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Table of Contents                                

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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
xAnnual Report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 25, 2022
or
oTransition report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
For the transition period from                             to                             
Commission File Number: 0-2166050
PAPA JOHN’S INTERNATIONAL, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware61-1203323
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
2002 Papa John’s Boulevard
Louisville, Kentucky
40299-2367
(Address of principal executive offices)(Zip Code)
(502) 261-7272
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
___________________________________________________________
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
(Title of Each Class)
Trading Symbol(s)
(Name of each exchange on which registered)
Common Stock, $0.01 par valuePZZAThe Nasdaq Stock Market LLC
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
___________________________________________________________
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes o No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filerxAccelerated filero
Non-accelerated fileroSmaller reporting companyo
Emerging growth companyo
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the Registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.x
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b).
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes o No x
The aggregate market value of the common stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant, computed by reference to the closing sale price on The Nasdaq Stock Market as of the last business day of the Registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, June 26, 2022, was $2,906,744,039.
As of February 16, 2023, there were 34,680,269 shares of the Registrant’s common stock outstanding.


DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the Registrant’s Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held April 25, 2023 are incorporated by reference into Part III of this annual report where indicated.


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PART I
Item 1. Business
General
Papa John’s International, Inc., a Delaware corporation (referred to as the “Company,” “Papa John’s,” “Papa Johns” or in the first person notations of “we,” “us” and “our”), operates and franchises pizza delivery and carryout restaurants and, in certain international markets, dine-in and delivery restaurants under the trademark “Papa John’s.” Papa John’s began operations in 1984. At December 25, 2022, there were 5,706 Papa John’s restaurants in operation, consisting of 522 Company-owned and 5,184 franchised restaurants operating in 48 countries and territories. Our Company-owned restaurants include 98 restaurants operated under three joint venture arrangements. All of our International restaurants are franchised. In discussions of our business, “Domestic” is defined as within the contiguous United States, “North America” includes Canada, and “International” includes the rest of the world other than North America.
Strategy
We are committed to delivering on our brand promise “BETTER INGREDIENTS. BETTER PIZZA.®” and a business strategy designed to drive sustainable long-term, profitable growth. Papa John’s is driven by five strategic priorities:
Build a culture of leaders who believe in diversity, inclusivity and winning. A diverse, inclusive environment is essential to attracting the talent that makes Papa Johns the world’s best pizza delivery company. See the “Human Capital” section below where we discuss our ongoing initiatives in this area.
Re-establish the superiority of our pizza via commercial platforms. We believe that using high quality ingredients leads to superior quality pizzas. Our original crust pizza dough is made from six simple ingredients and is fresh, never frozen. We also top our pizzas with our signature pizza sauce made with vine-ripened tomatoes, real cheese and meat full of flavor, not filler. Our marketing and menu strategies focus on menu innovations that provide both value and variety to our customers, but importantly, do not add significant complexity to our restaurant operations or to supply chain needs. Over the past three years, we have made purposeful additions to our menu, ensuring these additions are well-timed for our growth, without sacrificing our premium quality. This deliberate strategy focuses on innovation that adds value to our system rather than short-term discounts, contributing to more productive ticket growth and, most importantly, higher customer satisfaction. We believe in the importance of providing options that appeal to our customers’ diverse dietary needs and preferences, and our nutritionists and food innovation teams are continuously looking for ways to reflect this in our menu. Our product innovations form the foundation of our strategy for growing comparable sales and improving unit economics.
Improve unit-level profitability and performance of our Company and franchisee restaurants. We have been intent on taking proactive steps to drive profitable growth, especially under the current challenging operating environment. This includes growing ticket and transactions through menu innovations, customer insights and strategic pricing actions. In addition to increasing average unit volumes, our strategy focuses on further sharpening our execution and driving BETTER customer experience for faster service while optimizing labor allocation, enhancing operational efficiencies and effectively managing margins.
Leverage our technology infrastructure to drive our business operations. We utilize technology to deliver a better customer experience, improve operational efficiencies and inform our decision-making. Approximately 85% of our Domestic sales are through digital channels, including website, apps, third party aggregators, and centralized call centers, providing a significant competitive advantage when compared with other QSR models. We are continuously investing in technology to enhance our digital capabilities for both our customers as well as our employees. Our loyalty program (“Papa Rewards”) and one-to-one marketing platforms help us retain loyal customers and attract new ones. We also partner with top domestic delivery aggregators to meet customer demand for our products. Aggregators have also helped navigate the labor shortage that the Company is experiencing by providing supplemental delivery drivers, especially during peak times when our delivery teams are working at full capacity. Our integrations with the aggregator marketplaces and our nationwide integration with a third-party delivery service provider have been key tools allowing us to continue to meet our customers in the channel of their choice.
