Papa John’s is introducing new all-toppings, no-crust “pizza bowls” — and social media is having none of it.
The Indiana-based restaurant chain plans to roll out “Papa Bowls” nationwide next week.
Customers will have the choice of three options — Garden Veggie, Chicken Alfredo, and Italian Meats Trio. The dishes cost $7.99 each and will be officially offered for sale to loyalty member customers this week.
Papa John’s hopes that the no-crust option will reignite the public’s love affair with pizza, which appears to have been waning since the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
“There’s a general thought that there could be a little bit of pizza fatigue,” Scott Rodriguez, the company’s senior vice president of menu strategy and innovation, told CNN.
“Because that’s all we’ve had for the last couple of years.”
Judging by Twitter reactions, however, Papa John’s will have to work harder to sell the concept to the general public.
One Twitter user referred to it as “s– in a bowl.”
Another Twitter user, Mike Scollins, posted a photo of a man covered in melted cheese and pizza toppings, saying it was “my Papa John’s Pizza Bowl begging me to kill it.”
Wrote one Twitter commenter: “papa johns will now sell you a literal trough of cheese and chopped up pepperoni like, that’s literally it, they call it a ‘bowl’ but it’s just cheese slop served to you in a miniature trough…italy, i am sorry.”
Another Twitter user quipped: “Papa Johns is offering a Bowl that’s all toppings and no crust. I think they stole the recipe I use to make my own cereal.”
“This just in: Papa Johns is out of ideas and just throwing crap in a bowl. Are you excited???” tweeted another naysayer.
The Post has sought comment from Papa John’s.
Papa John’s and its competitors, Pizza Hut and Domino’s, have been struggling with labor shortages that have led to a slowdown in growth.
The company reported that sales at its North American restaurants grew by just under 1% in the second quarter — which is down from 5% in the same period last year.
In the second quarter of 2020, sales soared by 28%.