“Let’s order pizza” is an idea that always goes over well. It’s easy to eat, great for large groups, quick to get delivered, relatively cheap, and the combination of bread, sauce, and cheese is undeniably delicious. In fact, it is so delicious that in the USA alone, 350 slices of pizza are eaten every second across the 3 billion pizzas sold a year, resulting in 38 billion dollars in pizza sales!
I have been on tour for the past 6 weeks, and pizza (or the ZA! as we renamed it) is an easy go-to in small towns when I’m exhausted after a day of traveling or a show. I’ve ordered Hungry Howies, Papa Johns, and Dominos, and weighed them up in a crust to crust battle over which one reigns supreme.
Dominos is the largest pizza chain in the world with $12.2 billion in US sales and 15,000 stores across 85 countries, serving up a whopping 1.5 million pizzas every day. Tom and James Monaghan first opened “DomiNick’s” in 1960, and transformed it into the franchise familiarly known as “Dominos Pizza” just 7 years later. The chain has exploded, and is now a household pizza name.
Dominos dishes up a reliable pizza that you can count on to be tasty. The crust has a sturdy, yet fluffy thickness, the sauce is flavorful with a hint of sweetness, and you won’t feel cheated on the quantity of cheese. While promotions vary, you can usually snag a $5.99 mix and match one topping deal when you order 2 or more as well as a $7.99 3 toppings deal. Not to mention, Dominos tends to have speedy order to stomach time as well as well as pretty delicious cheesy bread and cinnastix.
Nutrition Facts: 1 slice of cheese pizza is 273 calories, with 9.5g of fat, 35.2g of carbs, and 11.4g of protein
Hungry Howie’s is just shy of making the top 10 in terms of revenue, with $410 million in US sales across 551 locations and 21 states. The first Hungry Howie’s opened in 1973, and was franchised out 10 years later. I’ll admit I had never heard of Hungry Howie’s prior to November, and was excited to try it out.
A standard Hungry Howie’s pizza has a tasty crunchy crust that isn’t too thick or thin, with just enough sauce and just enough cheese that will leave you satisfied without being weighed down. If you’re feeling groovy, the chain sets itself apart with unique flavored crusts such as sesame seed, asiago, and ranch. While meal deals are unique to the specific store, some popular ones include $5.99 for a small 2 topping pizza, $20.99 for 3 large cheese or peperoni pizzas, and $16.99 for 2 medium 1 topping pizzas with a cookie.
Nutrition Facts: 1 slice of a medium cheese pizza has 180 calories, 5g of fat, 25g of carbs, and 9g of protein.
Papa John’s takes in $3.7 million in revenue a year, giving it the #4 spot on the top grossing pizza chart. “Papa” John Schnatter opened up the first shop in 1984 in the back of a broom closet, and since it’s transformation into a franchise in 1993, there are almost 6,000 stores across 45 countries.
With the motto “Better Ingredients, Better Pizza”, the company prides itself in no msg, fillers, or partially hydrogenated oils. Each pie gives you exactly what you want from a delivery pizza: flavorful crust, a nice sauce, and melted cheese. You can score a large 1 topping pizza for $10, two large 5 topping pizzas for $24, and a carry out special of $9.99 for a large 3 topping pizza.
The Show Down
For the fluffy crust lovers, Dominos is the pizza for you. If a bit thinner and crunchier is your vibe, go for Hungry Howie’s. The crust from Papa John’s doesn’t add or detract, and is good if you are someone who leaves the crust behind.
Winner: Hungry Howie’s
Hungry Howie’s uses the most sauce of the three, Papa John’s is a bit spicier, and Dominos has a touch of sweetness.
Papa John’s has the most cheese, and should be your go-to pie if you want to see cheese fall back to the box because there’s so much. Hungry Howie’s and Dominos have a comparable amount of cheese, with Dominos being less greasy and Hungry Howie’s being less stringy.
Winner: Papa John’s if you are going for quantity, Dominos if you are going for quality.
Hungry Howie’s offers the largest variety of meal deals, Dominos has a solid $5.99 a pizza for 2 or more that is tried and true, and Papa John’s had the best deal if you are looking to load up on toppings.
Winner: Hungry Howie’s if you want add ons like wings and bread, Papa John’s if toppings are your goal.
Hungry Howie’s has the lowest calorie cheese slice, Dominos lies in the middle and Papa John’s has the most.
And the winner is…..
My favorite pie award goes to Hungry Howie’s. I’m a crust gal, and the crunchy, just thick enough crust coupled with the fact there wasn’t too much cheese that would result in a morning stomach ache put Hungry Howie’s a notch above Dominos and Papa John’s.