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Ton-up success for Papa John’s

Pizza franchise Papa John’s has opened its 100th store in the UK. Located in Hammersmith, London, the new outlet is set to be followed by a minimum of two new openings a month during 2008.

After recently announcing that a former Burger King franchisee had thrown his weight behind these plans with a deal to open over 10 stores, Papa John’s has also secured funding through its US parent organisation to invest heavily in expanding its company-owned operations in the UK.

Says UK managing director, Ian Saunders: “Papa John’s has been something of a sleeping giant in the UK market up until now, but anyone who has enjoyed delivery or takeaway food in America will know just how powerful this brand can be - globally the company has over 3,000 stores.

“Even with this phenomenal size though, we have never set out to be the biggest pizza company in the world and that is not our ambition in the UK - we simply want to communicate to people that we are the very best.”

Papa John’s is committing £3 million annually to its UK expansion plans. The company is looking for experienced franchise partners interested in developing 10-15 stores in the UK. Each outlet costs up to £180,000 to open, plus a working capital provision of between £20,000-£30,000. Papa John’s plans to have 170 stores operating in the UK by 2010 and 300 by 2016.

In addition to its franchise plans, Papa John’s is also set to open five company-owned stores this year, taking the total to 12 by the end of 2008.

The company’s founder, John Schnatter, went from being a man making pizzas in a broom closet in his father’s tavern in Indiana to taking market share from the biggest takeaway and delivery operators in the world.

Says Saunders: “It is now our job to open stores quickly and continue to deliver on his pizza quality promise so that more and more UK customers get to taste our product. We know that once that happens they stay with us as customers.”

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