Papa John's pizza: Founder flies in to lead the Papa John's charge

Papa John's pizza is set to deliver on its promise to become the UK's favourite delivered pizza after announcing ambitious plans for the coming year

The company has been buoyed by the recent arrivals of President and Worldwide CEO Nigel Travis and UK Managing Director Ian Saunders, both industry experts who have previously spearheaded rapid growth of US companies in the British marketplace.

Along with welcoming the two new arrivals to the organisation, at the company's recent London conference UK franchisees were addressed by John Schnatter (pictured right) - the entrepreneurial Founder and Chairman of Papa John's International.

The unequivocal success of Papa John's in the USA is now set to be transferred to this country after Mr Schnatter outlined his, and Papa John's International's board of directors', complete commitment to investing in the UK market.

That view was echoed by CEO Nigel Travis when he took to the stage, highlighting to franchisees the massive opportunities that exist for Papa John's to exploit their premium quality. 'Better Ingredients. Better Pizza' pledge.

He said: 'In Ian Saunders the UK has one of the best operators in the business and we believe that Papa John's is now in a position to drive forward and really announce itself to consumers as the pizza of choice.

'Our US customers are already aware of the care and attention that we give to selection of fresh ingredients and method of preparation to ensure our pizzas are better than anything else out there - and we are now going to get that message across to pizza eaters in Britain.

'It was the principal on which John built the business from one small store to one of the world's biggest companies, and it is the principle which will see Papa John's become a firm favourite here as well.'

One of the first moves made by new Managing Director Ian Saunders has been to review the company's development strategy to focus on building Papa John's awareness, by concentrating development in key identified markets and to work with more potential multi-site operating partners.

'We are looking to pilot media opportunities with these new stores and believe the growing brand awareness brought by this will open many more doors for us.

'Our new store design is a clear indicator to the marketplace of how different we are from other pizza delivery and takeaway operations, and we now have the structure firmly in place to really take advantage of this.'

The recent conference was also an opportunity for Papa John's to pay tribute to the star performers in their existing UK estate, including Scottish franchisees George and Andrew Eastcroft who were presented with the award for 'Single Unit Franchisee of the Year' for their store in Edinburgh. The handover was conducted by John Schnatter and the pair were delighted with the achievement, and the content of the event overall.

George said: 'The plans that were unveiled were fantastic and it was a real boost to see such commitment from our founder. If he flies in to support our conference it makes a real statement about the importance of success in the UK. It was great to meet him and a proud achievement to be handed an award by the man who made the very first Papa John's pizza.'