Profitably expand our footprint domestically and internationally. We continue to pursue a growth strategy by expanding our footprint, both domestically and internationally. We partner with large local investors to expand into new regions and markets, seeking to ensure our partners are aligned with our strategic priorities and committed to the Papa Johns brand. Nearly all of our top-25 North American franchisees now have development agreements in place. Internationally, our teams
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are laying the groundwork for the future by accelerating growth in our established markets, identifying attractive new markets to enter and attracting new well-capitalized franchisees to partner with.
A large majority of Papa John’s restaurants are franchised. We believe a franchised model provides resiliency of earnings and presents us with an opportunity to enhance growth with less capital investment than a traditional company-operated restaurant model. We seek to attract and retain franchisees with experience in restaurant or retail operations and with the financial resources and management capabilities to open single or multiple locations. While each Papa John’s franchisee manages and operates its own restaurants and business, we devote significant resources to providing franchisees with assistance in restaurant operations, quality assurance, technology, training, marketing, site selection and restaurant design. Papa John’s franchise owners benefit from our award-winning brand, food service capabilities and the Papa John’s digital and delivery model.
Segment Overview
Papa John’s has four defined reportable segments: Domestic Company-owned restaurants, North America franchising, North America commissaries (Quality Control Centers), and International operations.
Domestic Company-owned Restaurants
The Domestic Company-owned restaurant segment consists of the operations of all Domestic Company-owned restaurants and derives its revenues principally from retail sales of pizza, Papadias, and side items, including breadsticks, Papa Bites, cheesesticks, chicken poppers and wings, dessert items and canned or bottled beverages.
Of the total 3,376 North American restaurants open as of December 25, 2022, 522 units, or approximately 15%, were Company-owned. In 2022, the 514 Domestic Company-owned restaurants included in the full year’s comparable restaurant base generated average annual unit sales of $1.3 million.
Operating Company-owned restaurants allows us to improve operations, training, marketing and quality standards for the benefit of the entire Papa John’s system.
North America franchising
The North America franchising segment consists of our franchise sales and support activities and derives its revenues from the sale of franchise and development rights and the collection of royalties from our franchisees located in the United States and Canada. Our North American franchised restaurants, which included 2,472 restaurants in the full year’s comparable base for 2022, generated average annual unit sales of $1.1 million. These sales, while not included in the Company’s revenues, contribute to our royalty revenues, franchisee marketing fund contributions, and commissary revenue.
North America commissary
The North America commissary segment comprises 11 full-service regional dough production and distribution Quality Control Centers (“QC Centers”) in the United States, which supply pizza sauce, dough, food products, paper products, smallwares and cleaning supplies twice weekly to each traditional restaurant served. This system enables us to monitor and control product quality and consistency while lowering food and other costs. We also have one QC Center in Canada, which produces and distributes fresh dough. We evaluate the QC Center system capacity in relation to existing restaurants’ volumes and planned restaurant growth, and facilities are developed or upgraded as operational or economic conditions warrant. To ensure consistent food quality, each Domestic franchisee is required to purchase dough and pizza sauce from our QC Centers and to purchase all other supplies from our QC Centers or other approved suppliers.
International
International franchisees are defined as all franchise operations outside of the United States and Canada. As of December 25, 2022, there were 2,330 International restaurants, all of which are franchised. The International segment principally consists of distribution sales to franchised Papa John’s restaurants located in the UK and our franchise sales and support activities, which derive revenues from sales of franchise and development rights and the collection of royalties from our International franchisees. The Company currently operates one International QC Center, which is in the UK. Other QC Centers outside North America are operated by franchisees pursuant to license agreements or by other third parties.
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All others
All other business units that do not meet the quantitative thresholds for determining reportable segments, which are not operating segments, we refer to as “all others.” These consist of operations that derive revenues from franchise contributions to our marketing funds and the sale, principally to Company-owned and franchised restaurants, of information systems and related services used in restaurant operations, including our point-of-sale system, online and other technology-based ordering platforms, and printing and promotional items.
See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Note 23. Segment Information of “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements” for financial information about our segments.
Development
At December 25, 2022, there were 5,706 Papa John’s restaurants operating in 48 countries and territories, as follows:
Domestic Company-ownedFranchised North America Total North America
International(a)
System-wide
Beginning - December 26, 2021600 2,739 3,339 2,311 5,650 
Opened10 76 86 292 378 
Closed— (49)(49)(85)(134)
Sold— (2)(2)— (2)
Acquired— — 
Refranchised(90)90 — — — 
Suspended (a)
— — — (188)(188)
Ending - December 25, 2022522 2,854 3,376 2,330 5,706 
Net unit growth/(decline) (a)
(78)115 37 207 244 
______________________________
(a)    As previously disclosed, the Company has suspended corporate support for all franchised restaurants located in Russia. These suspended restaurants are excluded from net unit growth calculations.

Our Company-owned restaurant growth strategy is to continue to open Domestic restaurants in existing markets as appropriate, thereby increasing consumer awareness and enabling us to take advantage of operational and marketing scale efficiencies. Our experience in developing markets indicates that market penetration through the opening of multiple restaurants in a particular market results in increased average restaurant sales in that market over time. We have co-developed Domestic markets with some franchisees or divided markets among franchisees and will continue to use market co-development in the future, where appropriate.
