Musings on 10 Minute Pizza Deliveries from Papa John

Papa John’s is promising to get your pizza to you in ten minutes or less. Granted, this is carry-out deliveries at lunch time only… but it raises the question: how soon until we see ten minute pizza deliveries, from telephone call to your door?

After all, the thirty minute guarantee has been around for decades. The pizza chain that can break that will have a serious edge over the competition. Unfortunately, there’s no real way to do it without sacrificing either quality (and there’s little enough of that to go around anyway) or safety.

Wat needs to happen to get a pizza to your door in ten minutes? As soon as you call, Papa John’s either need to have your specific pizza under a heat lamp, or they need to just blaze putting it together. Neither equates good pizza.

On the safety side of things, even a thirty minute guarantee encourages drivers to get reckless — their jobs are the ones on the line, after all. We don’t know what Papa John’s driver policy is (do you know? Send us an email!) but a lot of companies that promise a pizza to you in thirty minutes or less punish the driver if it doesn’t get there in time. Sometimes this can be pay docking (Domino’s famously used to do this) but even if it doesn’t become financially punitive, it looks bad if a driver continuously fails to meet the time limit imposed. Those precedents could eventually equal firing. Thirty minutes is already a slim wedge of time to get pizza to somebody’s door… does anyone really want to live in a Cryptonomicon Snowcrash-like world of samurai-sword wielding pizza deliverators boiling the asphalt at 200mph?

Scratch that last question: of course you do. Who doesn’t? So maybe Papa John’s is onto something here. Still, until a Papa John’s pizza chef can flip on a Cronenberg transportation device to beam a steaming pizza straight into your hands, we’d rather get a good pizza delivered to us in thirty than a heat-lamp pizza delivered in ten minutes by a bloody corpse who just crawled his way out of a car wreck.

Edit: Of course, it’s Snowcrash. Sorry, I spaced and confused it with one of Stephenson’s other books. Which is too bad, since Snowcrash is the only thing he’s ever written that doesn’t just suck.

Papa John’s 10-minute pizza [Food Facts]

Comments

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  1. airship says:

    Of course you mean ‘Snow Crash’, not ‘Cryptonomicon’. But it’s still a Neal Stephenson reference, so that’s cool.

  2. Harlan says:

    Dude. Snow Crash, not Cryptonomicon. Geesh.

  3. DeeJayQueue says:

    well, if you restrict the menu for the 10 minute deal to a few choices which you can keep ready at all times, and only guarantee the service to people within 1 mile of your store, then it’s possible.

    I live about 5 blocks from a Pizza Hut delivery outpost and regularly get my ‘za in about 15 minutes.

  4. John Stracke says:

    You mean Snow Crash, not Cryptonomicon.

    I bet Domino’s could make a 10-minute promise for certain conditions; say, it has to be one of the selected common styles (just pepperoni, maybe), it’s in a limited delivery area, and it’s only at peak times. Then they’d know that they could count on a certain number of 10-minute orders per hour, so they could have those pizzas already in the oven before they were ordered.

    An alternative would be full ovens in the delivery vehicles. The restaurant would keep made-but-not-cooked pizzas on hand, and give them to the driver to cook on the way. It’d be expensive, though.

  5. ValkRaider says:

    “Superfast Pizza”, Fon Du Lac, Wisconsin.

    http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=301723

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7726695/

    Although I am not sure if it was successful…

  6. yeabirfday says:

    I doubt anyone will successfully vie for the 10 minute delivery thing. Having the whole menu or nearly the whole menu ready to go (for takeout) at lunchtime is basically the way all fast food restaurants run, and demand/business is usually brisk enough that your food hasn’t been under a heat lamp for too long. Papa Gino’s (new england pizza chain) has a limited-menu lunch special deal of 3 minutes, after all, but probably only in stores that receive heavy lunchtime traffic from neighboring workplaces.

  7. Smoking Pope says:

    I think they should invent the Pizza-pult. “Domino’s: We’ll catapult a pizza to your house in 10 minutes or less, or it’s free!” Sure, the quality of the pizza would suffer, but that would be more than made up for by the fact that the sky would be filled with flying pizzas.

    Or we could all order from Rosati’s, have a little patience, and then eat a delicious pizza that doesn’t taste like melted rubber on cardboard.

  8. GenXCub says:

    I stick with Pizzahut.com. It’s never under 30 minutes, but I also don’t have to deal with a register jockey, get exactly the toppings I want on each side without sounding like an a-hole, get to apply any coupon I want because they’re all on their website, and I feel so yuppie-ey ordering food online.

  9. Rick Dobbs says:

    I don’t know anyone that still has a 30-Minute *guarantee.* Domino’s did away with that awhile ago because of reckless driving by the delivery guys (spurred on by the fact that the driver had to pay for the late deliveries out of pocket).

    If someone tried to do a guarantee again on delivery, quite a few groups would be up in arms.

  10. billhelm says:

    None of the national chains has the 30 minute guarantee anymore… if anything delivery times often average 45 to an hour during peak times at most places, at least around where I live. This is true at Domino’s and Papa John’s. No driver is punished for this.

    Having worked in the Pizza industry, it’d be nearly impossible to have a 10 minutue delivery time as a guarantee without added cost or quality issues. The delivery areas are too large for most stores, and the prep/cooking time is about 6 minutues when done efficiently. You’d also have to have too many drivers taking too few runs and this would drive up the cost.

    PJ’s can do this instore because the prep/cook is only about 6 mins…

  11. OkiMike says:

    How can you say everything but “Snow Crash” sucks? Cryptonimicon was insane!