Photo by Ken Wolter
Photo by Ken Wolter

Russia invades Germany with Papa John’s pizza

by Amanda Palumbo
Stripes Europe

America’s most controversial pizza chain is making its way to Germany and you can thank (or blame) the Russians. Retail giant, PJ Western, who brought Papa John’s pizza to Russia is expanding south to Germany.

PJ Western is taking over 14 Uno-Pizza locations and will transform them into Papa John’s restaurants later this year. Pizza Uno currently has restaurants in Leipzig, Halle, Merseburg and Magdeburg. Their goal is to expand that to 250 Papa John’s locations within Germany in five years.

The fourth largest pizza chain in America does have a fierce, loyal and some would argue misguided following. But, will that following expand to Germany? It will be interesting to see if PJ Western caters its menu to its new customer base. Germans tend to lean towards a more Neapolitan style of pizza with an unreasonable amount of toppings the thin crust simply cannot sustain. Even rival Domino’s, Germany’s largest pizza chain, added items to its menu for its German base like tuna fish, even though the rest of the world will never understand why that is even an option. Papa John’s Russian menu looks identical to its menu offered in America with choices the rest of the world will never understand like Mexican or barbecue pizza.

One thing PJ Western will need to keep in mind, Germany is a very saturated pizza market. A quick search in food delivery service, Lieferando, shows more than 70 percent are pizza restaurants. They will need to stand out amongst the pizza pack and offer something different, and different is what Papa John’s has been all along.

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