Papa John's

With continued innovation characterising UK development of Papa John's, Business Development Manager Paul Youngman reflects on this award-winning international food brand

There are few better indications of a company totally committed to producing a great product and experience than the US Customer Satisfaction Index - an annual piece of work carried out to recognise the food companies that go the extra mile.

So coming top of that poll is an achievement that all the major operators strive for, but since the turn of the century only one has been successful - Papa John's.

The University of Michigan award has been dominated by the success of Papa John's for the past six years, and that expertise is now being put to use in the UK, where the company currently enjoys the status of being the Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association's Delivery Chain of the Year.

Potential franchisees seeking a company showing signs of a very bright future should look no further than Papa John's. The company has consistently impressed the industry over the last two years with a string of stunning ideas to revolutionise the business. When it comes to innovation, there can be few companies that have made more progress than Papa John's.

The US company, which is renowned for its product quality, has excited existing and potential franchisees with a string of initiatives, including a new store design, vibrant packaging, unique delivery vehicles and eye-catching marketing material.

This has led to a string of positive press articles charting the progress, and Papa John's has now hit the headlines again having unveiled its first high street sit-down restaurant (pictured above). The newly opened Papa John's in Weymouth houses a stylish 32 cover eat-in restaurant as well as the usual takeaway and delivery operation. Feedback so far suggests that the format will prove to be a huge success for Papa John's and Managing Director Daniel Cousineau believes it will be the first of many similar outlets. He says: 'Papa John's now has a diversity of choice for franchisees, with a really wide ranging portfolio of formats, which is very exciting because we can pick and choose exactly the right store for each location.

'In some areas we know that our takeaway and delivery store will be hugely successful because it stands out from the crowd on the high street and communicates quality to customers. Weymouth shows that when there is an opportunity for eat-in custom we can provide a great solution.

'Weymouth has also allowed us to introduce some new menu innovations such as pastas, salads and healthy desserts - these have all been very well received by customers. I certainly believe that our portfolio of options means that we can offer potential franchisees a more tailored package than any of our competitors.'

The Papa John's Weymouth store will set new standards for sit-down pizza restaurants, with uniquely designed lighting and décor giving it huge modern appeal.

Daniel adds: 'This is not just us providing an area where people can eat their pizza, it is a trendy restaurant area with a great ambience.' Papa John's determination to set new industry standards and move away from the limited offers of its competitors is further highlighted by the trial of the new 'PJ Deli', a set-up which allows all day appeal to customers. The Deli, currently being trialled at a company store before being put into widespread use, means that Papa John's can increase sales throughout the day.

Daniel explains: 'We have come up with an all day concept to take the customer through from the morning, when top quality croissants and ground coffee are on the menu, to lunchtimes when our soups and sandwiches give people the option of a light lunch.' Put all of these developments together and Papa John's is positioning itself perfectly to become the local 'one stop', all day café, able to cater for a variety of eating requirements and range of customers.

Although Papa John's has the vision and values that you would expect from a family founded company, it also offers the reassurance given by one of the world's biggest brands - the company recently opened its 3,000th store worldwide.

The store in question is located in Times Square, New York, and Papa John's also operates in 21 different countries across the globe, including the Bahamas, Bahrain, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.