This Major Pizza Chain Is Planning to Open Up to 1,800 New Locations
Major fast-food chains have begun posting sales results for the first quarter of 2022 and quick-service pizza brands have shown slumping performance. Both Domino's and Pizza Hut—America's largest pizza chains—reported declining sales, but one big-league competitor has come out on top. At Papa Johns the results and the outlook has been so good that the chain announced it will be undertaking a major expansion in the coming years.
In an earnings call on May 5, president and chief executive officer Robert Lynch said Papa Johns is planning to open as many as 1,600 to 1,800 locations by 2025, both domestically and abroad. According to the call, 320 units are planned for 2022 alone. The main focus of the expansion will be on the chain's international markets, while 25-35% of the new locations will open in the U.S.
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The company saw a 1.9% same-store sales growth in North America, despite facing similar setbacks that its rivals contended with during the same period. Issues like inflation, the Omicron variant, and staff shortages have been felt across the industry. Unlike its competitors, however, Papa Johns was able to keep sales up with its successful new menu innovations, like the New York Style pizza which launched in December 2021, while also relying on a third-party delivery partnership with DoorDash to combat staff shortages. Although the chain has been able to overcome challenges, it's not to say it hasn't been tough, according to Lynch.
"January was the most difficult operating environment I've seen since I've been in this industry," Lynch said on the call.
Back in January, Papa John's announced it signed an agreement to open more than 1,350 stores in South China in the next 20 years, marking the biggest deal of its kind in the company's history, and one of the greatest expansion deals ever announced in the pizza restaurant segment as a whole. Additionally, in September of 2021, the chain also announced its plans to open as many as 100 new restaurants in Texas by 2030.
Currently, there are more than 5,000 Papa Johns locations in 45 countries, according to the company's website. With these expansions included, the chain could add 3,200 more restaurants to its global footprint by 2040.