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Papa John's Pizza coming to Poland



Bobko 5 | 100    
5 Sep 2017  #1

Papa John's is a popular pizza chain in the States (we have lots here in NY), and apparently it's coming to Poland now by way of a Russian franchisee:

reuters.com/article/us-papa-john-s-expansion/papa-johns-russian-franchisee-to-expand-in-central-asia-poland-idUSKCN1B41PL

I'm not a big fan personally, and would probably go with Domino's if I really had to chose a favorite pizza franchise, but I'm still very curious as to how it's gonna do in Poland.

What's the market currently look like? What other big chains are present (e.g. Sbarro, Pizza Hut, etc)? How big are Poles on pizza and can the market accommodate another franchise?


cms 9 | 1,004    
5 Sep 2017  #2

I like Papa Johns but I think it will be tough - there are a huge number of very cheap locally owned places plus Pizza Hut, Polish chains like Dominum and Gruby Benek plus lots of competition from Kebabs.

But good luck to them - Poland could do with a few other good fast food concepts - would love Ed Horton for coffee and Bojangles for breakfast but can't see Poles eating that
RubasznyRumcajs 5 | 386    
5 Sep 2017  #3

I love their base- the toppings are the same as elsewhere, but the base beats the dominos, pizza hut and others!
OP Bobko 5 | 100    
5 Sep 2017  #4

Polish chains like Dominum and Gruby Benek

I've actually been to a Dominium on a previous visit and thought it was quite nice. Certainly no worse than any American joint! Have never been to Gruby Benek, however.
jon357 70 | 12,776    
5 Sep 2017  #5

Dominium

Dominum is OK. There's a Polish chain called Da Grasso which I've been to a couple of times and found to be horrible.

There's also Pizza Express which operated as Pizza Marzano and was OK - now it's called Eataliano. I haven't been since the change.

And there's the ubiquitous Telepizza which isn't very good, but has a lot of shops and a big menu.
Joker - | 463    
6 Sep 2017  #6

Papa John's is a popular pizza chain in the States

Its like the McDonalds of Pizza.

Anyone who thinks this is real pizza needs to come to Chicago and be educated!

All Pizza chains are rubbish! Pizza Hut, Dominos, Little Cesar's and yes, Papa Johns...phoooey!! Hahaha!

Watch out for a restaurant called Taco Bell, its not real Mexican food either:)
nothanks - | 662    
6 Sep 2017  #7

Papa Johns (about 10 years ago) was head and shoulders above the rest. But they expanded and with it quality declined. They are still the best but the gap has shrunk. The so-called creator of Papa Johns is recognizable from advertisements - many times partnered up with an athlete. I wonder if they will continue this strategy in ads in Poland.
jon357 70 | 12,776    
6 Sep 2017  #8

Watch out for a restaurant called Taco Bell, its not real Mexican food either:)

There are similar things in shopping mall food courts in PL, similar menu and not very good.

Dominos

Dominum in PL is better than Dominos. Still nothing special.

The market is dominated by Telepizza, not very nice.
Roger5 1 | 1,358    
6 Sep 2017  #9

There's a Polish chain called Da Grasso which I've been to a couple of times and found to be horrible.

I use our local one occasionally, but not for the pizzas. The base is too doughy. They do good salads, and their wings and lasagne are ok, too.
cms 9 | 1,004    
6 Sep 2017  #10

Taco Bell had a brief experiment in Warsaw in the 90s - they were often in the same building as Pizza Hut and Burger King. Poles didn't really recognise the product so it never took off.

Sphinx is also still going - one of the few things from the 90s that is still alive ! Haven't been there for a long time - got sick of having carrots in everything - even Lasagne has carrots in it
jon357 70 | 12,776    
6 Sep 2017  #11

Poles didn't really recognise the product so it never took off.

There was briefly King Pie back in the 90s in Warsaw - people didn't really get what it was.

They do good salads

Dominum do a decent Salade Ni├žoise - the best thing on their menu.

Sphinx is also still going

That's grown and grown over the past few years. It used to be just round Lodz and Poznan but now it's everywhere. Not as good as it used to be when it was one of the few places that sold lamb. And yes, carrots and raw cabbage with everything. They have some sort of deal where the waiters are officially 'trainees' sent by the employment exchange. They get a subsidy for employing them.

