Amidst one of the toughest years the restaurant industry has ever endured, Papa Murphy's International today announced in a statement that its total U.S. systemwide sales grew to $630 million in 2009, up more than 7 percent from 2008. The take 'n' bake pizza pioneer ended the year with 1,185 locations, opening 83 in 2009. Same-store sales were up more than 2 percent, while most industry watchers estimated the pizza category to be down about 7 percent. "There's a lot to be proud of," said Papa Murphy's CEO John Barr, commenting on 2009's results. "We share this pride, of course, with our hundreds of franchisees, our field support teams and our vendor partners. Franchisors don't succeed unless their franchisees are successful, so I'm confident 2009 was a year that made everybody happy.
"I'd credit our success last year to the attribute that has made us successful year after year, and that's value. We rang up more transactions in 2009 than the prior year because consumers continue to recognize that Papa Murphy's means generous quantity, quality ingredients, personalized service, home-baked convenience, all wrapped up in the concept of affordability. We take great pride in our value proposition."
In addition to the company's stellar sales and store openings, 2009 highlights consist of:
New territory. Franchising agreements signed last year equate to more than 130 future stores, many in major markets new to Papa Murphy's. They include Charlotte, N.C., Greensboro, N.C., Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga.
More franchisees. Papa Murphy's added 46 new franchise entity groups to end the year with 478 franchise owners in 34 states and two Canadian provinces.
High satisfaction. Franchise owners rewarded Papa Murphy's with extremely high satisfaction ratings in a survey conducted by Franchise Business Review. As a result, Papa Murphy's ranked as one of the top food franchises for 2009.
Top honors. For the seventh consecutive year, Papa Murphy's was named "Best Pizza Chain in America" in the Restaurants and Institutions "Consumers' Choice in Chains" survey. On top of that, Pizza Today magazine crowned the company "Chain of the Year" for the fourth time. And finally, Papa Murphy's success qualified it as an Inc. magazine "Top 100 Food & Beverage" company and a Zagat "Top Food" and "Top Service" restaurant.