Will Papa John, an American pizza company, succeed in Germany? Will sauerkraut and sausage pizza be on the menu? The first step is beginning as Worldwide Papas and Global Xchange Solutions, a Swiss equity fund, enter the Deutsche Börse-Frankfurt where public shares for the firm will be traded. It remains to be seen if Papa John’s delivery vehicles will cruise the German autobahn.
WorldWide Papa’s, Inc. is an international management company, formed in 2004 by two Americans, with exclusive area development rights to Papa John’s International, Inc. restaurants in St. Petersburg, Russia and the Leningrad region. 4 stores are operating in Russia with plans for 40 more. With the help of Global Xchange, Worldwide Papas may raise enough investment capital for wider European expansion, including Germany.
Pizza is a common word and definition between German and English. Deutschland enjoys pizza, but Papa John’s or any American vendor must adapt to the local palate. German pizza toppings include shredded potatoes and corn. Germans are also particular about their sausage.
International fast food companies succeeded in Europe by aligning their menus to local tastes. For example hamburger franchises in Germany substitute the thicker pommes frites for the thin American fries.
Finally, if any American pizza company is going to succeed in Germany, they must be sensitive to delivery time. Punctuality is a big part of the culture. When you tell a German that delivery is in thirty minutes, don’t be late. Don’t be surprised if a Papa John’s Pizza delivery truck zooms by autobahn traffic to beat the clock.