Skip to comments.Papa John's fills soldier's unusual order: 40 pizzas to Iraq
Posted on 09/13/2003 9:06:40 PM PDT by lowbridge
Papa John's fills soldier's unusual order: 40 pizzas to Iraq
Papa John's International Inc. (Nasdaq: PZZA) is sending 40 pizzas to U.S. Air Force troops stationed in Kirkuk, Iraq.
Karen Sherman, vice president of community and public relations for the company, said 18 members of the Louisville-based pizza company's executive team -- including founder and CEO John Schnatter -- made the pies Thursday in the restaurant at the company's headquarters. They are being shipped via FedEx and are scheduled to arrive in Kirkuk on Sunday evening.
The delivery was spurred by an online customer request form received from a U.S. Air Force major through the company's Web site, www.papajohns.com. According to a news release, the soldier said he "would like to bring my favorite taste of home to the troops temporarily assigned with me."
Sherman said the company's research and development team devised a special packaging to insure that the pizzas would arrive at their destination without spoilage.
As of Aug. 24, Papa John's had 2,800 restaurants -- including 590 company-owned stores -- in 49 states and 12 international markets. Papa John's also franchises 140 Perfect Pizza restaurants in the United Kingdom.
A taste of home
Soldiers serving in Iraq order online; Papa John's, Fischer deliver
By DAVID GOETZ
Papa John's International wasn't worried about filling the order 36 pizzas isn't much more than an hour's work.
But delivery was a problem. The address was in Kirkuk, in the middle of northern Iraq, where a U.S. Air Force major wanted to offer a taste of his favorite pizza to the 110 soldiers in his unit.
Getting it there hot was out of the question. Getting it there at all was an issue.
"The request came through on our online, Internet-feedback form," said Karen Sherman, vice president for community and public relations for Papa John's. "That's not a typical order ... but we really wanted to see if there was a way to make this happen."
Papa John's is one of several regional businesses that have been filling orders for Americans on duty in the Middle East. Whether it's pizza or pickled meat, for a soldier with access to the Internet, it's just a click away.
It was a craving for pickled bologna that drove Brian Farester, an Army Reserve captain from Pennsylvania, to Fischer's Snack Store, the online retail site for Fischer Packing Co.
"Once we saw where it was going, we took the shipping cost off and doubled the order," said Jennifer Danner, marketing manager for Fischer owner SFG. "We wouldn't have charged him anything, but he put in his credit-card number and it had already been processed."
So for $21.21, Farester and his pals got 8 gallons of pickled bologna and 16 jars of pickled red hots to share.
Pennsylvania isn't one of Fischer's marketing areas, Danner said, but "the people who order pickled meat come from all over the country."
Papa John's has an online ordering service, but shipping pizza is not something it does, Sherman said. The people in research and development had to figure out if it could be done.
In the end, company Chairman John Schnatter and other executives made it an event, gathering at Papa John's headquarters to cook up a batch of 40 free pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, multi-item, all-meat and veggie pies.
After the pies cooled a little, they were individually shrink-wrapped and put in pizza boxes, which also were shrink-wrapped again before being packed in dry ice with heating instructions.
"FedEx has a government contract, so these were shipped via FedEx," Sherman said. "We paid for the shipping. . . ."
Unlike the last time the United States and its allies took on the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Internet is playing a greater role in enhancing communications between the troops in Iraq and their friends and family back home. With every succeeding war, electronic contact with the home improves, said Edward J. Deak, author of "The Economics of E-Commerce and the Internet" and professor of economics at Fairfield University in Connecticut.
"It says something, too, about the nature of the delivery system. It's not like you're out in the bush somewhere or lost in the hedgerows of France. The electronics let them keep track of you."
Orders for canned versions of Owensboro's famous Moonlight barbeque have come from the Middle East as well as from local families.
"A lot of families sent them during Christmas," said Moonlight office manager Crystal Jones.
Louisville-area soldiers get a sweet tooth, too. Kizito bakery on Bardstown Road has sent out about a half-dozen 24-count boxes of cookies at $30 a box.
"They get them pretty quickly," in three or four days, said Kizito co-owner Todd Bartlett, who has filled a second order for at least one soldier. "They go pretty quickly, too."
Courtesy of CAPT. Brian Farester
The pickled bologna and red hots sent to Capt. Brian Farester in Iraq was enjoyed by, from left, Wendell Miller, Gregory Lark, Ernest Mobley and Farester. Miller, Lark and Mobley are with the Kentucky National Guard; Farester is with the Army Reserve in Pennsylvania.
Kosher salami. And don't forget the bread (rye), and a jar of mustard.
If anybody has any info on websites or message boards from the troops that detail requets for personal items, please list them.
MY money is NOW going to my new favorite pizza joint right here in Richmond VA.
Whether it's pizza or pickled meat, for a soldier with access to the Internet, it's just a click away.
This has possibilities. If you know any businesses doing special things for the troops, please share.
If you want on or off my pro-Coalition ping list, please Freepmail me. Warning: it is a high volume ping list on good days (most days are good days).
Shrewd business move, making their "good deed" public, but still, a wonderful thing for them to do. Kinda reminds me of the "Adam's Rib" episode on M.A.S.H.
You know, I never did develop a taste for that stuff... But Dr Browns makes a great creme soda too! It's been too long since I've been to NY... I miss "real, Jewish Deli corned beef." If I go back any time soon, I'll be going off the Atkins diet for a few days... Pizza, Jewish and Italian Deli, and some really amazing Italian and Chinese food... Kansas City just doesn't have it...