LOUISVILLE, Ky., Sep 21, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- During a modern day "whistle-stop" tour conducted via airplane instead of train track, "Papa" John Schnatter, founder of Papa John's International, helped celebrate the opening of the 15th Papa John's restaurant in Shanghai yesterday and will open the brand's fifth restaurant in Beijing today. Papa John's plans to open 250 restaurants in China over the next five years.
"This is my first trip to China and I have to tell you, I'm amazed," said Schnatter. "The restaurant we opened yesterday in Shanghai is the nicest restaurant in the Papa John's system. Of course it is a dine-in restaurant. They do business differently here, which means, we do business differently here. Asian culture dictates that before you allow someone to deliver food to your home, you need to get to know that person first. To build relationships with our customers in this market, we've designed dine-in restaurants that provide an appealing atmosphere that is consistent with our quality ingredients."
Schnatter is traveling with Nigel Travis, president and CEO of Papa John's International. Travis, formerly president of Blockbuster Inc., is a British national. He has traveled the globe furthering the development of companies including Burger King and Blockbuster and now Papa John's.
"Papa John's pizza has fantastic growth potential internationally," said Travis. "The company is focused on opening restaurants in high-growth and rapidly developing areas within key cities in China. Asian culture respects higher quality and that is what they will get from us. Wherever we go, Papa John's will remain driven by our promise to deliver better ingredients, better pizza."
Papa John's is the second largest American pizza franchiser in China with 15 restaurants in Shanghai and five restaurants in Beijing.
Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John's International, Inc. (Nasdaq: PZZA) is the third largest pizza company in America. As of August 21, 2005, there were 2,888 Papa John's restaurants (570 company-owned and 2,318 franchised) operating in 49 states and in 20 countries. Papa John's also franchises 115 Perfect Pizza restaurants in the United Kingdom. For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John's at www.papajohns.com.
SOURCE: Papa John's
Tish Muldoon, 502-261-4987