Love at 425°
|Traded as||NASDAQ: FRSH|
|Industry||Quick Service restaurants|
Number of locations
Papa Murphy's, a business based in Vancouver, Washington, United States, is a take-and-bake pizza company. It began in 1995 as the merger of two take-and-bake pizza companies: Papa Aldo's Pizza (which started in 1981) and Murphy's Pizza (which started in 1984). The company and its franchisees operate more than 1,300 outlets in the United States and Canada. Papa Murphy's is the fifth-largest pizza chain in the United States.
The chain of take and bake pizzerias traces its history back to 1981, when the Papa Aldo's Pizza chain was begun in Hillsboro, Oregon. Three years later Murphy's Pizza chain began in Petaluma, California. Eventually both chains were acquired by Terry Collins, who in 1995 merged the two chains into the Papa Murphy's chain. The chain was incorporated as Papa Murphy's International, Inc. In 2003, Papa Murphy's was voted "Best Pizza Chain in America" by Restaurants and Institutions Magazine. The company was merged with PMI Holdings, Inc. in 2004.
Papa Murphy's won the platinum award for Consumers’ First Choice in pizza chains in 2006, and was also winner of Pizza Today's 2001, 2006, 2008, and 2009 Chain of the Year. Papa Murphy’s Pizza was voted #1 Rated Pizza Chain for the third consecutive year, according to more than 10,500 respondents, in Zagat’s 2012 Fast-Food Survey. In 2013 QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) Magazine, recognized Papa Murphy’s with a 2013 Franchisee Satisfaction Award  and in 2014 as top Top Pizza Chain and was rated first for both quality and healthy food.
In 2010, the chain sold out to Lee Equity Partners of New York. Sales for the chain totaled $702 million in 2011, which grew to $800 million in 2012 from 1,350 outlets. Reuters reported in 2013 that Papa Murphy’s New York parent, Lee Equity Partners, was preparing a public offering for the take-and-bake pizza chain. Official plans for the IPO were announced in March 2014. Following a loss in the third quarter of 2016, the company announced that it would launch its first national advertising campaign in 2017.
Initial public offering
Papa Murphy's (FRSH) was added to the Nasdaq May 2, 2014, raising $64.1 million in shares.
Orders are available by walk-in, order online, or call-in. Some stores have a drive-thru window where customers can pick up call-in orders. Unlike regular pizza establishments, the pizza is made at the store but is not baked there. Instead, consumers bake the pizzas at their homes. According to Nation's Restaurant News, take-and-bake pizzerias typically have lower costs because they require less restaurant space and equipment. As a result, they are often able to undercut the national pizza giants. Papa Murphy's also offers salads, chocolate chip cookie dough, cheesy bread, cinnamon wheels, smores dessert pizzas, and soft drinks in various sizes.
As of 2017, there are more than 1,500 stores in 38 states, and fourteen more in Canada and twelve in Dubai, UAE. Nearly all of the stores are franchised. Because Papa Murphy's pizzas are unbaked, many states allow them to be purchased with EBT or food stamps—similar to purchasing unbaked or frozen pizzas in the supermarket.
- Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza | Pizza Marketplace
- Press Room | Papa Murphy’s
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- Quick-Service and Fast Casual Restaurant News and Information - QSR magazine
- Papa Murphy’s Wins Award for Franchisee Satisfaction - Restaurant News - QSR magazine
- New Study Reveals America’s Favorite Quick-Service Chains - Restaurant News - QSR magazine
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- Culverwell, Wendy (July 30, 2013). "An IPO for Papa Murphy's?". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
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- Stevens, Suzanne (March 12, 2014). "Papa Murphy's announces plans for an IPO". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- Jennings, Lisa (2 November 2016). "Papa Murphy's to launch first-ever national ad campaign in 2017". Retrieved 4 November 2016.
- Papa Murphy's shares rise modestly on public debut | Corporate News content from Nation's Restaurant News
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- Papa Murphy’s chain named to Forbes franchise list | The Columbian
- Davis, Levi; Farrell, Maureen (18 January 2011). "In Pictures: The Top 20 Franchises To Start". Forbes.