy's, Little Ceasar's, Jet's, Pizza Hut, Palermo's, Sara's, Peppino's, Happy's, Marco's and Hungry Howies. But no Domino's. and no Papa John's which were both here but closed up shop and moved out. I guess they just couldn't hack the competition.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 5:24 PM, tony78228 wrote:

    very glad Domino's took it. I choose them because you can customize the pizza a lot more than the other chains. and that is good when you can't have lots of sodium. Papa John's does not have a "thin crust" option for medium pizza's and that's a shame. plus their outer crust is huge. its more crust than pizza. pizza hut is hit or miss around my area.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 5:25 PM, telcom4444 wrote:

    I live in New Haven, CT, which is well known for its pizza. Although most of the big pizza chains have stores in CT, collectively, they don't have many locations.

    Why? Because they don't make real pizza! They make an inferior facsimile that they try to pass off as "pizza". These chains are unable to capture a significant market share in CT because they can't compete with the independent restaurants that offer real pizza. Authentic pizza is made by real Italians in real Italian restaurants. The kitchen staff speaks Italian.

    Where I live, there's simply no reason to patronize any of those chain restaurants. Any value they offer is not based on quality. It's based on price and gimmicks.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 5:32 PM, gerry817 wrote:

    As long as Domino's charges a $1.75 delivery charge which does not go to the deliverer, I will not do business with them.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 5:39 PM, deeaz wrote:

    Support your local pizzeria, it has to be better tasting than these sweatshop pizzas brought to you by the greedy oligarchs.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 5:50 PM, AbeReles wrote:

    Outside of the New York Metropolitan Area, real pizza can't be found. Chain brand stuff like Domino's, Papa John's, etc. is accepted as the real thing because the denizens of the Heartland don't know any better. They're offered cardboard covered with ketchup and shredded processed cheese substitute and are told this is what real pizza is. Also, one doesn't order a "piece" of pizza. You ask for a "slice".

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 5:50 PM, Lrose wrote:

    Hmm interesting. Of course I've never really thought that Pizza Hut made very good pizza. I've always found it overly greasy -- far more than I feel is acceptable.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 5:51 PM, Cbrat wrote:

    Papa johns is bad any independent pizza place is better.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 5:53 PM, Morpheus65lv wrote:

    The reason Dominoes is #1 is because they deliver 24 hours at many of their locations. That isn't true of Papa John's. Dominoes is.. ok pizza. It's cheap and when people get the munchies at 2am - 3am... Dominoes Delivers.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 5:53 PM, 69ingRainbowDash wrote:

    Can this win the record for stupidest/worst article ever or what?(besides every other article here)

    Also I have Domino's, go Pizza hut.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 5:58 PM, JJ82 wrote:

    All "brand" pizza's are crap tasting...I can say this having grown up in Chicago, a place where Pizza actually tastes good.

    Papa John's is cardboard with tomato paste on it with some cheese and tiny toppings. Pure garbage.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:06 PM, bcohen2010 wrote:

    None of the pizzas on this list--except maybe for Papa Murphy's, which I have never tried--are worth eating. In fact, a decent frozen pizza--such as Palermo's, Pizzeria Uno's, or DiGiorno's Pizzeria Style--blows Domino's/Pizza Hut/Papa John's/Little Caesar's out of the water any day of the week!

    In addition to better taste and quality, a good frozen pizza also "delivers" great savings and convenience. It's always available, and I don't have to pay any tax, tip, or delivery fee to enjoy it.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:10 PM, WalkerT wrote:

    I'll stick to the corner pizza store in Brooklyn or Manhattan...No pizza chains. Italian made & Family owned!!!

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:14 PM, huzone60 wrote:

    i LOVE PIZZA! I went wheat free a week ago so until I can find a good wheat free pizza, it's history! But Home Run Inn pizza used to be my personal favorite, not delivery, but frozen.

    They have stores in Chicago, but too far away to deliver. I have tried Dominos, sorry it's mediocre at best. Ditto Papa Johns.

    I trust more pizza makers will develop a wheat free version, since many people are going in the that direction. I follow the William Davis MD Wheat Belly diet, not gluten free, but wheat (and rye) free.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:14 PM, sporked wrote:

    I'm from Chicago and all of the pizza chains do exist but are far out numbered by local places. Why you get from these chains is beyond me. Local is always superior.

