Online pizza ordering becomes a billion-dollar industry

In another sign of the changing nature of communications in the US economy, Papa John's, America's third-largest pizza chain, has recently passed $1 billion in completed online transactions.

At the risk of editorializing an otherwise fluffy story for the approaching weekend, it's worth noting that some of us at BetaNews have a soft spot for lighthearted examples of modernity. Take for example, the coverage we have given to the trend of pizza delivery franchises embracing technology to improve business.

It could be that we are enamored with the idea of decreasing our time spent shopping, or maybe we just love pizza. But in truth, it's because time-saving communications applications are playing an increasingly pivotal role in the American economy.

Illustrating this point is the national pizza delivery chain Papa John's, which the Associated Press recently reported has completed over $1 billion in online transactions. Granted, the ability to order Papa John's online has existed for more than seven years, but its growth is the impressive factor: By reaching the one billion dollar mark, the company has had its revenue from online ordering increase by over 50% every year. Last year, sales were around $400 million.

By comparison,, the Internet's top retail destination, last year took in $14.84 billion in revenue.

The nation's three biggest pizza chains -- Domino's, Pizza Hut, and Papa John's -- are in a dead heat for offering the easiest way of obtaining their food: All three allow customers to send in orders via text message, Domino's offers a moment-by-moment gauge of your order's status, and Pizza Hut is reportedly developing a desktop widget for one-click order placement.

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