Franchise Program
We continue to attract qualified and experienced franchisees, whom we consider to be a vital part of our system’s continued growth. We believe our relationship with our franchisees is fundamental to the performance of our brand and we strive to maintain a collaborative relationship with our franchisees. Franchisees are approved on the basis of the applicant’s business background, restaurant operating experience and financial resources.
North America Development and Franchise Agreements. We enter into development agreements with our franchisees in North America for the opening of a specified number of restaurants within a defined period of time and specified geographic area. The franchise agreement is generally executed once a franchisee secures a location. Our current standard franchise agreement requires the franchisee to pay a royalty fee of 5% of sales, and the majority of our existing franchised restaurants have a 5% contractual royalty rate in effect. Incentives to franchisees offered from time to time may reduce the contractual royalty rate paid.
Substantially all existing franchise agreements have an initial 10-year term with a 10-year renewal option. We have the right to terminate a franchise agreement for a variety of reasons, including a franchisee’s failure to make payments when due or failure to adhere to our operational policies and standards. Many state franchise laws limit our ability as a franchisor to terminate or refuse to renew a franchise.
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International Development and Franchise Agreements. In international markets, we have either a development agreement or a master franchise agreement with a franchisee for the opening of a specified number of restaurants within a defined period of time and specified geographic area. Under a master franchise agreement, the franchisee has the right to sub-franchise a portion of the development to one or more sub-franchisees approved by us.
Our current standard international master franchise and development agreements provide for payment to us of a royalty fee of 5% of sales. For international markets with sub-franchise agreements, the effective sub-franchise royalty received by the Company is generally 3% of sales and the master franchisee generally receives a royalty of 2% of sales. The remaining terms applicable to the operation of individual restaurants are substantially equivalent to the terms of our Domestic franchise agreement. Development agreements will be negotiated at other-than-standard terms for fees and royalties, and we may offer various development and royalty incentives.
Franchise Operations. All franchisees are required to operate their Papa John’s restaurants in compliance with our policies, standards and specifications, including matters such as menu items, ingredients, and restaurant design. Franchisees have full discretion in human resource practices, and generally have full discretion to determine the prices to be charged to customers, but we generally have the authority to set maximum price points for nationally advertised promotions.
Franchisee Loans. Selected Domestic and International franchisees have borrowed funds from us, principally for the purchase of restaurants from us or other franchisees or, in certain international markets, for construction and development of new restaurants. Loans made to franchisees can bear interest at fixed or floating rates and in most cases are secured by the fixtures, equipment and signage of the restaurant and/or are guaranteed by the franchise owners. At December 25, 2022, net loans outstanding totaled $28.1 million. See “Note 2. Significant Accounting Policies” of “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements” for additional information.
Marketing Programs
Our Domestic marketing strategy consists of both national and local components. Our national strategy includes national advertising via television, print, direct mail, digital, mobile marketing and social media channels. Our digital marketing activities have increased significantly over the past several years in response to increasing customer use of online and mobile technology. Local advertising programs include television, radio, print, direct mail, store-to-door flyers, digital, mobile marketing and local social media channels.
Domestic Company-owned and franchised Papa John’s restaurants within a defined market may be required to join an area advertising cooperative (“Co-op”). Each member restaurant contributes a percentage of sales to the Co-op for market-wide programs, such as television, radio, digital and print advertising, and sports sponsorships. The rate of contribution and uses of the monies collected are determined by a majority vote of the Co-op’s members.
The restaurant-level and Co-op marketing efforts are supported by media, print, digital and electronic advertising materials that are produced by Papa John’s Marketing Fund, Inc. (“PJMF”), our national marketing fund. PJMF is a consolidated nonstock corporation, designed to operate at break-even for the purpose of designing and administering advertising and promotional programs for all participating Domestic restaurants. PJMF produces and buys air time for Papa John’s national television commercials and advertises the Company’s products through digital media including banner advertising, paid search-engine advertising, mobile marketing, social media advertising and marketing, text messaging, and email. PJMF also engages in other brand-building activities, such as consumer research and public relations activities. Domestic Company-owned and franchised Papa John’s restaurants are required to contribute a certain minimum percentage of sales to PJMF.
In international markets, our marketing focuses on reaching customers who live or work within a small radius of a Papa John’s restaurant. Our international markets use a combination of advertising strategies, including television, radio, print, digital, mobile marketing and local social media depending on the size of the local market.
Human Capital
Our team members are critical to our success. As of December 25, 2022, we employed approximately 12,000 persons, of whom approximately 9,600 were team members at Company-owned restaurants, approximately 700 were management personnel at Company-owned restaurants, approximately 700 were corporate personnel and approximately 1,100 were QC Center and our print and promotions subsidiary personnel. Our team members are non-unionized, and most restaurant team members work part-time and are paid on an hourly basis.
