LOUISVILLE, Ky., May 04, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Committed to serving a superior-quality product with world-class customer service, Papa John's International recently recognized its Franchise Operators of the Year. At its annual Operators' Conference in Orlando, Florida, Papa John's® recently presented top honors to three franchise groups from Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Texas.
Papa John's named the following groups its 2004 Franchise Operators of the Year:
-- Hinkle Enterprises, Inc. (Elizabethtown, KY) as Single Restaurant Franchise;
-- Circle C Corp (Harrisburg, PA) as Small Group Franchise (2-9 restaurants); and
-- Pizza Venture of San Antonio, LLC (San Antonio, TX) as Large Group Franchise (10+ or more restaurants).
The honors were awarded to the franchisees demonstrating the highest commitment to producing superior-quality pizza, world-class customer service and good community citizenship. All three franchises hold high standards of product quality and training in their restaurants and, in return, demonstrate profitability and manage successful restaurant operations.
"Our franchisees make up about 80% of the Papa John's system and it is extremely important to reward and recognize their achievements," said Bill Van Epps, Chief Operations Officer of Papa John's. "All of the winners are exceptional role models for the entire franchise community in terms of product quality and customer service. I'm honored to have them as a part of our team."
Barry and Becky Hinkle of Hinkle Enterprises, Inc. own and operate one restaurant in Elizabethtown, KY. This year's win marks the third year in a row the Hinkles have earned this award. The Hinkles continue to raise the bar for their fellow Papa John's franchisees, repeatedly demonstrating how mastering the fundamentals results in increased comp sales and customer loyalty.
Lee Carroll of Circle C Corporation owns and operates eight (8) restaurants in the capital region of Pennsylvania. This franchisee has been a nominee on three different occasions, with this year representing his first win as Franchise Operator of the Year. Serving as both franchisee and operating partner for Circle C Corporation, Lee focuses on training and is committed to improving the culture and attitude in his restaurants. This award illustrates Circle C as an example of excellence in operations and commitment to a better customer experience.
Clark Mandigo of Pizza Venture of San Antonio, LLC, owns seventeen (17) restaurants in the San Antonio area. William Rodriguez has been the Operating Partner for the last five (5) years, overseeing the operations of all 17 restaurants. He began his career with Pizza Venture as a manager in July 1995. This is the second time this prestigious award has been awarded to the team at Pizza Venture of San Antonio. Their first Franchise of the Year win was awarded in 1995. Despite recent challenges, this team was very successful in 2004 with positive comp sales growth. Concentrating on operations and local store marketing makes these Texans stand tall as they are thrilled to be awarded the Franchise Operator of the Year for 2004.
About Papa John's:
Celebrating its 21st anniversary, Papa John's remains focused on using the highest quality ingredients to make its customers a superior-quality pizza. Papa John's makes the crust of every traditional pizza with fresh dough (never frozen) prepared with clear-filtered water in the company's regional quality control centers. Papa John's uses only fresh-packed tomato sauce made from vine-ripened tomatoes, which go from the vine to the can in an average of six hours; cheese made with 100% mozzarella; and other high quality toppings.
In the five most recent surveys (1999-2003, as published in The Wall Street Journal), Papa John's received the highest ratings among all national fast food restaurants in The American Customer Satisfaction Index survey conducted by The National Quality Research Center at the University of Michigan Business School. Papa John's was rated above the national average for all industries and ranked the highest in the retail sector. Papa John's also continues to receive local market Best Pizza wins in various cities across the country.
Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John's International, Inc. (Nasdaq:PZZA) is the third largest pizza company in America. As of April 24, 2005, Papa John's had 2,849 restaurants (571 company-owned and 2,278 franchised) operating in 49 states and 18 countries. Papa John's also franchises an additional 116 Perfect Pizza restaurants in the United Kingdom. For more information about the company and to order pizza online, please visit www.papajohns.com.
SOURCE: Papa John's International, Inc.
Papa John's International, Inc., Louisville
Chris Sternberg, 502-261-4934