LOUISVILLE, Ky., Jan 15, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Papa John's International (Nasdaq: PZZA) is proud to announce the expansion of its "Better Ingredients. Better Pizza." to a new international market with the opening of its first restaurant in Russia. The grand opening in Russia represents the seventh new country to welcome Papa John's restaurants during 2003. Papa John's begins 2004 with expansion in the number of units operating in both Canada and The Bahamas.
"I'm extremely proud of the International team's accomplishments this past year," remarked Bill Van Epps, Managing Director of Papa John's International division. "We've nearly doubled the number of countries with a Papa John's presence and now have more than 600 international restaurants slated to open over the next three to seven years."
The first Russian Papa John's restaurant, located in Moscow at 8A Kravchenko Street, opened on December 22, 2003. The opening of Papa John's first restaurant in Russia represents the first of many planned restaurants in Moscow by master franchise group Three Papas, LLC, whose principals are Chuck Adkins, Larry Ivy and Vladimir Davydov.
"We are thrilled to now offer a superior-quality pizza option in Moscow," stated Adkins. "We look forward to growing the Papa John's brand in Russia and feel confident the populace will embrace our 'Better Ingredients. Better Pizza.' strategy."
Some of the unique Papa John's menu offerings in Russia include the Alfredo Delight, which features ham, bacon, mushrooms, fresh tomatoes and a creamy spinach alfredo sauce; the Western Omelet pizza with eggs, cheese, bacon, ham, green peppers and onions; and several "Pizzas of the World," which include the To Russia with Love, a pizza consisting of mashed potatoes, bacon, onions and garlic butter sauce. Customers of the new restaurants in Russia may also enjoy U.S. Papa John's pizza favorites such as The Works, All the Meats and the Garden Special.
On November 20th, Papa John's opened its first restaurant in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The restaurant, located at 8215 112th Street, is owned and operated by Ty Hamdan and Mo Elsafadi, both local residents of Edmonton. Edmonton is the second city in the province of Alberta to welcome Papa John's restaurants; the first Papa John's in Alberta opened in Calgary in June of 2000.
Franchise group Papa Pizza Limited expanded Papa John's presence in The Bahamas with two restaurant openings in the capital city of Nassau in November and December. Local residents welcomed the restaurants, located at Village Road Plaza and Collins Avenue, with great enthusiasm. The inaugural Bahamian Papa John's restaurant opened on Grand Bahama Island earlier this year.
Papa John's focuses on providing customers with superior-quality products including U.S. offerings of traditional and thin crust pizzas, breadsticks, cheesesticks and Papa's Chickenstrips. While international menus may vary based on the needs and preferences of different cultures, Papa John's core superior-quality pizza product remains the same the world over. Papa John's uses only fresh-packed tomato sauce, which goes from the vine to the can in an average of six hours, cheese made with 100% mozzarella, other premium toppings. In most international markets, Papa John's restaurants purchase their fresh dough from third-party bakeries that meet Papa John's high quality standards and expectations.
Papa John's opened its first international restaurant in Mexico City in 1998. In 2003, Papa John's opened restaurants in seven additional countries including Aruba, the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, China, Greece, South Korea and Russia. Today, Papa John's has nearly 3,000 restaurants in the United States and fourteen international markets, which also include Mexico, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Canada.
In the four most recent surveys (1999-2002, as published in The Wall Street Journal), Papa John's received the highest ratings among all U.S. 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 has also recently been recognized for local market Best Pizza wins in various cities across the United States including Washington D.C., Atlanta, Los Angeles, Dallas, Indianapolis, Orlando and Phoenix.
Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John's International, Inc. (Nasdaq: PZZA) is the third largest pizza company in America. At December 28, 2003, there were 2,790 Papa John's restaurants (570 company-owned and 2,220 franchised) operating in 49 states and 14 international markets. Papa John's also franchises 135 Perfect Pizza restaurants in the United Kingdom. For more information about the company, visit Papa John's at http://www.papajohns.com.
SOURCE: Papa John's International