Pizza giants fight to retain customers as economies reopen and diners venture outside

Key Points
  • Domino's Pizza, Papa John's and Pizza Hut are under pressure to hold onto their new customers as economies reopen.
  • Out of the three stocks, Papa John's is the most expensive after the pandemic helped it shed the scandal created by its founder.
  • Pizza Hut is also in the middle of a turnaround. Its U.S. franchisee base is exiting the pandemic healthier after its largest U.S. operator filed for bankruptcy and sold off its units.
A employee moves pizza boxes before a delivery at a Domino's Pizza Inc. restaurant in Chantilly, Virginia.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Pizza chains have a new common enemy: fatigue.

Domino's Pizza, Papa John's and Yum Brands' Pizza Hut are under pressure from investors to live up to last year's blockbuster sales. Although expectations are high, the coronavirus pandemic has put all three chains in positions of strength as they try to hold onto their gains.

Domino's, Pizza Hut and Papa John's all made modest market share gains in 2020, according to Euromonitor International.

But competition will intensify this year as demand for pizza moderates.

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