Oscar pizza guy was the real deal, delivery boosted sales

LOS ANGELES — 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 Reuters on Monday.

“I would say (sales increased) 300, or 400, or 500 percent,” Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizza franchiser Aro Agakhanyan told Reuters. “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.”

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.

(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.

And Martirosyan walked out with the pizza in hand as DeGeneres introduced him on her show Monday to tell his side of the wild story and present him the tips he earned from the famous delivery.

“They told me I was going to deliver for some writers,” Martirosyan told DeGeneres. “And then when I was there, they just told me ‘wait here’.”

Martirosyan said he kept asking where they were going with the pizza’s and DeGeneres kept telling him to just follow her.

“I’m going and I’m on a stage,” Martirosyan said as he laughed. “I was just shocked. I didn’t know it was going to be something like this, but it was really crazy.”

DeGeneres presented Martirosyan with the tips she had collected from the A-listers at the Oscars in Pharrell’s hat, which she said was $600, and then she reached into her own pockets and handed him more saying he now had $1,000 for a tip.

Ordering pizza wasn’t the only surprise DeGeneres had up her sleeves on Oscar night. The celebrity selfie moment, which she tweeted, ended up being the most retweeted tweet of all time. As of Tuesday morning, it had over 3 million retweets and over 1 million favorites.

ReviewJournal.com contributed to this story