    Abereles, if you want some real pizza, come to Chicago.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:18 PM, DigitalBirth wrote:

    It's worth noting that 66% of the market is controlled by individual pizzerias and small chains -- Better ingredients, a better recipe, and some individual care make better pizza.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:19 PM, ReallyLily wrote:

    Dominoes "used to be" the worst pizza on earth. It was fake cheese and krappy dough. For 20 years I did not eat their pizza.

    Now, it's the best pizza out there. They DO charge for delivery. So.....I order by phone and pick it up myself. The minimum delivery they will make here where I live is if your order is at least $16. So, I pick up the pizza myself and pay $7.99 for a medium pizza that is really great. And you get three toppings of your choice. I drive a whole mile to pick up my pizza. Worth it too.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:20 PM, Dawn wrote:

    My favorite is Round Table, but they might not exist anymore.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:22 PM, yodarcretch wrote:

    All of these chains are terrible.... I suggest you support a local pizzeria.... Think globally, act locally....

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:28 PM, kroy2014 wrote:

    The person from con. was correct. A real Italian pizza from a family owned establishment can't be beet! If ever in Oswego N.Y., try Pizza villa for the best real Italian crust and sauce & all real cheese! Nothing compares! But around here,I have to go with Papa Ginos. The have the closest to a real Italian crust, crunchy and chewy and great sauce. We use to like Papa Johns years ago, but found it changed a lot. The other two are okay, but definitely far from Italian.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:31 PM, kroy2014 wrote:

    Something to be said for proof reading! Yep, I didn't! please excuse the dumb errors on the above comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:39 PM, bendriver wrote:

    I live in Chicago and I would say the local pizza places offer far better pizza than any chain can. Papa Johns uses the same sausage as McDonalds does for their sausage biscuits(So much for better quality better ingredients). Pizzahut's breadsticks and pizzas are too inconsistent or atleast the one by me is. Dominos just strait taste awful.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:39 PM, trakkerjohn wrote:

    I agree with Ralphy, Sporked, yodarcretch and a few others. Why would anyone want to buy from any of these chains? Their pizza is terrible and Dominos is by far the worst. I am from Philadelphia where there is a family owned pizza place at almost every intersection (just like Chicago, New York, etc.). If I could only buy Dominos then I would give up pizza, Yuk!

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:39 PM, al8603 wrote:

    The best pizza in the world is served in Naples, Italy. Nothing here compares. That said, one of the best state-side pizza's there is is on Oahu. It's called Bostons North-end Pizza. As for chain pizza's it's Papa Murphy's. Hands down. No contest. Love at 425 degrees. I like a crisp crust on my pizza. Putting a pizza in a box when it's hot and then in a heat retention bag while out for delivery STEAMS the pizza for however long it takes to get it to your home. If the crust was crisp when it left the oven. It ain't anymore. Put a Papa Murphy's in the oven at your home and out it comes. Excellent, freshly cooked, crispy crust pizza. And, because their overhead is far less their pizza is also far less than an equivalent quality pizza.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:46 PM, scrubgayle wrote:

    Papa Johns tastes all right but it's expensive, at least around here. Dominos was my absolute favorite years ago when they didn't scrimp on the toppings. It's a shame that in order to have enough say, cheese, you have to order the cheese as a couple of additional toppings. I will say, however, their Pacific Veggie is good. The veggies are fire roasted and there seems to be enough of everything on top.

    The best pizzas, though, in my humble opinion, are the local joints. They have to work harder to please customers who might otherwise take their business to one of the chain pizzerias. In my area, the best pizzas come from The Rock or Spuds.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:47 PM, dorsalero01 wrote:

    when you are born and raised in new York, these pizza chains are at the very bottom.. awful dough, awful sauce(chemically induced) the cheapest cheese.. so folks that like this stuff always add 3-5 toppings to cover up the real badness.. think of john Travolta in Saturday night fever carrying 2 thin beautiful pizza slices.. dough that rises for 24 hrs, san marzano tomatoes, real mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, a touch of oregano.. end of story

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:48 PM, bobwadas wrote:

    In Chicago, those places are equal to frozen pizza. You only eat those in unusual circumstances !

