The pizza demand surge has continued into the summer months. On Thursday, Papa John's International (PZZA -0.81%) reported strong sales as part of its fiscal second-quarter update to investors, with the gains holding through June.

Comparable-store sales jumped 28% for April, May, and June, which corresponds to some of the most heavily impacted months of COVID-19-related store shutdowns. That compares to a 6% decrease in the year-ago period and a 5% increase in the prior quarter that ended in late March.

"We have safely and successfully met the needs of millions of new and returning customers who have relied on us ... during the pandemic," CEO Rob Lynch said in a press release.

Five young friends share a delivery pizza.

Image source: Getty Images.

Papa John's isn't seeing too much of a pullback as U.S. states reopen their economies and more restaurants begin welcoming diners again. In fact, July comps are up 14% globally and are higher by 30% in the U.S. market.

The chain has closed the growth gap with rival Domino's Pizza (DPZ -0.50%) in recent months, but the pizza delivery leader has ambitious plans to continue winning market share, including by opening more restaurants even in established markets around the country.