In the race for online and mobile ordering, Papa John's pulled ahead to beat out Pizza Hut and Domino's to a major milestone.
On Tuesday, Papa John's announced that its digital and mobile channels now account for more than 50 percent of total U.S. sales. This accomplishment makes the pizza chain the first in the industry to hit the heavily contested milestone of sustained sales that Papa John's, Pizza Hut and Domino's have all been inching towards in 2014.
"Less time answering phones empowers employees to focus on the quality of the pizza and making customers happy," John Schnatter, founder and CEO of Papa John's, said in a statement. "We’ve been taking orders digitally for almost 15 years, perfecting the ordering process."
In addition to hitting the halfway mark, Papa John's announced customers can now pay with Google Wallet Instant Buy through the Android app for delivery and carry-out orders. Domino's announced in April that it would integrate Google Wallet with its Android ordering app, while Pizza Hut is the exclusive pizza partner of Visa Checkout online payment system.
Papa John's narrowly beat out the competition in reaching the 50 percent milestone. Digital channels now account for 47 percent of Pizza Hut's orders, more than half of which are via a mobile device, reports a company spokesperson. And while Domino's did not immediately respond to Entrepreneur's request for updated figures on digital orders, the company said in December that roughly 40 percent of sales are placed through online channels.
However, both chains have reportedly hit days where online orders accounted for more than 50 percent of sales. With the competition for digital supremacy still so close, Papa John's can't afford rest on its laurels following the 50 percent milestone.