Skip navigation
Papa_Murphy_s_BBQ_Pizzas_2015_c.jpg Courtesy of Papa Murphy's

Papa Murphy's offers unique type of convenience

NRN presents Consumer Picks, a comprehensive look at customer preference and restaurant brand strength. This annual special report is produced with Datassential. Get the full report>>

If there were a chain made for the Millennial “Netflix and chill” crowd, it’s Papa Murphy’s. The take-and-bake pizza chain based in Vancouver, Wash., assembles pizza for customers to pick up, bring home and bake for themselves.

“We make a unique product,” said chief marketing officer Laura Szeliga, who joined the company earlier this year. “Our product is super-fresh, made from scratch, and I know that’s very compelling to our customers.”

The dough is made daily, the mozzarella is freshly grated, and toppings are chopped fresh “where relevant,” she said.

The chain of about 1,500 shops was a top scorer in terms of food quality, particularly with regard to its freshness, taste and the fact that it’s made to order — all pretty much givens, considering the concept.

Consumers use it most for family meals, relaxing at home, casual dinners and last-minute dinners.

The pizza’s ultimate customizability and the fact that consumers bake it themselves, with clear instructions provided by the chain, should tie in well with younger Americans more inclined to cook easy-to-make meals at home, but Papa Murphy’s only recently started marketing to younger customers, according to CEO Weldon Spangler.

In August, the chain launched a new “Bake It Up A Notch” campaign, the first targeting younger adults. Shot from the perspective of the oven, it’s intended to remind people that that’s where the best pizza comes from.

Although customers have to bake the pizza themselves — it takes between 12 and 15 minutes to cook a regular-crust pizza — Spangler argued that this, in its way, adds a different type of convenience in that customers can pick it up two hours before they eat, run errands and still bake it whenever they’re ready. They can even buy it the day before a football game, for example, he said.

Missing from most locations is delivery, however. That’s been changing over the past 18 months, since the chain started using a variety of different delivery services — both third-party providers and franchisees delivering it themselves — which are now available from around 400 Papa Murphy’s locations.

“We think our product’s perfect for delivery,” Spangler said. “It’s better than receiving something in a cardboard box with condensation everywhere.”

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.