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Our franchisees are independent business owners, so their employees are not our employees and therefore are not included in our employee count. We estimate the total number of persons in the Papa John’s system, including our team members, franchisees and the team members of franchisees, was approximately 115,000 as of December 25, 2022.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
At Papa Johns, we welcome a wide array of voices to our table. A diverse, inclusive environment is essential to attracting the talent that makes Papa Johns the world’s best pizza delivery company. As such, we welcome all entrepreneurial spirits, innovators and pizza lovers. We are building a culture that both reflects our corporate values of People First and Everyone Belongs and creates a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent. Across our restaurants, Quality Control Centers and corporate hubs, Papa Johns team members are valued for their contributions, treated equitably, encouraged to share their feedback and ideas, provided the tools needed to ensure their safety and total wellness and given ample opportunities to grow in their careers. After being recognized by Forbes in 2021 as one of America’s Best Employers for Diversity, Papa John’s joined Forbes’ annual list of the World’s Best employers in 2022. We were honored to rank #1 amongst all pizza companies and #2 in the entire restaurant category. Also, for the second year in a row, we received a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index.
Creating an inclusive and diverse culture that supports and values team members is important to attracting and retaining talented, dedicated employees. We’re implementing initiatives to diversify our workforce and leadership pipeline by attracting, recruiting, developing and supporting talent who represent our customers and communities, to embed policies and practices that ensure fairness, build trust and hold ourselves accountable, and to instill and reward behaviors across the organization that foster belonging and increase employee engagement. We have also initiated multiple corporate initiatives over the past several years, including required unconscious bias training for team members, annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training for all team members, the launch of The Papa John’s Foundation for Building Community, our Day of Service with Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and the creation of eight global inclusion resource groups with leaders engaging across the organization.
Talent Attraction, Retention and Development
Our ability to attract and retain hourly employees in our restaurants has become more challenging, especially as the job market has become more competitive. Our goal to help all Papa John's employees succeed begins with efforts to attract and recruit a wide range of people from different backgrounds, cultures, education experiences, religions and other indicators of diversity because we know a workforce that reflects the diversity of our customers and communities brings more innovative thinking and better ideas and solutions to our business. In 2022, we expanded our efforts to recruit diverse talent by implementing anti-bias training for our recruiters. To meet job candidates where they live, and gain a deeper understanding of their personal, educational and professional goals, we sponsor and attend job fairs, scholarship programs and university and professional organization events. Our recruiting strategy aims to diversify the candidate pool for all manager level and above positions. We offer our team members hiring and referral bonuses as well as expanded health, wellness and paid time off.
To help our team members succeed in their roles and to ensure consistent operational execution, we emphasize continuous training and development opportunities, including providing innovative tools and materials for the operational training and development of team members. Operations personnel complete our management training program and ongoing development programs, including multi-unit training, in which instruction is given on all aspects of our systems and operations. In addition, to further support our team members’ development, we established our Dough & Degrees program, which allows our team members to earn a college degree for free or at a reduced tuition in partnership with Purdue University Global and the University of Maryland Global Campus, among others. In 2022, we made enhancements to the program, including expanded educational offerings and less restrictive eligibility requirements. Employees working at least ten hours per week can now obtain their High School Diplomas, learn English as a second language, and earn associate’s, bachelor’s and/or master’s degrees. We also offer a tuition reimbursement program that provides another opportunity for our team members to advance their careers.
Compensation and Benefits
One of our core values is People First. As such, we are committed to providing competitive pay and benefits to attract and retain top talent, whether in our Domestic Company-owned stores, in our supply chain centers or in our corporate offices. We pay competitive wages to our front line team members in our Domestic Company-owned stores.
Papa John’s offers a comprehensive benefits package to eligible team members. We also make available to our team members several benefits designed to promote an inclusive workplace like paid parental leave, adoption support, and health
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plans that are available to dependents, spouses, and domestic partners. We offer eligible team members a 401(k) plan, with a competitive Company matching component to encourage retirement savings.
Beyond basic insurance programs, Papa John’s offers wellness services to help team members manage and optimize their health. These no-cost programs include smoking cessation, diabetes and hypertension management, weight management, and mental health support through Papa John’s employee assistance program for all part-time and full-time team members and their dependents. Papa John’s also makes available the “Papa Cares” program that provides corporate office team members an onsite health clinic that provides a wide range of primary care services for adults, adolescents and children.
Workplace Health and Safety
As part of the Company’s enterprise-wide safety management system, we invest in training, technology and people to protect both our customers and team members. All Papa John’s team members, from those at our corporate offices to those working in our warehouses and restaurants, receive annual safety training based on the requirements of their roles. Our QC Centers and restaurant operations undergo annual safety audits, as well as random safety checks by regional safety managers and field safety coordinators.
We have also taken steps to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our team members and our customers by implementing extra health and safety measures across our business, including No Contact Delivery and enhanced cleaning and sanitization measures.
