I'll take a large pie with pepperoni and some internet gimmickry


Papa John's, proud to be the first national pizza chain to offer online ordering, is now even more pleased with itself because it's the first with a widget. (it is also gloating about being the first to offer pizza ordering by text last November.) The widget, a little program that sits on another website, let you order your usual pizza with just a few clicks. Or order up to 21 days in advance. Or in Spanish.

Papa John's claims this isn't pointless gadgetry, but responding to customer demands. It spent $15 million perfecting the online ordering technology, but say 20% of its orders now come in that way. That's a surprising amount of internet pizza, but would these people just have made themselves a peanut butter and jelly sandwich if they had not been able to order electronically? Is calling in an order that hard?

Now everyone's got to have online ordering. Bill Barol satirized Domino's quest for online ordering in a recent Fast Company story. Pizza Hut, not wanting to be left out, has their own express ordering program -- though you are stuck on their site, you can't order off Facebook like you can with Papa John's. Then again, do I really want all my friends seeing me eating Papa John's pizza all the time. Or that's what I thought till I looked on Facebook and saw that Papa John's has its own page and 603 fans -- though I don't see any that have the mypapa widget yet.