The future is HOT for Papa John's Pizza

The base is set, the ingredients are in place and the future is looking as hot as a Pepper Passion for Papa John's Pizza, thanks to a growing presence in towns across Britain

Papa John's has an investment plan to grow from its current 87 trading stores in the UK to more than 300 by 2016. And the century milestone is now being celebrated with the familiar green and red signage going up on the 100th Papa John's outlet thanks to a new deal.

The route to rapid UK expansion and success looks clear for America's favourite pizza company, with leisure expert Geoff Parsons agreeing a deal that will see his company open over 10 Papa John's franchises concentrated around the M4 corridor. Papa John's worldwide CEO Nigel Travis believes the deal will be the catalyst for similar partnerships. 'Geoff is a very experienced and astute operator and has a business background that includes financial, marketing, operations and sales director roles at large multi-national companies,' says Nigel. 'He identified the potential of franchising over a decade ago and operated 16 of his own Burger King stores during the 1990s, so we see his support, enthusiasm and commitment towards Papa John's as a seal of approval for our brand.'

Papa John's is also delivering on its promise to franchise partners that it will beef up its company store presence to raise brand awareness and trial new systems, with two further company held operations being added in Croydon. Managing Director Ian Saunders (pictured opposite) believes this is a clear indication of the investment that is now being put into the business. 'We promised franchise partners that we would support their operations and fuel the continued growth by investing in more of our own stores,' he says, 'and the two Croydon sites are a clear demonstration of that.'

A director of property and franchising role has also been created for the first time, proving that Papa John's means business in the UK. Ian continues: 'There has been a real buzz around Papa John's in the UK over the last few months and I think people sat up and took notice when Nigel came to this country and revealed our growth plans. For those plans to be successful a number of key objectives need to be met, including the acquisition of over 215 new sites and the recruitment of a number of new multi-unit franchise partners.

'The director of property and franchising will play a huge part in this, so the position is vital. We have already secured a fantastic new partner in former Burger King franchisee Geoff Parsons and we need to use this to show other entrepreneurs how big an opportunity exists with Papa John's.'

Papa John's was established in the USA in 1984 and currently operates more than 3,000 restaurants in 29 markets around the world. It entered the UK market in 2000 and currently has 87 units nationally. Nigel adds: 'I said when I started that I felt the company's best days were ahead and even though we've had a lot of success already, I still believe strongly that the best is yet to come.'