Industry and Competition
The United States Quick Service Restaurant pizza (“QSR Pizza”) industry is mature and highly competitive with respect to price, service, location, food quality, customer loyalty programs and product innovation. The QSR Pizza category is largely fragmented, and competitors include a few large national chains and many smaller regional chains, as well as a large number of local independent pizza operators, any of which can utilize a growing number of food delivery services. Some of our competitors have been in existence for substantially longer periods than Papa John’s, have substantially greater resources than Papa John’s and can have higher levels of restaurant penetration and stronger, more developed brand awareness in markets where we compete. Competition from delivery aggregators and other food delivery concepts also continues to increase.
Internationally, the pizza delivery model is not as mature as the Domestic market and presents a growth opportunity for Papa John’s. We believe demand from international consumers will continue to increase as the demand for pizza delivery and carryout continues. We continue to execute on our growth strategy and expand throughout the world.
With respect to the sale of franchises, we compete with many franchisors of restaurants and other business concepts. There is also active competition for management personnel, drivers and hourly team members, and attractive commercial real estate sites suitable for Papa John’s restaurants.
Government Regulation
We, along with our franchisees, are subject to various federal, state, local and international laws affecting the operation of our respective businesses, including laws and regulations related to our marketing and advertising as well as the preparation and sale of food, food safety and menu labeling. Each Papa John’s restaurant is subject to licensing and regulation by a number of governmental authorities, which include zoning, health, safety, sanitation, building and fire agencies in the state or municipality in which the restaurant is located. Difficulties in obtaining, or the failure to obtain, required licenses or approvals could delay or prevent the opening of a new restaurant in a particular area. Our QC Centers are licensed and subject to regulation by state and local health and fire codes, and the operation of our trucks is subject to federal and state transportation regulations. We are also subject to federal and state environmental regulations. In addition, our Domestic operations are subject to various federal and state laws governing such matters as minimum wage requirements, benefits, taxation, working conditions, citizenship requirements, and overtime.
We are subject to Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) regulation and various state laws regulating the offer and sale of franchises. The laws of several states also regulate substantive aspects of the franchisor-franchisee relationship. The FTC requires us to furnish to prospective franchisees a franchise disclosure document containing prescribed information. State laws that regulate the franchisor-franchisee relationship presently exist in a significant number of states, and bills have been introduced in Congress from time to time that would provide for federal regulation of the U.S. franchisor-franchisee relationship in certain respects if such bills were enacted. State laws often limit, among other things, the duration and scope of non-competition provisions and the ability of a franchisor to terminate or refuse to renew a franchise. Some foreign
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countries also have disclosure requirements and other laws regulating franchising and the franchisor-franchisee relationship. National, state and local government regulations or initiatives, including health care legislation, “living wage,” or other current or proposed regulations, and increases in minimum wage rates affect Papa John’s as well as others within the restaurant industry. We are also subject to applicable laws in each non-US jurisdiction in which we operate.
Privacy and Data Protection
We are subject to privacy and data protection laws and regulations globally. The legal and regulatory landscape for privacy and data protection continues to evolve, and there has been an increase in attention given to privacy and data protection issues with the potential to impact our business. This includes recently enacted laws and regulations in the United States and in other countries which require notification to individuals and government authorities of breaches involving certain categories of personal information. Any changes in privacy and data protection laws or regulations could also adversely impact the way we use e-mail, text messages and other marketing techniques and could require changes in our marketing strategies. We have a privacy policy posted on our website at www.papajohns.com. The security of our financial data, customer information and other personal information is a priority for us.
Trademarks, Copyrights and Domain Names
We protect our intellectual property through a combination of patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets, foreign intellectual property laws, confidentiality agreements and other contractual provisions. We have also registered, and applied for the registration of, U.S. and international trademarks, service marks, domain names and copyrights. From time to time, we are made aware of the use by other persons in certain geographical areas of names and marks that are the same as or substantially similar to our marks. It is our policy to pursue registration of our marks whenever possible and to vigorously oppose any infringement of our marks.
We hold copyrights in authored works used in our business, including advertisements, packaging, training, website, and promotional materials. In addition, we have registered and maintain Internet domain names, including “papajohns.com,” and country code domains patterned as “papajohns.cc,” or a close variation thereof, with “.cc” representing a specific country code.
Environmental Matters
We are not aware of any federal, state, local or international environmental laws or regulations that we expect to materially affect our earnings or competitive position or result in material capital expenditures. However, we cannot predict the effect of possible future environment legislation or regulations on our operations. During 2022, we had no material environmental compliance-related capital expenditures, and no such material expenditures are anticipated in 2023.
Impact of COVID-19
Please refer to “Recent Business Matters” within “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for a discussion of recent business developments, including the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our business and results of operations and financial condition.
Additional Information
All of our periodic and current reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), are available, free of charge, through our website located at www.papajohns.com. These reports include our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and any amendments to those reports. These reports are available through our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file them with the SEC. We also make available free of charge on our website our Corporate Governance Guidelines, Board Committee Charters, and our Code of Ethics, which applies to Papa John’s directors, officers and employees. Printed copies of such documents are also available free of charge upon written request to Investor Relations, Papa John’s International, Inc., P.O. Box 99900, Louisville, KY 40269-0900. The SEC maintains an internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC, including us, at www.sec.gov. The references to these website addresses do not constitute incorporation by reference of the information contained on the websites, which should not be considered part of this document.
