Friendly rivalry driving down price of a pizza

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‘friendly rivalry’ between two town centre businesses is ensuring a better deal for pizza lovers.

Competitive pricing has seen Papa John’s in Hemel Hempstead’s Waterhouse Street serving up lunch-time offers for as little as £1.99.

Meanwhile, neighbours Domino’s has slashed prices as low as £2.49.

But Domino’s marketing manager Farakh Shamin insisted his company is the market leader.

He said: “We will set a price and our competitors beat it. That is how it works. We will not go down to £1.95 because we think we have more quality.

“We have done it for £1.99 in the past, but we decided to bring our prices up in line with costs and VAT.

“We have a friendly rivalry with Papa John’s because we share the same car park.”

Like Domino’s, the Papa John’s store is able to set its own prices.

Store manager Raj Singh said: “We can decide on our own prices, and sometimes our deals are cheaper and sometimes they are not. You can take it, though, that our prices are driven by our location.”

In Tring, the price of a coffee at Whitbread-owned national chain Costa Coffee on Frogmore Street and the nearby Akeman, owned by town businessman Peter Borg-Neal, are also priced competitively.

Mr Borg-Neal, whose Akeman Street bar and restaurant offers £1 Fairtrade coffee, said: “It is sometimes good for small local businesses like us to fight back against an international PLC like Whitbread.

“We are always paying attention to our competitors, but we just want to give a product at a fair price.

“There is a very, very high margin on a cup of coffee and we decided our business can still offer a low price.

“We are not just competing with other coffee shops, but with people not coming out of their houses.

“We are saying: ‘Get out, meet your friends and have fun because you can afford it’.”

Whitbread spokesman Melissa Mace said: “When it comes to pricing we always make sure we remain competitive in the market place.

“All of our Costa-owned stores charge the same prices for food and drink.”

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