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:49 PM, ftfan35 wrote:

    I have to say that I do enjoy some of the offerings of Papa Johns (I really enjoy the new cookie they offer), but their leftover pizza is terrible. Something about it just doesn't reheat properly in the oven or microwave, you almost need to use both. Papa Murphy's used to be good when their pizzas were half the price of the other chains, but now all the chains have lowered their prices. I think both Domino's and Pizza Hut have gotten quite a bit better in quality in the last few years, but I still prefer Hungry Howie's for chain pizza, even though I can't get it anymore out here in the northwest.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:52 PM, jomase wrote:

    I still like my tombstones...and digiornos.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:54 PM, frellmedead wrote:

    Used to love Papa Johns, but now it tastes almost as disgusting as Pizza Hut, which tastes like greasy vomit. Surprisingly, the national chain mass produced pizza that tastes the best to me right now are the fast and hot $5.00 pizzas from Little Caesar's.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:55 PM, dina3 wrote:

    I work for Domino's and the area stores I work at charge 2.99 for deliver charge and the drivers only get 95 cents a run. I think it is a rip off. Only a few more months and I am done with Domino's. Also once the gas price went up, they did not help us with trying to put more on the run money. All with Domino's it is a profit nothing else.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 7:07 PM, JAFOSupreme wrote:

    Lou Malnati's.

    That is all.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 7:12 PM, CheriDonna wrote:

    The pizza chains cannot compete with most of the NY area pizzas. I grew up in NY. I now live in SC. We do have a pizzeria, and the owner brought his recipe to Columbia, SC; It's the best store made pizza. They make it all by hand at their location on Rosewood. Most reticently we tried DiGiorno's pizza in the boxes with the cut off top corners. The supreme will match any pizza any where, but it could use more cheese. The flavors are authentic. My favorite is the one with onions, green & red peppers

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 7:13 PM, emmysmom33028 wrote:

    California Pizza Kitchen

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 7:13 PM, foreshadow55 wrote:

    I have eaten a lot of these pizzas and dominoes is among the worst. It has one virtue, it is inexpensive. Loyalty is more like it delivers a pizza for the cheapest but if you have a bit more money that week a better pizza is what most of us would choose. I use to eat papa johns a lot, but lately I have found a local brand (shuttle pizza) that is much better, and another local place too so when I buy pizza like that I choose these types of places. One reason now I won't buy dominoes is I found it is owned by a conservative catholic family and due to the fact they are the type of people to use that money for all manner of things I disagree with I do not want to contribute to them. I thus, pizza aside, would still rather buy a papa johns over a dominoes and the fact that i think dominoes pizza taste one step above the cardboard box it comes in.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 7:14 PM, Disgustedman wrote:

    After terrible mix ups and lousy customer service, my family ONLY deals with Pap Murphys. Never have had a bad pizza, the manager is always listening to the customers and every so often I come in and end up walking out with a free small pizza which my dogs get (Along with their food) and they seem to know it's PIZZA night somehow...even if I try to hide it....They seem to know...Slurpy pizza dog it.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 7:17 PM, cherrybum921 wrote:

    Aurelios is my favorite PERIOD! I just wish we had one here in Springfield Tennessee

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 7:19 PM, wheelz2014 wrote:

    The Best Pizza that blows them all away is Jets Pizza 8 corners :)

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 7:25 PM, dulchenea wrote:

    How disappointing... if predictable... that this discussion should be about nothing but people's favorite pizza. Isn't this an investment site? It sure used to be.

    Ah well.. be well all. Hope your investment insights are as informed and deeply dear to you as your pizza preferences are.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 7:27 PM, aironeous wrote:

    You start with a Red Barons supreme or Deluxe for 3.33. You pry off the pepperoni with a knife and set them aside. You buy pizza sauce and dribble it all around the whole pizza and spread it around all the way to the edges with a silicon utensil. Then you spread Mozzarella all over it using the red sauce as your guide to cover/make disappear, go all the way to the edge. Then you put the pepperonis back on and add more covering the whole pizza. Then you cut up ham lunch meat into tiny pieces and spread that all around, again with turkey bacon. Then you smash flat FJ sausage and cut that into little pieces and spread that around. Now the vegetables, bell peppers, mushrooms, and a little bit of jalapenos (6 or 7 slices and you cut them in half). Then you sprinkle that finely shredded mexican cheese on the top all over so that it keeps the toppings from falling off when you are eating it. Now cook it on the bottom for 11 minutes using the pizzaz pizza cooker so the bottom gets hard/toasted and you can pick up a slice without it falling apart and then another 11 minutes on dual (top and bottom) and then another 4 minutes on top. I make this for my coworkers and they love it. Every time I make it they hover around me watching/looking in complete silence when I cut it up into slices, you never heard so much silence. Every time I cut that pizza up I feel like I know what a deer feels like being surrounded by lions.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 7:30 PM, littleruby wrote:

    Everyone knows that Pizza quality varies from restaurant to restaurant. I know the good ones and bad ones in every brand in my city, and the good ones never look like the delicious looking Pizzas in the TV commercials. I like Papa Murphy's because I can see it while they make it, take it home and add to it if I want to, and it's always hot and fresh.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 7:46 PM, Jim85035 wrote:

    Domino's pizza taste horrible.Papa Johns is slightly better but still awful. There is a local Pizza here in Phoenix call Presto Pizza and Wings. They have the best pizza, although DiCarlo's is my second favorite!

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 8:08 PM, bmw8636 wrote:

    READ MY LIPS!!!!!!!!!Gluten Free, Gluten free, Gluten Free!!!!!!!!!!!This is why they are number one!!!!!!SHAME ON PIZZA HUT!!!!!

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 8:19 PM, eehhh wrote:

    We like Uncle Enzo's Costra Nostra franchise pizza. His motto is simple: Your pie in thirty minutes or you can have it free, shoot the driver, take his car, and file a class-action suit against the company.

    All the drivers have gone to CosaNostra Pizza University four years just to learn it. Came in its doors unable to write an English sentence, from Abkhazia, Rwanda, Guanajuato, South Jersey, and came out knowing more about pizza than a Bedouin knows about sand.

    If the thirty-minute deadline expires, Uncle Enzo himself–the Sicilian Colonel Sanders, will be on the phone to the customer within five minutes, apologizing profusely.

    The next day, Uncle Enzo will land on the customer’s yard in a jet helicopter and apologize some more and give him a free trip to Italy–all he has to do is sign a bunch of releases that make him a public figure and spokesperson for CosaNostra Pizza and basically end his private life as he knows it.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 8:22 PM, scatha wrote:

    Yuck! The Domino's pizza by me puts out pizza so greasy, it is disgusting. The best is Pizza Hut. The crust is buttery and never greasy.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 8:32 PM, brandonteale wrote:

    Chain store pizza has gotten almost as bad as frozen, grocery store pizza. Generally, there is usually one hometown pizza shop that produces a quality pie at a reasonable price. In my town, its Angelina's. It might cost a bit more, but if I am going to eat, then why would I want to buy something I don't really like. Of the chain stores, my chief complaint is a lack of consistency among those who deliver. One good, the next one bad. The take and bake generally have good quality and fair pricing, but due to a disability, I no longer drive, so they are somewhat inconvenient for me.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 8:39 PM, czarinaanya wrote:

    This didn't' surprise me at all. Ive only been a regular (almost weekly) pizza customer for about 3 years, so maybe I just don't "remember" when/If Dominoes wasn't that good, but to me it really is the best out there right now. The sauce just the right spicy, the crust is wonderful, other pizzas are edible and enjoyable, but they just don't compare to a piping hot Dominoes with the right amount of extra sauce (something I always ask for)...

    Papa Johns is really good too though. Pizza hut's sauce I like but the crust tasted like a soft pretzel, which I didnt like...

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 8:39 PM, eyeforeye42 wrote:

    The supermarket deli does pizzas on Friday nights for a real deal and frankly speaking I like them as well as the chain varieties except they are a lot less expensive.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 8:53 PM, boss157 wrote:

    @eehhh. Snow Crash

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 8:54 PM, rav55 wrote:

    I never eat Corporate Pizza. They all suck. I always buy from the local independent pizzeria or thre artisan pizza or I make my own which is so easy that I rarely buy Pizza anyway.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 9:11 PM, sccoast1700 wrote:

    When a chain restaurant gets political I won't use them.The owner of Dominos donates big money to right wing extremists. I am not going to subsidize that. I never go there.

