Papa John's Russia is on the move and expects to capitalize on a growing demand for pizza delivery in that country. Christopher Wynne, chief executive of Papa John's Russia, noted that unlike in the United States where the pizza delivery industry is more than 50 years old, the Russian market only started developing in the 1990s. Wynne said he thought the company's same-store sales by delivery in Russia would increase by 35 percent this year from last year and added "People are working 12-hour days and spending one to two hours in traffic every day, and they are accustomed to going out and eating in restaurants. This leads them to accepting delivery as an option."
Wynne flew a group of Russian reporters to a meeting at Papa John's headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky where he remarked that more and more Russians are giving up their normal cooking routines, and that pizza delivery will demonstrate stable growth in the coming years as more customers order pizza deliveries to homes and offices. Wynne also added that "The delivery market is absolutely underdeveloped, with people becoming more and more accustomed to ordering delivery each year."
The biggest Russian pizza chains have enjoyed steady business but the overall pizza market took plunge last year that forced some smaller pizza companies to shut down. It is estimated that the pizza market will probably expand by half a percent this year and resume steady growth by early 2012. Competition in the delivery segment for Russia is low compared to other big cities though. Eight million New Yorkers have over 3,000 pizzerias to choose from, while the more than 10 million Muscovites have only 300 active pizzerias to call.
As a result, most existing pizza delivery chains are expanding business in Russia and new ones are opening every other week. Papa John's has big plans for expansion in the country and has already invested over $10 million in the last 7 years. The company plans to open more restaurants across the country in the coming years with the eventual goal of 50 restaurants in Moscow and the surrounding region by the end of 2013, up from the current 13 restaurants in operation now.