Nation's QSR Customer Satisfaction Leader Partners with the Middleby
Corporation to Launch New Technology 770 WOW! Ovens That Bake 30%
Faster with 25% Energy Savings
Understanding that every minute counts in satisfying hungry customers, Papa John's International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA), the nation's third largest pizza chain and recognized QSR customer satisfaction leader, today pledged that it will make its quality pizza faster.
Responding to time-crunched Americans who covet convenience and treasure meals in a hurry, and to offset rising energy costs, Papa John's is making a major investment in next generation ovens - known as the Middleby Marshall 770 WOW! Oven - that bake 30% faster while reducing energy consumption by 25% over the most energy efficient oven currently available in the pizza industry.
In an agreement announced today with The Middleby Corporation (NASDAQ: MIDD), Papa John's has the exclusive right through 2008 to purchase the patented oven and has committed to the purchase of 1,500 or more by the end of 2008. The company expects that the oven will be installed, usually two per restaurant, in all 500+ company-owned domestic Papa John's restaurants by mid-2007 and an additional 250 or more franchised or company-owned Papa John's restaurants through 2008.
Reducing the pizza bake time from six and a half to four and a half minutes translates to improved service times, important in serving today's time-pressed consumer. In fact, once implemented the oven will allow Papa John's to offer customers a ten-minute guarantee on carry-out pizzas at lunch, a time when customers are really trying to beat the clock and want good food fast.
"Papa John's challenged Middleby Marshall to develop an oven that helps us continue to enhance customer service, in terms of delivering a quality pizza under ever-increasing tight time constraints," said Tim O'Hern, Papa John's senior vice president of development. "With energy costs continuing to increase, we also challenged them to produce a smart, environmentally friendly oven that would use less energy during low production times. With the new 770 WOW! Oven, Middleby certainly delivered on our requests."
The 770 WOW! Oven is customized to Papa John's products and links to Papa John's proprietary in-store point-of-sale system, making the oven what is believed to be the first in the pizza industry to tie directly to the restaurant's POS ordering system. As a result, the oven operates at varying energy levels based on order flow, resulting in substantially lower energy consumption when not in use.
For six years running, consumers have rated Papa John's no. 1 in customer satisfaction among all national QSR chains in the highly regarded American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). At March 26, 2006, there were 2,924 Papa John's restaurants (509 company-owned and 2,415 franchised) operating in 49 states and 22 countries. For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John's at www.papajohns.com.
Statements in this press release that are not historical fact are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that such statements are estimates of future performance and are highly dependent upon a variety of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. Additional risk factors are detailed in the company's filings with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
CONTACT: Papa John's International, Inc., Louisville
Chris Sternberg, 502-261-4934
SOURCE: Papa John's International, Inc.