    Family businesses usually have a better product.

    Pepes in New Haven is the best I ever had. Deninos in Staten Island is awesome. I like some places near my house too. Just small family places.

    Price will bring you to a chain when you just want a cheap takeout. Little Caesers $5 pizza was a great deal. Not my favorite pizza but it's ok. Pizza Hut is good with the coupons.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 9:15 PM, GlennE wrote:

    Every single pizza company mentioned in this article is the worlds WORST pizza ever. ALL of them are garbage, with overly thick doughy crust that could NEVER be called thin-crust, middle-of-the-road sauce, that not one of those listed can apply correctly (too little or too much) sausage that tastes like dog food, pepperoni that is loaded with salt, rehydrated onions, canned mushrooms and rubbery cheese. Go to a family owned pizza parlor where the crust and the sauce are made from scratch, ingredients are actual foods grown locally and nothing is ever pre-made until you order it. Get real pizza. The only reason these surveys appear is because franchises are the only way to get pizza in the majority of the United States. Yes, I'm from Chicago. Pizza is REAL here. Sorry New York, thin crust pizza should NOT bend. It's supposed to be crispy.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 9:16 PM, ROLLO94 wrote:

    Im from Sandusky, Ohio and travel alot with racing. My rule is to never order pizza from a chain while out of town. I always order from a local mom and pops pizzeria. The best I've found is in Oswego, New York, its called Pizza Villa. Someone Commented on here that they too picked Pizza Villa in Oswego as the best they've ever had. That's really saying something as Oswego is a small town in upstate New York.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 9:26 PM, normgarry wrote:

    I prefer Pizza Hut's Meat Lover's Pizza with stuffed cheese crust most of all...

    ...but that stuff has so much sodium in it that when you're finished stuffing your face, you have not only gained about 5 pounds, but your eyes are in pain.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 9:42 PM, Jared87 wrote:

    I'm good with any pizza.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 9:44 PM, mehnonymous wrote:

    A couple of commenters have said that Domino's is owned by a very conservative Catholic. That's not entirely true but it's true enough that I boycott Domino's. The man they're thinking of is Tom Monaghan. Many years ago, he sold almost all of his stock in Domino's. I did some Googling and I couldn't find out if he later sold his remaining shares. HOWEVER, he does still own Domino's Farms, the corporate office park where Domino's has its headquarters, so Domino's pays him rent.

    GlennE wrote,"Yes, I'm from Chicago. Pizza is REAL here. Sorry New York, thin crust pizza should NOT bend. It's supposed to be crispy." That describes New Haven-style pizza. New York-style pizza is different. And Chicago-style pizza isn't pizza at all, it's a casserole.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 9:55 PM, YayArea wrote:

    Round Table is the best.... PERIOD! When describing pizza chains. Here's my list:

    1. Round Table

    2. Shakeys

    3. Papa John

    4. Pizza Hut

    5. Dominos





    10. Little Ceasers

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 9:56 PM, Schvertfisch wrote:

    The best pizza is usually from the independent places in the Chicago and New York metro areas. I go to Kay's bar in Houston and get a good pizza along with a good selection of beer. Chain pizza is too much like cardboard.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 9:57 PM, chieftp wrote:

    dominos? holy jesus are you kidding? I ate one about 20+ years ago because it was on the way home from work. terrible. just terrible.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 10:13 PM, southernshark wrote:

    I have to say that I did not support Obamacare in any way shape or fashion, but I feel slightly more loyal to Dominoes anyway. Why?

    Ease of ordering on the internet and specials. I feel like i get better deals at Dominoes.

    Of course the real deal winner is Little Ceasars, where you get a lot of pizza for a small price.

    That said, I hardly ever eat any of these 3d rate pizzas. I go to local independents that make much better pizza.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 10:28 PM, Fight4Justice wrote:

    I have never heard of Papa Murphy but I also have no interest in take it home and heat it yourself so just as well I suppose.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 10:40 PM, vincesm wrote:

    I have to totally disagree with picking Papa John's even in the top ten. It is by far the worst tasting pizza I have ever had.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 10:46 PM, sarak111 wrote:

    Papa John's is good pizza for the same reason Pizza Hut pizza - drown the pizza in oil.