Pizza Hut must be making a fortune from their restaurants in PL. They always seem full.
Roger5 1 | 1,358    
6 Sep 2017  #12

Not as good as it used to be

I used to use Sphinx a lot, but they suddenly decreased their portion size some years ago, at least in B.Stok.

the waiters are officially 'trainees' sent by the employment exchange.

And always guys. Clearly a company policy. Is that even legal?
jon357 70 | 12,776    
6 Sep 2017  #13

but they suddenly decreased their portion size some years ago, at least in B.Stok.

Yes - I noticed that too. The liver and onions is still nice, though overdone (as always in PL) and I suspect it's pig's liver.

And always guys. Clearly a company policy. Is that even legal?

Probably not, however they doubtless get round that somehow - I think it's legal to have employment initiatives based on gender, age, ethnicity etc, if there's a particular democraphic issue about unemployment. Makes a nice change to have some eye-candy serving the meals.

Some of the waiters are great, some are clueless. Once they brought our starters, then brought the main course 1 minute later. The guy just couldn't understand why that was a problem.
Roger5 1 | 1,358    
6 Sep 2017  #14

Makes a nice change to have some eye-candy serving the meals.

I agree. That's what I'm complaining about! A matter of taste, no doubt.
spiritus 67 | 587    
6 Sep 2017  #15

Hmmm. This could translate in Polish to "Papiesz Jan". Good luck with that.................
johnny reb 13 | 2,347    
6 Sep 2017  #16

The guy just couldn't understand why that was a problem.

The answer to that is that the waiter most likely had six or eight other tables (24 to32) other orders to get out and didn't have the extra time to give you the service that you expected thinking that you were the only one in the restaurant to be waited on.

And after a few questionable comments to make him "understand", it went down hill from there quickly as it does with servers.
Not that I could picture you doing that jon but just saying............
Not only is pizza a junk food but it also is very expensive compared to other fast foods.
The thing that makes a difference in a pizza to me is the sauce as the rest of it is basically the same.
And being you have to have beer to wash it down it most likely will be a hit in Poland.
Cardno85 31 | 975    
6 Sep 2017  #17

The market is dominated by Telepizza, not very nice.

Completely agree, I ordered once and it was terrible, tried again tempted in with special offers, still just as bad. Same really with Da Grasso, Dominos, and the other big chains. Often they are more expensive and not as good as local pizza shops, but they survive because of brand recognition. In Krakow I always used a local one which is closed now for a Friday take away (great thin dough and fresh toppings), then would also use Football Pizzeria for late night deliveries (they are open all night), and then New York Pizza Dept for hungover Sundays (their dough was a bit thicker, good for soaking up the residual alcohol!
OP Bobko 5 | 100    
6 Sep 2017  #18

Does anyone think it's funny that's it's a Russian franchisee bringing in Papa John's? What with the sanctions and all.

Just goes to show that while politicians talk the talk, normal people will carry on business as usual.
jon357 70 | 12,776    
6 Sep 2017  #19

The answer to that is that the waiter most likely had six or eight other tables

No, he's a waiter, he should know that the main course is served after the starter, not together. The place wasn't, by the way, busy.

And after a few questionable comments

You're assuming a lot - the people on our table were more surprised than anything, especially as we'd only started eating the starter and there was no room on the table for the main course.

The thing that makes a difference in a pizza to me is the sauce as the rest of it is basically the same.

A really good pizza is really good. Pizza in New York (those squares) are excellent, however the best I've had anywhere is at a little independent place in Warsaw (ul. Kopinska in Ochota). The guy who runs it won a prize for the best pizza in Melbourne before he came back to Poland and set up there. It's exceptional. The name of the place is Cucciolina.

The worst one I've had, in Poland or anywhere else, is (apart from Da Grasso/Telepizza) one froma delivery firm called Pizza w Nocy. That was spectacularly bad.

