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Papa Johns to add 50 new stores through new agreement

Papa Johns
Papa Johns operates more than 5,900 restaurants in approximately 50 countries and territories.

Papa Johns will expand its footprint in several key markets through a new agreement with one of its largest franchisees.

The pizza chain has announced plans to open 50 new restaurants by 2028 in partnership with franchisee Nadeem Bajwa and his company, The Bajco Group, which has grown over the past 20 years to become one of Papa Johns’ largest domestic franchisees.

Furthering Bajwa’s goal to own 500 Papa Johns restaurants, the new agreement will expand the Papa Johns footprint in existing markets across the Midwest and in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Florida. The deal adds to the more than 200 restaurants Bajwa and his team currently operate.

The moves comes weeks after a CEO shakeup at the pizza chain, with Papa Johns International CEO Rob Lynch departing the company to become CEO of Shake Shack, effective May 20. Ravi Thanawala, previously CFO of Papa Johns, was named interim chief executive.

“Nadeem’s story is a clear example of how Papa Johns supports its franchisees to build shared success,” said Joe Sieve, Papa Johns’ chief restaurant officer. “After starting his Papa Johns journey as a delivery driver, today he is one of the strongest ambassadors for the opportunities Papa Johns presents to its team members and franchisees. Nadeem’s confidence in the brand and expertise in the industry reinforces why he knows there has never been a better time to grow with Papa Johns.”

Earlier this year, Papa Johns announced the Back to Growth Program (B2G Program), a new development incentive program designed to accelerate store growth in North America as part of its Back to Better 2.0 strategy. The new program aims to boost restaurant-level margins during the first five years of operations of new restaurants,  equating to a 600-basis point of annual cost savings for the restaurants, with the goal of attracting more franchise growth.

Co-headquartered in Atlanta and Louisville, Ky., Papa Johns operates more than 5,900 restaurants in approximately 50 countries and territories.

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