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Item 1A. Risk Factors
We are subject to risks that could have a negative effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. These risks could cause actual operating results to differ from those expressed in certain “forward-looking statements” contained in this Form 10-K as well as in other Company communications. You should carefully consider the following risk factors together with all other information included in this Form 10-K and our other publicly filed documents.
Industry and Macroeconomic Risks
Economic conditions in the U.S. and international markets could adversely affect our business and financial results.
Our financial condition and results of operations are impacted by global markets and economic conditions over which neither we nor our franchisees have control. An economic downturn or recession, including deterioration in the economic conditions in the U.S. or international markets where we compete, or a slowing or stalled recovery therefrom, may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations, including a reduction in the demand for our products, longer payment cycles, slower adoption of new technologies and increased price competition. Poor economic conditions have in the past adversely affected and may in the future affect the ability of our franchisees to pay royalties or amounts owed and could also disrupt our business and adversely affect our results. Higher inflation, and a related increase in costs, including rising interest rates, as well currency restrictions and changes in foreign exchange rates, have impacted our franchisees and their ability to pay royalties, open new restaurants or operate existing restaurants profitably. As we navigate this environment, we may need to offer support for certain franchisees in the form of royalty relief, loans or other support, close unprofitable restaurants or markets, and/or consider other alternatives such as acquiring or purchasing franchise restaurants, QC Centers or operations to operate them until they can be refranchised. In addition, adverse macroeconomic conditions and other business-related changes in circumstances outside of our control may impact our ability to achieve our net unit development targets.
Our business, financial condition and results of operations have been and could continue to be adversely affected by deteriorating economic and business conditions in the United Kingdom. There are more than 500 franchised Papa John’s restaurants located in the United Kingdom, and we also operate an International QC Center in the United Kingdom. During 2022, our business in the United Kingdom was subject to adverse macroeconomic conditions, including high inflation, rising interest rates, an energy crisis, slowing economic growth, volatile exchange rates, and an increased VAT tax rate, which resulted in negative comparable sales and a challenging operating environment for our franchisees. These challenges also impacted the financial condition of our UK franchisees. We expect some of these conditions to continue in 2023. As we navigate this challenging economic environment, we are investing in capabilities to improve our operations and are working to re-position the franchise base to further strengthen our business in the United Kingdom. If our efforts to re-position the franchise base are unsuccessful, we might need to find new operators for certain unprofitable restaurants and/or close them, which could adversely impact the Company’s financial condition and results of operation in the region. In addition, the Company is providing financial support to certain franchisees in the United Kingdom, including in the form of marketing support and loans. This franchisee support may not be sufficient to keep restaurants in the United Kingdom from closing, particularly if current economic conditions worsen. The Company is unable to predict the duration or the extent of the macroeconomic deterioration in the United Kingdom or the extent to which franchised restaurants will be impacted.
We are also subject to ongoing risks and uncertainties associated with the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (referred to as “Brexit”), including implications for the free flow of labor and goods in the United Kingdom and the European Union and other financial, legal, tax and trade implications.
Our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected by disruptions in the global economy caused by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine or other potential conflicts.
The global economy has been negatively impacted by the military conflict in Ukraine. Furthermore, governments in the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union have each imposed export controls on certain products and financial and economic sanctions on certain industry sectors and parties in Russia. The Company has no company-owned restaurants in Russia or Ukraine and has suspended corporate support for its master franchisee in Russia, which operates and supplies all 188 franchised Papa John’s restaurants there. The Company is unable to predict how long the current environment will last or if it will resume corporate support to impacted franchised restaurants.
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In addition, our international business is subject to the risks of other geopolitical tensions and conflicts, including, for example, the ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine described above, and changes in China-Taiwan and United States-China relations. We have franchised restaurants located in China and South Korea. Although we do not do business in North Korea, any future increase in tensions between South Korea and North Korea, such as an outbreak or escalation of military hostilities, or between Taiwan and China could materially adversely affect our operations in Asia or the global economy, which in turn would adversely impact our business.
Our International operations are subject to increased risks and other factors that may make it more difficult to achieve or maintain profitability or meet planned growth rates.
Our International operations could be negatively impacted by volatility and instability in international economic, political, security, or health conditions in the countries in which the Company or our franchisees operate, especially in emerging markets. In addition, there are risks associated with differing business and social cultures and consumer preferences. We may face limited availability for restaurant locations, higher location costs and difficulties in franchisee selection and financing. We may be subject to difficulties in sourcing and importing high-quality ingredients (and ensuring food safety) in a cost-effective manner, hiring and retaining qualified team members, marketing effectively and adequately investing in information technology, especially in emerging markets.