    With Pizza Hut, employees get a ball of dough, pour half a cup of oil in a pan, slap on the dough and there you go. It's pizza and it's really hard to F it up.

    With Papa John's, you get some oil in your pizza, then cheese and other oily toppings like pepperoni, sausage, cheese, etc. And just in case your pizza does not have a healthy amount of dripping oil, they give you a cup of oil to pour on it, while you slather the other cup all over your body.

    To be honest, pizza is not very hard to make. After learning to make pizza a couple years ago, I can count how many times I've ordered it.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 10:50 PM, WarDog wrote:

    For the author to say that PaPa John saying that obummacare woud raise the price was a slap in the face to consumers is a completely moronic statement considering that the vast majority of the public agree with papa john.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 10:53 PM, getsch66 wrote:

    round table?? your kidding.. little ceasers is good for 5$

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 10:54 PM, getsch66 wrote:

    papa john's sucks..

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 10:59 PM, fooledusall wrote:

    Papa John's has to be the worst tasting pizza ever... Better ingredient's, better pizza... so why are the ingredients.. so top secret.. they wont tell the public whats in the ingredients.. what is there to hide?

    Round Table, Mountain Mike's, Shakey's, Pizza Hut, Domino's and Little Ceasar's

    are far above the foul taste of Papa John's...

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 11:13 PM, dlm1947 wrote:

    In a hurry or lazy, Papa Murphy's is the best, followed by Papa John's. Since I am a Chicago Style, deep dish kind of guy, I prefer to go to local emporiums that specialize in the deep dish, thick and loaded! A 10'er will feed me for the weekend.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 11:40 PM, rbrb2 wrote:

    Why should I care what pizza other people like? Why did I even waste my time clicking this link other than to type this post?

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 11:49 PM, DACircles wrote:

    Maybe it is a Florida only chain, I'm not sure but Hungry Howies in Florida puts all the above chains to shame.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 12:10 AM, cboy704 wrote:

    I don't like Domino's because employees posted a youtube video on about them sending boogers on their pizzas to customers.

    You may say, "the company didn't do it, and they had no control over it," but they hired these scumbags and the store's manager wasn't reprimanded (both employees were rightfully fired).

    You're known by the people you employ, you hire trailer-trash, you are trailer trash.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 12:22 AM, JImbojoker wrote:

    Mamas boy John aka papa johns is the worst pizza place I ever worked at .Talk about a tool of the oligarchy Schnatter business is run as if we were living in a 3rd world country . Our manager would send mistakes home with a driver once in a while-strictly against company policy-my family told me forget about it my advice Divest in this sweat shop.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 12:25 AM, baneful wrote:

    "Better indredients." Not likely considering Papa's is vehement about not disclosing what's on their pizza, or where it comes from. You can ask for food allergy purposes but they WILL NOT disclose the quality of their ingredients.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 12:32 AM, drtacp wrote:

    The absolute best Pizza that I have ever tasted was a Godfather's Hawaiian pizza. The second best pizza that I have ever tasted was my own...from crust to toppings and was a BBQ chicken pizza. All who tasted it agreed that it was an all-time tops. All other pizza's worth note have been from Pizza Hut. Little Caesars, Papa Johns and Dominoes will never again be on my menu. I am still searching to again best the taste of any Pizza Hut pizza.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 1:15 AM, Jpgani1 wrote:

    Some comments here are really stupid. Not one national chain uses "FAKE" cheese.

    Pizza is greasy because of pepperoni, sausage etc

    NO kidding! That's what is on pizza!

    Tastes like cardboard with ketchup....When you say that I don't think you have ever tried a Papa John's, or Pizza Hut or whatever chain your dogging.

    Tom Monaghan has nothing to do with Domino's Pizza now.

    Schnatter is right about Obamacare

    If the chains sucked as bad as these comments, how in the HELL do they sell BILLIONS of dollars worth?

    I love all pizza, big chains, little chains, etc.

    FROZEN pizza doesn't enter my home.

    Damn, I'm hungry I think I'm going to order a pie!

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 4:09 AM, arkbiz wrote:

    Papa John's really disappoints, all the more so because they hype it (last I noticed) as having better ingredients.

