January 20, 2017
The Columbus area has seen a rise in the restaurant business, and an array of new eateries are set to open their doors or be constructed during 2017. Papa Murphy's is the fifth-largest pizza company in the U.S., and it's looking to make Columbus a home as well as several Southeast mid-size cities.
Papa Murphy's, the Vancouver-Wash.- based pizza joint, plans to have five stores in operation in the Columbus area, one in West Point, Ga., another in Americus, Ga. and one in Opelika-Auburn, Ala.
That's the word coming from Papa Murphy's Vice President of Franchise Sales Gary Payne. He's been praising the idea of the freshly-made pizza that people can cook in their oven. He said all anyone has to do is take it home and make it when they're ready. It may seem a little inconvenient, but people tend to see it as convenient. He said they cook it when they want it instead of it eating it after being cooked 30 minutes earlier.
Payne said there are over 1,500 Papa Murphy's in 38 states - mainly in the West. The company wants to add another 2017.
Payne said Papa Murphy's is doing things differently from - Domino's Pizza Hut, Little Caesars and Papa John's - by creating a take and bake pizza. He said there are no freezers and no microwaves. There's nothing cooked in the store. It's all about being a food preparation kitchen.
Papa Murphy's offers some traditional menus like Hawaiian, Chicken Garlic and Cowboy. It also has several gourmet pizzas such as Chicken Bacon Artichoke, Spicy Fennel Sausage, Angus Steak & Roasted Garlic and Herb Chicken Mediterranean. It also offers sides, salads and desserts.
Payne said the company hasn't entered the major Atlanta area but does have franchise locations in Chattanooga, Tenn., Savannah, Ga., Jacksonville, Fla. And several Alabama cities like Mobile, Birmingham and Huntsville.
Payne said Papa Murphy's is known quite well in the West and it hopes to expand its business in the Eastern markets - Columbus, he said, is its next move.
He said the best area for Papa Murphy's in a city is where there is a mixture of residential buildings and a high-traffic area. There are no drive-thru windows in their stores.
Payne said Papa Murphy's target audiences are moms and families addressing their "What's for dinner tonight?" dilemma. He said the company wants to ensure families have a product that's high in quality without the need to cook a big meal. He said that's the appeal behind Papa Murphy's pizza.