The COVID pandemic has affected the pizza and pizza delivery market both positively and negatively. On the positive side, many pizza chains are increasing staffing due to increased demand and sales, while on the negative side, delivery drivers are spending more time on deliveries because of the contactless delivery policy.
How COVID Has Positively Impacted Pizza and Pizza Delivery
- The COVID pandemic has led to an unprecedented increase in staffing in leading pizza chains nationally. Notable brands like Domino’s, Papa John’s and Pizza hut expressed interest in hiring more workers to meet the growing demand for pizza.
- Between March and June, Papa John’s hired 20,000 more employees, and plans to hire another 10,000 before the end of the year. As of March 2020, Pizza Hut intended to hire about 30,000 permanent positions, including cooks, delivery drivers, restaurant managers, shift leaders, and virtual call center agents. Drivers will train for five hours daily, which is three times faster than its usual training procedure.
- Moreover, Pizza Hut expedited its onboarding process by restructuring the training process to train new hires delivery and safety courses at the beginning. The aim is to accommodate the restaurant’s needs and put more delivery drivers on the road fast and safely.
- Pizza Hut is investing in more human resources to have a consistent customer experience in delivery and carryout, which account for approximately 90% of the business.
- Many Americans have been ordering a lot of pizzas during quarantine for various reasons. One customer, Brandi Johnson says “pizza is not messy, hard to mess up, and can be taken cold or hot.”
- The growing demand for pizza and online ordering have led to an increase in sales across the top chains. For instance, in the second quarter of 2020, Papa John’s reported a 28% increase in sales across North America, characterized by three consecutive months of double-digit growth.
- Financially, shares of Papa John’s had jumped 55% this year, as of early August driven primarily by the increased demand for pizza during quarantine. Equally, in the second quarter of 2020, Pizza Hut’s off-premise business was up 21%.
- Domino’s U.S. same-store sales jumped 16% in the second quarter of 2020 and earnings per share increased to $2.99 from $2.19 in the second quarter of 2019. Its revenue also jumped 30% compared to the revenue it had in the second quarter of 2019.
How COVID Has Negatively Impacted Pizza and Pizza Delivery
- During the COVID pandemic, various pizza chains opted for contactless delivery to help mitigate the spread of the virus.
- Unfortunately, the new contactless policy led to an increase in delivery time, considering pizza chains are built to be efficient and fast.
- According to a Domino’s delivery driver in Richmond, Virginia, before the pandemic, a typical delivery took about 15 minutes, depending on the location; however, with the COVID pandemic, deliveries are taking upwards of 20 to 25 minutes.
- The usual delivery was altered with the introduction of new procedures whereby the pizza is put down onto a particular cardboard pedestal to keep it off the ground. Next, the driver rings the bell and steps away from the door.
- The COVID pandemic has affected pizza customer behaviors based on information shared by delivery drivers.
- According to Theo Parmenter, a Domino’s delivery driver “people are just a lot meaner. It seems a lot more hostile. So I’m a lot more on edge when I take deliveries.”
- Consumers are more stressed due to the pandemic hence the hostile behavior. Parmenter suspects that some customers are envious of those individuals working during the pandemic, for instance, pizza delivery drivers.
- Parmenter continues to say that nine times out of 10, customers get confused when you knock at their door and step back six feet. And when they answer, they are often bewildered and some complain about placing food on the floor, claiming that the card boards are not good enough.