The local chain did big business, thanks to a regular customer who just happened to host Sunday night's Academy Awards
Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres‘ decision to serve pizza to her famous audience members on Sunday night was, not surprisingly, a boon to the pizzeria she ordered from – causing a spike in the mid six-digits, a representative for the pizza company told TheWrap on Monday.
“I would say [sales increased] 300, or 400, or 500 percent,” Big Mama's & Papa's Pizza franchiser Aro Agakhanyan told TheWrap. “We got a lot of orders, a lot of online orders. We had over 60,000 visitors on our website in one hour; there were a lot of things happening.”
The boost in sales was particularly impressive, given that Oscars night is one of the busiest nights of the year for pizza deliveries.
“Some of the busiest nights for pizzas are Super Bowl, Halloween and Oscars,” Agakhanyan added. “So Oscars are a pretty busy night anyway, but it got even busier.”
According to Agakhanyan, DeGeneres is “a regular customer” at the local pizzeria chain's Burbank location,which is near the studio where she tapes her daytime talk show — however, the delivery order for the Oscars telecast was placed Sunday at a different location, due to its closer proximity to the Dolby Theatre.
“She just called over there — just made a pizza delivery order,” Agakhanyan recalled. “And then the person who took the delivery, actually, he is the franchisee of the location. It was so busy that he took the delivery himself.”
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The franchisee, Edgar Martirosyan, was as surprised as anyone to see the highly televised pizza party go down: Though it's likely DeGeneres had planned the stunt well in advance, the call for the pies didn't come in until about 5 p.m. on Sunday.
“He had no idea that he was walking to the front stage — he was not aware of that,” Agakhanyan said.
(According to Agakhanyan, 10 pizzas were ordered, but only three of them made it to the stage, with the remainder staying backstage.)
While Agakhanyan acknowledged that business is “dying down a little bit” from the Oscars frenzy, Big Mama's & Papa's is still moving its delicious, cheesy ware — not least of all to DeGeneres herself.
“This morning they just ordered more pizzas,” Agakhanyan noted.