The pizza industry is in a larger downturn than I would have predicted. Papa John’s is even delaying scheduled increases in their royalty:
Papa John’s, meanwhile, is extending sweeping financial assistance to its franchisees. The company is delaying for at least six months an increase in its royalty rate on sales to 4.5% from 4%. It also is rolling back the royalty it collects on Internet-generated sales, a fast-growing part of its business, to 2% from 3%, and markedly cutting the price of cheese it sells to franchisees. Finally, those franchisees suffering the most will get special marketing support.
While hamburger chain McDonald’s Corp. has posted consistent gains in its domestic same-store sales, with 4% growth in 2008, U.S. franchised same-store sales at Domino’s fell 1.7% in 2007 and 5.6% in the first nine months of 2008. Papa John’s is predicting its same-store sales will be flat to down 2% this year, and Pizza Hut, whose same-store sales slipped 1% in the fourth quarter of 2008, is off to a slower start than expected this year, according to Yum, which has called the division its biggest challenge.Pizza’s woes started before the current recession gripped the nation. Figures compiled by Chicago-based restaurant-consulting firm Technomic Inc. show that while the overall U.S. fast-food category experienced compounded annual growth of 6.4% from 2002 to 2007, pizza sales rose only 2.5% during that period.