    That said, I've had lots of good pizza from various other places. My favorite is a DC area chain's: Ledo Pizza. Man, I wish I could get it on the west coast!

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 4:31 AM, VintageV12 wrote:

    Having grown up in NYC, I can say unequivcally That there is no chain pizza worth eating.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 5:27 AM, webone wrote:

    I've tried several chains pizza hut, domino's, round table... Pizza hut and round table were kind of so-so. Domino's sends coupons in the mail every week or so but the last 2 times I tried them, I ended up spending the early hours of the next morning puking my guts out... So I'll never go back there. I've tried most of the local places but they don't even taste vaguely Italian...They have strange concoctions with ingredients like middle eastern spices, pineapple, clams, feta cheese and alfredo sauce instead of tomato based sauce... Lately I've been ordering from a place called "Escape From New York" - they're the best I've found in San Francisco lately.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 7:07 AM, NeroSleazer wrote:

    Little Caesars is the largest pizza chain now. This study is from 2012.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 8:22 AM, podgida wrote:

    If Domino's takes the top spot, why do we have ten Papa John's in our city and zero Domino's?

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 8:23 AM, Soakee wrote:

    Papa Murphy's??? it's just a small step above grocery store frozen pizza. The only difference is that it's not frozen, although it tastes that way.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 9:34 AM, Venturacodude wrote:

    I live in Oxnard California and I like Toppers pizza. It's not cheap

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 11:23 AM, Mrevo80 wrote:

    I love pizza, grew up in the greater NYC area eating it a couple times a week, too bad none of these chain stores sell anything close to what pizza should be.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 11:30 AM, ItachiUch wrote:

    I preferred Domino's before the switch. Now, I never order from there. I have a decent rotation of the big names and local places. It isn't so much "I want pizza" or "I'm craving pizza", it's more "I'm craving Happy Joe's" or even one of the sides like Papa John's amazing parmesian breadsticks.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 11:35 AM, nwjeff wrote:

    Papa Murphys is run by a homophobe and Domino's is just boring dull pizza. But then none of this surprises me for much of the American public has no real taste for real food nor does it really understand life in general. Just look at what the number one news outlet is FOX and that therefore tells you a lot of what many Americans think and that will even affect their tastes or lack there of.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 12:02 PM, ka137 wrote:

    I order Dominos because their delivery fee is less than Pizza Hut's (in fact it can be waived with a Shop runner membership) and they have better coupon deals. Pizza Hut's deals are deceptive and often don't apply to their whole menu, like their popular stuffed crusts pizza, etc. Neither are stellar though, but in a pinch Dominos is adequate.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 12:20 PM, JeromeZ1 wrote:

    What's funny is the author of this article refers to this garbage as 'pizza'. None of these restaurants sells anything that tastes like real pizza. Slimy flavorless pre-shredded pre-packaged pizza cheese that's nothing close to a quality mozzarella, the crusts for most of these brands tastes like warm wonder bread, the meats are also frozen, prepared nasty preservative filled filth. I guess the sauces are so-so. I make my own pizza using real cheese, fresh ingredients and 00 flour. I might not always have the time, so I make the time because life is too short for bad pizza.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 12:20 PM, CincyDee wrote:

    Here in Cincinnati, Papa John's and Pizza Hut are the best. I never cared for Dominos, even after they "improved" their product. As for Little Ceasar's, I'd rather have no pizza than their pizza.

    If you want a "different" Pizza experience, Uno's is excellent; it's just not what I think of when I'm in the mood for pizza.

    I've never tried Papa Murphy's.... never even heard of it. Seeing the reviews in this article, I will definitely give it a try if there's one in this area.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 12:34 PM, Bradknowsall wrote:

    First they dumb down education,now their trying to dumb down our taste buds. I will eat Round Table anytime, except when I'm in Virginia Beach, VA. Then its Jimmy's, best sauce EVER!

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 1:17 PM, bufmaz1 wrote:

    all these pizza joints suck only go there if no other choice is available, mom and pop shops are the way to go. so much better, real dough. not bread dough and way better sauce and cheese

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 2:40 PM, ocwoman wrote:

    Domino's? I would put them one rung above Caesar's! Pizza Hut wins only because they have the stuffed crust pizza. OMG, it is so hard to resist!

