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Pizza Hut vs Papa John's

Pizza Hut vs Papa John’s: Which is Better? (Updated)

Last Updated on March 18, 2024 by Shari Mason

Even with different founding years, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s remain strong rivals in the pizza industry.

Papa John’s advertising campaigns led to Pizza Hut filing a lawsuit against them that lasted for three years.

But after their battle in court, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s continued their feud regarding their products’ sales, menu items, and nutrition content.

Here is a detailed comparison between Pizza Hut vs Papa John’s to determine which is best for you.

Who Is The King Of Pizza – Pizza Hut or Papa John’s?

Pizza Hut Restaurant Logo

Pizza Hut is the King of Pizza, a restaurant with more than 19,000 stores worldwide. Papa John’s, on the other hand, only has almost 6,000 branches.

Pizza Hut was founded in 1958, several decades earlier, before John Hampton “Papa John” Schnatter founded Papa John’s in 1984. Nevertheless, it is less expensive than Papa John’s. 

As for the taste test we’ve done with these varieties, our team agreed that Pizza Hut has a better pizza taste and varieties.

In addition, Pizza Hut’s two Guinness record titles for the world’s largest pizza and highest altitude delivery were also an advantage to their name.

How Are They Different?

Menu Items

Papa John’s and Pizza Hut offer almost similar offerings. The main dishes of these pizza chains are pizzas, wings, sides, and yummy desserts.

These two pizza brands only differ in signature products, like Papa John’s Papa Bowls (pizza toppings without crust), Papadia (flatbread sandwich), and Papa Bites. 

On the other hand, Pizza Hut has Oven-Baked Cheesy, Chicken, Italian Meat, and Veggie Pasta.

The company also features Melts, composed of two Pizza Hut’s Thin ‘N Crispy slices loaded with cheese and various toppings and served with dipping sauce varieties.

Check out the distinction between Jimmy John’s and Jersey Mike’s here.

Pizza

Cheese, Pepperoni, and Hawaiian are among the pizza varieties from both pizza chains. However, Pizza Hut has Veggie Lover’s, Meat Lover’s, and Buffalo Chicken Pizzas. 

Papa John’s had Garden Fresh, Tuscan Pizza, Fresh Spinach, and Tomato Alfredo Pizza. 

Despite these brands’ almost similar items, Pizza Hut has the most exciting title in the pizza industry. Teaming up with Airrack, a YouTube star, Pizza Hut holds the record of making the largest pizza in the world [1]

Pie

Pizza Hut has fried apple pies, which you can order in six pieces. Since it has been fried, this dessert is crunchy but a bit oily. It is not too sweet, around $5 to $6, but it is only available in some places. 

Meanwhile, Papa John’s Cinnapie has been discontinued for years and recently emerged as Cinnapie Sticks in the United Kingdom. Papa John’s Applepie and Cinnapie were drizzled with white icing and had brown sugar streusel on a thin crust for around $5. 

Crust

Pizza Hut’s various types of crust include Hand-Tossed, Thin ‘N Crispy, Original Pan Pizza, Gluten-Free, and more. On the other hand, Papa John’s offers slightly fewer options with their Original, Thin, Gluten-Free, and Crispy Parm. 

But aside from the regular crust types, Pizza Hut also offers seasonal crusts. The Detroit Style has a crispy and cheesy outer layer, while the Hot Dog Stuffed Crust Pizza has about 28 bites of hotdog inside.

Nutrition

Papa John's Restaurant

Pizza Hut has customizable nutrition information, where you can choose which product you want to know about and eat.

For instance, you can add which toppings you want on a good pizza slice, your chosen sides, and drinks, and the website will calculate the calorie content. 

But for Papa John’s, although it is not a customizable nutrition information page, it is more informative for each item and ingredient. 

Pizza Hut’s medium-sized cheese slice contains more calories, while Papa John’s has higher sodium content.

Toppings

Both restaurant chains have a variety of pizza toppings, such as pepperoni, green and black olives, Italian sausages, and pineapples. 

“Other ads in the campaign alleged Papa John’s sauce and dough were better than Pizza Hut’s because they were made with fresh tomatoes and filtered water and did not include ingredients like “xanthan gum” and “hydrolyzed soy protein.”

Apryl Duncan, Writer 

However, the ads campaign of Papa John’s about their ingredients turned into a court battle between these two food restaurant chains.

Vegetarian Choices

Both offer vegetarian choices for their customers. Some vegetarian items from Pizza Hut are the Beyond Meat, Veggie Lover’s, and Ultimate Cheese Lover’s pizzas.

The brand also has cheese sticks, breadsticks, Cinnabon mini rolls, and Cinnamon sticks that are vegetarian-friendly. 

On the other hand, Papa John’s also has tasty vegan pizzas with vegan cheese. You can have it with cauliflower wings, vegan desserts, or ice cream.

Gluten-Free Ingredients

Fortunately, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s also have gluten-free ingredients on their menu for people with gluten sensitivities. Udi’s, North America’s leading gluten-free brand, provides Pizza Hut’s gluten-free crusts. 

Papa John’s also has a gluten-free pizza crust, but for a while, the gluten-free options from the company have been unavailable in many locations, unlike in Pizza Hut.

Delivery

Pizza Hut and Papa John’s have different delivery services and fees depending on the location and promotions of local branches. However, these services are among the most critical factors during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Surprisingly, Pizza Hut has another Guinness World Record regarding delivery services. It is a title holder for the highest altitude pizza delivery after transporting a takeaway to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (19,347 ft). 

Price

Like the delivery services, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s have varying prices depending on store location and promotion. But Papa John’s products are generally more expensive than Pizza Hut’s. 

The range of flavors and quality of products resulted in a higher cost for Papa John’s. But statistically speaking, the flavor of Pizza Hut is the better choice and is worth your money.

Read: Firehouse vs Jimmy John’s

FAQs

u003cstrongu003eWhat was the Pizza Hut vs Papa John’s case?u003c/strongu003e

The Pizza Hut vs Papa John’s case started in 1997 due to alleged false advertising using the slogan: u0022Better Ingredients. Better Pizza. Papa John’s.u0022 The court initially ruled in favor of Pizza Hut, but after an appeal from Papa John’s, the court overturned the verdict in 2000u003ca href=u0022https://www.liveabout.com/the-battle-between-papa-john-s-and-pizza-hut-38841u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003e [2]u003c/au003e.

u003cstrongu003eIn terms of sales, which is bigger, Pizza Hut or Papa John’s?u003c/strongu003e

According to a report published in August 2022, Pizza Hut’s sales record of $5.51 billion was higher than Papa John’s $3.59 billionu003ca href=u0022https://www.statista.com/statistics/261888/ranking-of-pizza-chains-based-on-us-sales/u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003e [3]u003c/au003e. Both pizza companies are among the top pizza brands in the US, with Domino’s Pizza being the number one.

In A Nutshell

Pizza Hut and Papa John’s have strong and weak points. But after checking all the categories, our team has decided that Pizza Hut has a better pie and pizza sauce than Papa John’s pizza.

It is cheaper, has more branches, is more delicious, and offers various foods besides pizza. 

Pizza Hut is known for its deep-dish pizza, while Papa John’s has thinner crusts. Nevertheless, both pizza stores offer food options worthy of your every bite.

References:

  1. https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/2023/1/youtuber-airrack-claims-slice-of-history-with-worlds-largest-pizza-735637
  2. https://www.liveabout.com/the-battle-between-papa-john-s-and-pizza-hut-38841  
  3. https://www.statista.com/statistics/261888/ranking-of-pizza-chains-based-on-us-sales/ 
Shari Mason

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