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Case study

The challenge

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic took Papa John’s revenue skyward in 2020, increasing same-store sales by 13.5% in the fourth quarter. This increase in volume led Papa John’s to examine efficiency as a target for innovation, specifically in its ordering processes. Of the 30% of orders placed by phone, between 10% and 12% were abandoned due to non-answer, indicating lost revenue. As phone calls can affect many steps in the process—including delivery time—automating the order process could help the restaurants focus their resources on the important task of making and delivering pizzas. Papa John’s wanted to optimize its operations for growth and improve customer service by cutting order wait times and eliminating dropped calls on phone orders.

Our approach

Cognizant worked with the food services giant to automate ordering operations by designing an end-to-end, intelligent, cloud-based omnichannel solution, referred to as PapaCall. The PapaCall solution encompasses a centralized ordering model that uses advanced analytics to provide agents with hyper-personalized menu suggestions for customers based on prior preferences. For the contact center agents, we chose a unified agent desktop solution that combined restaurant and e-commerce systems with real-time integration to enable order accuracy and efficiency. During a two-month pilot with 75 stores, we were able to help Papa John’s realize savings from the new overflow call handling process and, as a result, additional revenue. Now, all order takers in the contact centers use the integrated system to process a phone order, customize if necessary and collect payment—all on one screen.

Cloud solution transforms contact center operations

The new centralized ordering system enables hyper-personalized offers for customers and allows front-line employees to focus on serving guests. The success of this pilot led Papa John’s to expand the program into 1,500 stores and rollout to franchisees with a custom-built portal that allows franchisees to onboard the PapaCall solution seamlessly. The portal also provides detailed, easy-to-interpret invoices for the services. This new approach and the intuitive layout of the system interface have been reported to help reduce phone order time from over five minutes to less than three minutes. By increasing operational agility, PapaCall enables Papa John’s to quickly and smoothly shift to off-premises dining triggered by COVID-19.

Up to 50%

improvement in Papa John’s in-restaurant metrics


increase in revenue per order


customer satisfaction (CSAT) score for services delivered with the new ordering solution