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 3:40 PM, bigreddog wrote:

    personally I've worked at real Italian pizza parlors and eaten most of these food chains pizza"s the best I veer had was Godfathers Pizza which went out of business in my area long ago. It probably lost out financially but was one good pizza.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 3:49 PM, BoredInToledo wrote:

    A growing chain in the Toledo, Ohio area has fantastic pizza. Their name is Marco's. They also make great subs. They're expanding, so eventually you'll find one in your area.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 3:56 PM, BANDIT59 wrote:

    My problem with Pizza Hut is that they are the highest priced pizzas out there. I order from Dominos most of the time because they are priced lower and offer better deals. Every coupld of weeks I get an online coupon for 50% off the price of my pizza so I can order one the way I like it. I get triple pepperoni, double mushrooms and extra cheese and a medium is 7.99. Also dominos and Papa Johns offer extra cheese as a topping and don't charge extra for it. With Pizza Hut wen they have their ANY pizza for $11.99 they charge extra for double toppings and extra cheese so it's not really that great of a deal. I've contacted Pizza Hut before about it but never get a response.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 5:24 PM, suawhite wrote:

    Papa John's may make the worst pizza ever, and I'll eat almost any kind of pizza. Always slightly nauseous after eating this brand. I live in a college town (Bloomington, IN) so we have a lot of good local choices. Mother Bear's....yummmmm!!! If I had to go with a chain restaurant, Papa John's would be somewhere between last, and no thank you.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 5:26 PM, TonyT wrote:

    Come to California and there is a small chain called Cenario's Pizza. There prices are fair and they make their own dough unlike Pizza Hut, Papa Johns and Dominos. We won't put Little Caesars in the group.

    Their crust is a medium sized but very airy. Their sauce is top notch. For a volume pizzeria, you cannot beat their pizza out of the oven. Sometimes a Medium doesn't make it home.

  • Report this Comment On May 20, 2014, at 1:54 AM, seanpk6161 wrote:

    I have worked for all three of the top three chains, and I put in close to 20 years with Papa Johns. First off to say that people do not like Papa Johns Pizza because of the Healthcare comment is one of the most ignorant statements ever made. Papa Johns may have slipped to Domino's over the last few years, but this was not because of some media comment, and if you choose your pizza because of this, you are so uneducated it is funny. NONE of these chains offer healthcare worth having to any of their employees, unless you are in the upper management. Second, Papa Johns has slipped, because they do not care about their people on any level, the company is so corrupted with bad employees and poor upper management it is starting to show on a wide scale. From District Operators who spend their days on the golf course to the friends of those D/Os who operate your local store, the company is more concerned with protecting and promoting the wrong people than basing their choices on merit. This is why Papa Johns has become a shell of its former glory. The facts are tho, the industry as a whole has become unattractive to work for at all, no matter which one you choose and with this comes a poor quality of service.

  • Report this Comment On May 20, 2014, at 7:37 AM, HarveyMushman wrote:

    So Domino's is better because the owner of Papa John's spoke out about obamacare? Carful ladies your agenda is showing. Think I'll order Papa John's tonight.

  • Report this Comment On May 20, 2014, at 11:21 AM, skat5 wrote:

    Only the upper crust (pizzaz!) would think people choose their food on 'political correctness' and if you go down *that" road, consider the long lines outside Cick-Fil-A when they were politically persecuted by the mayor of Chicago. Look at these comments and realize this: pizza is a matter of personal taste. Realize also that Domino has staged a magnificent rise from a onsensus a decade ago that they had the *worst* pizza. I live within metro Phoenix and there is no Domino's near enough to deliver, so tI have not tried them abut I think tjhey have room to add stores in the U.S. despite this talk of growth being limited to foreign markets. As for abusing their workers, consider that most Dominos franchisees start out working at Dominos. This is the American road to success, not striking for higher minimum wages and more benefits, or speaking truth to power about the costs of high taxes, regulation, and benefits. Meanwhile, the FTC seems happy to allow major corporations to merge until there are three or four with pricing power (airlines, telecomms). Enjoy the choices in pizzas and the cheap prices.

  • Report this Comment On May 20, 2014, at 1:08 PM, Tootega wrote:

    I refuse to purchase Papa John's due to how poorly he pays his employees. This man lives in a huge mansion, for pete's sake.

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