@Cardno85, yes. I suspect it's partly because they found that they get good sales from having a very bland product slathered with sauce.
Roger5 1 | 1,358    
6 Sep 2017  #20

The worst pizza I've ever had, and I suspect anyone has ever had, came from a place in Hajnowka in the early 2000s. They used pickled cabbage and tinned peas as toppings. And lots of ketchup, natch.
jon357 70 | 12,776    
6 Sep 2017  #21

They used pickled cabbage and tinned peas as toppings. And lots of ketchup, natch.

That reminds me of a place in Gdansk (at the entrance to Stogi Beach) that advertises 'The best kebabs in town'. Actually the worst I've ever eaten. Slathered with ready-made mayonnaise and ketchup (of course), made of fatty pork and of course, pickled cabbage. No chilli sauce or anything with a flavour.

The second best pizza I've had in Poland (and a great place to eat) is in the old town in Torun. Only 2 types of pizza (with salami or with mushrooms) very very cheap (11zl about 7 years ago), only clear barszcz to drink for a couple of zl a mug, and unusually for Poland, big long tables, forcing people to interact at least to a minimum level rather than huddle in seperate groups ignoring everyone else. So popular that on a Sunday afternoon there were queues outside. Better than 'Papa John's' or other chains.
OP Bobko 5 | 100    
6 Sep 2017  #22

better than 'Papa John's' or other chains.

Don't get me wrong please! I only go to my neighborhood pizza shop, and never to any of the chains. I just thought it might be a curious topic for a thread.

Pizza in New York (those squares) are excellent

Here in NYC that square style is called Sicilian (if you're talking about the fat one, rather than the thin squares). I love it, but really it's such a guilty pleasure. One slice has a good half a pound of dough in it, and its about an inch thick. Talk about carb overload.

The thing that makes a difference in a pizza to me is the sauce as the rest of it is basically the same.

First time I've ever head anyone say that. Sauce is important, sure, but it's the crust that makes the pizza!
Joker - | 463    
8 Sep 2017  #23

Here in NYC that square style is called Sicilian (if you're talking about the fat one, rather than the thin squares).

I like the Sicilian, but love NY thin crust....yummy! Im torn between thin crust and Chicago Deep Dish.

thrillist.com/eat/chicago/best-deep-dish-pizza-in-chicago

If you ever come here you have to try it!

First time I've ever head anyone say that. Sauce is important, sure, but it's the crust that makes the pizza!

Oh, you have to have a good sauce:)

My Polish friends puts ketchup on their pizza?? It looks nasty, one of them even puts corn on it. hahaha
johnny reb 13 | 2,347    
12 Sep 2017  #24

Oh, you have to have a good sauce

I agree, the sauce is the most important ingredient in a good pizza and then a good cheese for the second most important.
I also like the thin crust and not the big fat doughy ones to make them look bigger.
The best pizza out there in my opinion is a 'thin crusted chicken parmesan' with a garden salad on the side.
And a ice cold beer to wash it down. :-)
Joker - | 463    
13 Sep 2017  #25

I also like the thin crust and not the big fat doughy ones to make them look bigger.

You have to come to Chicago for authentic deep dish pizza, do not attempt this any place else.

If I were to go with a pizza chain it would be LOU`S and they will deliver anywhere in the US, of course the restaurants are better.

loumalnatis.com/?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Lou's%2520-%2520Chicagoland&utm_term=lou%2520malnati's%2520pizza&utm_content=Lou%2520Malnati's

The worst place for pizza is California, they put all kinds of weird things upon it and the crust sucks! And take n bake is like cardboard with ketchup.Lol
Joker - | 463    
13 Sep 2017  #26

Pizza Hut has this cheese gun, it resembles a large glue gun that shoots cheese into the crust. No thanks!

People that live in Florida think Pizza Hut is delicious and they wait in long lines on Saturday night to get into these places???? lol

I came to the conclusion that they just don't know any better and never had real pizza. Its kind of sad actually, I think Ill go have a beer also!
nothanks - | 662    
13 Sep 2017  #27

It is mostly a price thing. The cost of American chain pizzas nose dived after the market crash. There was a time when Little Caesars "Hot and Ready" $5 pizza [I know it's gross] was a ridiculous price. Now you can get $7 to $9 carry out Larges [2 to 3 toppings] at all the chains.

I understand eating a $20 pizza when out on the town with date/friends. But spending that much to sit on my couch is a bit rich.



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