Our International operations are also subject to additional risk factors, including import and export controls, compliance with anti-corruption and other foreign laws, difficulties enforcing intellectual property and contract rights in foreign jurisdictions, the imposition of increased or new tariffs or trade barriers and potential government seizures or nationalization. We intend to continue to expand internationally, which would make the risks related to our International operations more significant over time.
Our International restaurants’ results, which are completely franchised, depend heavily on the operating capabilities and financial strength of our franchisees. Any changes in the ability of our franchisees to run their restaurants profitably in accordance with our operating standards, or to effectively sub-franchise restaurants, could result in brand damage, a higher number of restaurant closures and a reduction in the number of new restaurant openings (which could cause us to miss our net unit development targets). For example, we currently have a large international franchisee restructuring its financing in Chile.
Sales made by our franchisees in international markets and certain loans we provide to such franchisees are denominated in their local currencies, and fluctuations in the U.S. dollar occur relative to the local currencies. Accordingly, changes in currency exchange rates will cause our revenues, investment income and operating results to fluctuate. We have not historically hedged our exposure to foreign currency fluctuations. Our International revenues and earnings may be adversely impacted as the U.S. dollar rises against foreign currencies because the local currency will translate into fewer U.S. dollars. Additionally, the value of certain assets or loans denominated in local currencies may deteriorate. Other items denominated in U.S. dollars, including product imports or loans, may also become more expensive, putting pressure on franchisees’ cash flows. Our International franchisees may also be impacted by currency restrictions imposed by governmental authorities, which could impact their ability to pay royalties in compliance with their franchise agreement. We have experienced situations with franchisees being subject to currency restrictions and unable pay royalties in U.S. dollars.
We are subject to risks related to epidemic and pandemic outbreaks, including COVID-19, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are subject to risks related to the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has had, and is continuing to have, adverse impacts on economic and market conditions and our business. COVID-19 has created significant volatility, uncertainty and economic disruption in the regions in which we operate. We expect that certain parts of our operations will continue to be impacted by the continuing effects of COVID-19, including resurgences and variants of the virus. Our China market experienced COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions in multiple cities that severely impacted customer mobility. It remains difficult to predict the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the broader economy and how consumer behavior may change, and whether such change is temporary or permanent.
The potential adverse effects of COVID-19 or from other potential epidemics or outbreaks could also include, but may not be limited to, our ability to meet consumer demand through the continued availability of our workforce and our franchisees’ workforce; other changes in labor markets affecting us, our franchisees and suppliers; supply chain disruptions and increases in operating costs; adverse impacts from new laws and regulations affecting our business; increased cyber risks and reliance on technology infrastructure to support our business and operations, including through remote-work protocols; fluctuations in foreign currency markets; credit risks of our customers and counterparties; and impairment of
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long-lived assets, the carrying value of goodwill or other indefinite-lived intangible assets. However, given the evolving health, economic, social, and governmental environments, the specific impact that COVID-19 could have on these risks remains uncertain. To the extent that COVID-19 continues to adversely affect the U.S. and global economy, our business, financial conditions or results of operations, it may also heighten other risks described in this section.
Our profitability may suffer as a result of intense competition in our industry.
The QSR Pizza industry in the United States is mature and highly competitive. Competition is based on price, service, location, food quality, convenience, brand recognition and loyalty, product innovation, effectiveness of marketing and promotional activity, use of technology, and the ability to identify and satisfy consumer preferences. We may need to reduce the prices for some of our products to respond to competitive and customer pressures, which may adversely affect our profitability. When commodity and other costs increase, we may be limited in our ability to increase prices. With the significant level of competition and the pace of innovation, we may be required to increase investment spending in several areas, particularly marketing and technology, which can decrease profitability.
In addition to competition with our larger competitors, we face competition from local quick service pizza delivery restaurants and new competitors such as fast casual pizza concepts. We also face competitive pressures from an array of food delivery concepts and aggregators delivering for quick service or dine in restaurants, using new delivery technologies or delivering for competitors who previously did not have delivery capabilities, some of which may have more effective marketing or delivery service capabilities. The emergence or growth of new competitors, in the pizza category or in the food service industry generally, may make it difficult for us to maintain or increase our market share and could negatively impact our sales and our system-wide restaurant operations. We also face increasing competition from other home delivery services and grocery stores that offer an increasing variety of prepped or prepared meals in response to consumer demand. In addition, if our competitors respond more effectively to changes in consumer preferences or increase their market share, it could have a negative effect on our business. As a result, our sales can be directly and negatively impacted by actions of our competitors, the emergence or growth of new competitors, consumer sentiment or other factors outside our control.
One of our competitive strengths is our “BETTER INGREDIENTS. BETTER PIZZA.®” brand promise. This means we may use ingredients that cost more than the ingredients some of our competitors may use. Because of our investment in higher-quality ingredients, we could have lower profit margins than some of our competitors if we are not able to establish a quality differentiator that resonates with consumers. Our sales may be particularly impacted as competitors increasingly emphasize lower-cost menu options.
