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Pizza Chains Make Dough with Mobile Apps

Pizza Hut announced last week that it has generated more than $1 million in sales from its iPhone and iTouch application within three months of launch.

The app, which enables users to order pizzas and other foods as well as play games, offers an ongoing 20% discount on all orders.

The news reinforces the growing importance that mobile is playing in the marketing strategies of major pizza chains including Pizza Hut, Domino's, and Papa John’s, which for years have benefited from the success of their online ordering programs.

The app’s discounted ordering also illustrates the lengths that pizza chains are going to in order to attract and retain customers in this increasingly competitive arena.

Pizza Hut Sees Incremental Sales

Pizza Hut’s iPhone app, which has been downloaded by nearly 1 million users, will be supplemented with applications for other mobile devices including RIM’s BlackBerry, Google’s Android devices, and the Palm Pre, Mobile Marketer reports.

The company believes that over the next three to five years, a growing number of online transactions will migrate to smartphones. However, the company said that the iPhone app is also generating new, incremental sales that would not have otherwise occurred.

Pizza Hut said that while its wireless application protocol (WAP) site has steadily attracted new users, the iPhone app generated more instant results.

Domino’s Optimizes for Mobile

In September, rival Domino’s debuted a new version of its mobile ordering website that is optimized for the iPhone, Palm Pre, and Google Android devices.

The company’s Facebook and Twitter followers were offered an early preview to test the beta version of the mobile site.

At the time, Dominos said that mobile ordering was growing at an average rate of 20% per month, with the majority of orders coming from iPhone customers.

Earlier this year, Domino’s also announced the roll-out of a mobile coupon campaign serving its franchises nationwide, a trend that is gaining traction in other industries as well.

Papa John’s Sales Rising Tenfold

Last month, Papa John’s, which has its own mobile ordering site, said mobile sales at the company are are rising at an annual tenfold pace, BusinessWeek reports.

One of the early adopters of mobile ordering and among the first to offer a text-messaging order option in 2007, Papa John’s announced late last year that it had generated $1 million sales after launching itss mobile website six months earlier.

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