The multi-billion dollar online pizza order business

In the past seven years, Papa John’s has made a lot of dough from online ordering — more than $1 billion to be exact.

Other chains in the fiercely competitive pizza industry are tapping into the technology craze to give customers ways to order pies other than through the standard phone call or trip to a restaurant.

Dominos Pizza put its own twist on online ordering early this year by introducing a “Pizza Tracker,” which lets customers keep tabs on the progress of their orders. Consumers can find out when their pies are in the oven, when they’re on the way, and even the first name of their delivery person.

Pizza Hut, the nation’s biggest pizza chain, also allows customers to order via text messaging and mobile Web. The unit of Yum Brands Inc. soon will unveil a new method for ordering pizzas, dubbed “Pizza Hut Shortcut,” that it says will be the fastest in the industry. Customers will be able to download a “widget” onto their computers that will let them place their favorite pizza orders with just one click.

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