Restaurants

New York City is Papa John's fastest-growing market, CEO says

Key Points
  • Papa John's CEO Rob Lynch said that New York City is the chain's fastest-growing market.
  • Areas in the U.S. that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic have been Papa John's strongest markets, according to Lynch.
  • Papa John's said that its May same-store sales in North America soared 33.5%, setting the record for the best sales period in its history.
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New Yorkers are developing a taste for Papa John's pizza.

The company's CEO, Rob Lynch, said Wednesday that the city is its fastest-growing market as the coronavirus pandemic pushes more Americans to order pizza from the chain.

"There's no denying that coronavirus is having a positive impact on our business," Lynch said on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "It's eliminated a lot of the other options."

Analysts predict that delivery-based pizza chains like Papa John's and Domino's will fare better than other restaurant companies as the pandemic keeps many consumers at home and forced many restaurants to close temporarily.

Papa John's said earlier Wednesday that its May same-store sales in North America soared an estimated 33.5%, setting the record for the best sales period in its history. In April, the company's preliminary North American same-store sales spiked 26.9%.

Lynch said that the urban areas hardest hit by the pandemic have been its strongest markets, while Papa John's locations near college campuses have seen sales drop.

Shares of Papa John's rose more than 2% in morning trading. The stock, which has a market value of $2.47 billion, is up 18% so far this year. 

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Correction: On Wednesday, Papa John's CEO Rob Lynch spoke to CNBC and the company said its May same-store sales in North America soared an estimated 33.5%. An earlier version misstated the day.