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Digital Revolution in the Pizza Industry

Digital Revolution in the Pizza IndustryDigital Revolution in the Pizza Industry

The big pizza chains like Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, plus all the mom and pop restaurants comprise the diverse landscape of the pizza industry. With 77,727 restaurants in the U.S., the pizza industry is worth $46.34 billion in the States and $154.8 billion worldwide. In fact, Americans eat 3 billion pizzas per year, or 46 slices of pizza per person per year.

Hence, one might wonder how this multibillion-dollar industry is staying ahead of the curve?

Even during a worldwide pandemic, people were still buying pizza, and the traffic decline topped out at just 8 percent.

It might be because pizza is iconic, and one large pie can still feed the whole family, or it might be because the industry was well-positioned to handle the pandemic with the help of technology.


The first online order came in 1994. It was pizza. Then in 2009, the first pizza app was launched by Pizza Hut, Domino’s introducing the tracking system in 2008. And by 2020, we’re seeing voice ordering, pizza kits, discount codes, loyalty programs, custom options, app orders, automation, and soon delivery robots.

Technological advances have become the norm. Third-party service apps like GrubHub, Slice, DoorDash, and UberEats changed the market by introducing marketplaces and raising the order volume by 10 percent.

Customers value speed and efficiency, and we can see that in the numbers:

  • Grubhub is worth around $4 billion, and they were recently bought by Just Eat in a $7.3 billion deal.
  • Slice is a startup that helps local pizza joints be competitive on the market. The company got a $43 million investment from KKR this year, and it was placed on the Unicorn list last month.
  • Uber Eats bought Postmates for $2.65 billion.
  • Doordash holds 35 percent of the market share in the U.S, and it’s valued at $16 billion.
  • Domino’s is leading with almost 50 percent of the market share, and for the first time in 2020, the company sold more pizzas than Pizza Hut (their biggest franchise filed for bankruptcy last month).

All of the above tells us that digitalization and technology play a significant role when it comes to market share. People need convenience and innovation, especially during times like this. 

A person in any part of America today can order any pizza dish in a matter of seconds, only with one tap and be eating in less than an hour.

Digital Marketing

The big pizza chains and third-party services are the ones setting the trends, not only in technology but also in marketing. And they’re going fully digital because ads and social media marketing have proven their value in revenue.

For example, Pizza Hut’s ad campaign focuses on geographical and psychographic segmentation variables for more specific targeting. Domino’s is working on brand positioning (successfully), and it’s pushing its very famous message – delivery in less than 30 minutes or free pizza.

Slice, on the other hand, is working on promoting local pizzerias across all media channels, and it is raising these restaurants’ online presence. Also, each restaurant gets access to a marketplace filled with pizza lovers, which means more visibility to a more qualified audience.

Google, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have made it possible for companies to widen (and target) their reach, and these digitalization and tech advancements just might make it possible for the pizza industry to survive the Covid-19 pandemic – and even come out on top.

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