Business and Operations
Papa John’s cell phone success no surprise, but what’s it really mean?
By Laura Aiken
Papa John’s International raked in a cool $1 million in
sales through mobile phone orders in less than six months, according to
multiple Google generated news sources. This comes as no surprise in an era
where leaving one’s cell phone at home feels like a case of phantom limb, but what's the hidden cost?
It’s very exciting to see Papa John’s success with cutting-edge technology because it paves the way through some pretty
uncharted waters. What the news reports fail to capture is the
cost of such trailblazing. How much did Papa John’s invest to launch its ability to
allow its customers to order without dialing? People were needed to create the
app and integrate the technology systems to make it work. Sounds expensive, but
maybe it pays for itself fast. Maybe it costs less money in the long run than
traditional phone ordering because it likely involves far less staff (if any), but
this gives rise to the human cost of all the jobs that could potentially be
lost if call centres become obsolete.
All that can really be determined is that people will use
their phone to order a pizza, which is ironic considering using the phone is
exactly how pizzas have been ordered for decades. I have ordered a pizza many
times from my cell phone, albeit I had to talk to a human being, an interaction
that could be in the process of elimination through campaigns encouraging
online and mobile ordering. This begs the question, if you didn’t give your customers
a choice, would they still pick up the phone and order a pizza the
old-fashioned way? I’d venture to say they very likely would, which means the real
implications of the technology will be in how it can save costs for its operators.
Those numbers remain to be seen.