Papa John's sets 100-store target for expansion

Papa Johns, the US pizza franchise, has revealed plans to expand the number of outlets in the UK to 100 by the end of the year. The company, which currently operates 87 branches in the UK, said the expansion would be relatively cautious, emphasising the quality of franchisee and product above aggressive advertising against larger rivals.

Nigel Travis, President and Chief Executive of Papa Johns, said the expansion was a statement of the chain's commitment to international business. 'The UK is extremely important, and that is why we are investing our own money into successful franchises,' he told Caterer. 'In the US, a really successful franchise runs in the 30-50 [outlet] range. We need to get some franchisees with six to 10 stores or 12 to 13 stores in the UK.'

Travis' growth plans will see Papa John's running 170 outlets by the end of 2010 with the long-term goal of 350. 'We do not break this down, but we are moving forward into some non-traditional sites: motorway service stations, arenas and stadiums. In those areas we have an opportunity to build the brand.'

The expansion plans come a year after Papa John's sold its stake in the Perfect Pizza chain, relinquishing control of 205 franchises it acquired in November 1999.