Pizza — the unofficial food of the COVID-19 pandemic — experienced an explosion of sales growth in 2020 and 2021 as the go-to delivery food of choice. But what goes up, must come down and by 2023, two of the pizza industry giants — Domino’s and Papa Johns — are now struggling with faltering traffic and sales.
At the end of 2022, both Papa John’s and Domino’s reported just-barely-positive same-store sales (around 1% each), with negative traffic boosted mainly by increased menu prices. With tales of food inflation woes, delivery driver shortages, and lack of demand as people head back to dine-in restaurants, the pizza high has come back down to Earth. But does this spell trouble for the pizza industry in the long-run, or is it just a normalization after a period of unusual activity?