Papa John's invests £5m to support network growth

PIZZA delivery franchisor Papa John's has announced plans to invest over £5 million in developing a new fresh dough facility to support its growth plans for the UK. The Quality Control Centre (pictured, inset) will include a dough plant and will cater for the company's production needs as it continues to expand its network.

Papa John's has reported consecutive quarters of growth in 2009, with total sales up 8.5 per cent in January to March and then up again by over 30 per cent in April to June. Since the start of the year the company has opened 17 new stores, and aims to reach 40 new stores by the end of the year.

The factory is to be sited in Milton Keynes covering nearly 50,000 sq ft, and is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2010. "Our new dough plant will provide more than adequate space to cope with our expansion plans, and we are delighted to have secured such a fantastic site," said Papa John's UK Managing Director Ian Saunders.

"The excellent facilities at the factory will allow us greater control over quality and, as Papa John's is famous for using 100 per cent fresh dough 100 per cent of the time, this plant is vital to that ethos going forward.

"We are aiming to open another 20 stores across the UK and Ireland this year, bringing our total to more than 150. We expect to be able to continue this momentum and our five year goal is to have at least 300 stores open by the end of 2013. We will therefore grow into this plant, and believe it will allow us to reach for the sky in the UK pizza delivery market. The purchase of the site has created a huge buzz in the company because, following on from a series of strong financial results, it is further proof that Papa John's UK is going places."