Everyone here knows about Papa John's Pizza. You know their slogan..."Better Ingredients. Better Pizza." Thanks to law school, I've had several of their pizzas over the last few years.
For some pictures of Papa John's pizzas, go here or go to their official website.
Papa John's is personally one of my favorite commercial pizza chains. The crust has a nice balance: fairly crunchy on the outside, yet staying a little chewy/fluffy on the inside. The crust is pronounced, but not too large.
The toppings are basically blended in with the pizza, lessening the chance to see any grease collected on the top. My personal favorites include pepperoni/mushroom and the vegetarian pizza. I really like the medium to large tomato slices Papa John's uses when getting a pizza like the vegetarian. The toppings are fresh, as it should be.
The sauce is also successful. The tomatoes, herbs, and spices combine very well. No complaints there.
Believe it or not, in my opinion, the thing that hurts Papa John's is their mass availability. No matter what state you're in, there will always be a chance to get a Papa John's pizza. I do think that being in very limited locations adds to the appeal of the food establishment. Such a situation gives more prestige to the product.
Suppose you see a restaurant stating, "We're only located in (city), we don't deliver, and you can only get (some unique item) here!" Further assume that dish they're promoting looks like the best thing ever and makes you very hungry. Wouldn't you want to go there now? I know I would. Now assume there are a zillion locations around the United States -- maybe even one by your house. The adventure in all this suddenly becomes non-existent.
Don't get me wrong. Papa John's passes with flying colors on their food...that's the main thing. They have a tremendous (positive) reputation, and you shouldn't be waiting long for pizza unless they are swamped for Super Bowl parties or other big events. I just feel that mass commercial chains really cannot get very high ratings. The awesomeness of driving/flying to a location to try a restaurant's food means too much to me. 6/10