local pizza vs. corporate pizza

First of all, Bryan, I’m sorry for barfing all over the comments on your post Does Anyone Care? with my why-oh-why doesn’t everyone think my economist-heroes response. Sometimes I forget that being a bit of an econ-geek isn’t everyone’s idea of how to make friends and be the life of the party.

Anyhow, I thought this was interesting and in the same vein as your question — will New Yorkers support the local ‘authentic’ pizza place over Papa John’s?

There really is a John inside Johnny’s Pizza in Sunset Park, Brooklyn – John Miniaci Jr., whose father, John Sr., founded the neighborhood pizzeria in 1968.

There will soon be another John right next door on Fifth Avenue – Papa John’s Pizza, a franchise outlet. John Jr. considers this as an insult to his own papa John, who died just one month ago. Of all the spots the franchise could have chosen, why, he asks, did it have to be on the other side of the wall where two centurion busts stand guard above customers waiting for zeppoles or Sicilian slices? “This is a neighborhood that has had businesses in the same family for two and three generations,” Mr. Miniaci said. “These big corporations come in and don’t see the value of that.”

There are three main potential outcomes: Papa John’s crushes Johnny’s, the new Papa John’s goes out of business, or they share the market and both continue to operate. I predict #3.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “local pizza vs. corporate pizza

  1. Bryan

    No worries about “barfing” on my comments page. I put it out there because I genuinely wanted some opinion because I am so not an economist. Mostly I was referring to what I thought was a wrong assumption by Obama (of course he was playing to the union crowd). I mentioned Walmart only because they were the first seller of discount goods that popped in my head. I don’t think they are evil. I would rather not shop there because the service stinks, but most weeks I am beholden to the lower prices. As for the pizza joints in this post, I think that consumers will vote with their wallet. Sounds like a level playing field; let the best pizza win. Or, as you suggest, they will both likely win.

  2. killer

    you often hear how these days 3% of our population controls 97% of our country’s wealth…this is but another example of how that is true i think.

    papa johns sucks, so i hope that the existing establishment runs them out of that neighborhood, but in reality papa johns will hurt the existing store.

    so in conclusion, while i do not feel either store will go out of business, i feel that a small business owner is going to see a lot less profit because of a large entity moving in on it’s territory.

  3. Bryan: I know you didn’t say WalMart was evil, I was responding to one of the comments on that thread.

    killer: this has little to do with the distribution of wealth — the Papa Johns franchise is being launched/financed by a regular immigrant guy; this is his second franchise location, but it’s not like Papa John Corporate is dropping the store in the community. but good points…

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