Changes in consumer preferences or discretionary consumer spending could adversely impact our results.
Changes in consumer preferences and trends could negatively affect us (for example, changes in consumer perceptions of certain ingredients that could cause consumers to avoid pizza or some of its ingredients in favor of foods that are or are perceived as healthier, lower-calorie, or lower in carbohydrates or otherwise based on their ingredients or nutritional content). Preferences for a dining experience such as fast casual pizza concepts could also adversely affect our restaurant business and reduce the effectiveness of our marketing and technology initiatives. Also, our success depends to a significant extent on numerous factors affecting consumer confidence and discretionary consumer income and spending, such as general economic conditions, customer sentiment and employment levels. Any factors that could cause consumers to spend less on food or shift to lower-priced products could reduce sales or inhibit our ability to maintain or increase pricing, which could adversely affect our operating results.
Food safety and quality concerns may negatively impact our business and profitability.
Incidents or reports of food- or water-borne illness or other food safety issues, investigations or other actions by food safety regulators, food contamination or tampering, employee hygiene and cleanliness failures, improper franchisee or employee conduct, or presence of communicable disease at our restaurants (both Company-owned and franchised), QC Centers, or suppliers could lead to product liability or other claims. If we were to experience any such incidents or reports, our brand and reputation could be negatively impacted. This could result in a significant decrease in customer traffic and could negatively impact our revenues and profits. Similar incidents or reports occurring at quick service restaurants unrelated to us could likewise create negative publicity, which could negatively impact consumer behavior towards us.
We rely on our Domestic and International suppliers, as do our franchisees, to provide quality ingredients and to comply with applicable laws and industry standards. A failure of one of our Domestic or International suppliers to meet our quality standards, or meet Domestic or International food industry standards, could result in a disruption in our supply chain and negatively impact our brand and our results.
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Failure to preserve the value and relevance of our brand could have a negative impact on our financial results.
Our results depend upon our ability to differentiate our brand and our reputation for quality. Damage to our brand or reputation could negatively impact our business and financial results. Our brand has been highly rated in past U.S. surveys, and we strive to build the value of our brand as we develop international markets.
Consumer perceptions of our brand are affected by a variety of factors, such as the nutritional content and preparation of our food, the quality of the ingredients we use, our marketing and advertising, our corporate culture, our policies and systems related to diversity, equity and inclusion, our business practices, our engagement in local communities and the manner in which we source the commodities we use.
Consumer acceptance of our offerings is subject to change for a variety of reasons, and some changes can occur rapidly. Consumer perceptions may also be affected by third parties, including current or former spokespersons, employees and executives, presenting or promoting adverse commentary or portrayals of our industry, our brand, our suppliers or our franchisees, or otherwise making statements, disclosing information or taking actions that could damage our reputation. If we are unsuccessful in managing incidents that erode consumer trust or confidence, particularly if such incidents receive considerable publicity or result in litigation, our brand value and financial results could be negatively impacted.
Our inability or failure to recognize, respond to and effectively manage the accelerated impact of social media, influencers, and/or shareholder activism could adversely impact our business.
In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the use of social media platforms, including blogs, chat platforms, social media websites, and other forms of internet-based communications that allow individuals access to a broad audience of consumers and other persons. The popularity of social media and other consumer-oriented technologies has increased the speed and accessibility of information dissemination, and could hamper our ability to promptly correct misrepresentations or otherwise respond effectively to negative publicity, whether or not accurate. The dissemination of proprietary Company or negative information, whether or not accurate, by customers, employees, social media influencers, and others via social media could harm our business, brand, reputation, marketing partners, financial condition, and results of operations, regardless of the information’s accuracy.
In addition, we frequently use social media to communicate with consumers and the public in general. Failure to use social media effectively could lead to a decline in brand value and revenue. Other risks associated with the use of social media include improper disclosure of proprietary information, negative comments about our brand, exposure of personally identifiable information, fraud, hoaxes or malicious dissemination of false information.
We are also subject to the risk of negative publicity associated with various shareholder proposals, campaigns, and activism, including publicity related to the environment, animal welfare, diversity, responsible sourcing, and other Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) topics. Despite our best efforts relating to ESG policies, initiatives and reporting, media reports and social media campaigns can create a negative opinion or perception of the company’s efforts. Such media reports and negative publicity could impact customer or investor perception of our Company or industry and can have a material adverse effect on our financial results.
In addition, we could be criticized for the scope or nature of our ESG initiatives or goals, or for any revisions to these goals. If our ESG-related data, processes and reporting are incomplete or inaccurate, or if we fail to achieve progress with respect to our goals within the scope of ESG on a timely basis, or at all, our reputation, business, financial performance and growth could be adversely affected.
Our franchise business model presents a number of risks.
Our success increasingly relies on the financial success and cooperation of our franchisees, yet we have limited influence over their operations. Our franchisees manage their businesses independently, and therefore are responsible for the day-to-day operation of their restaurants and compliance with applicable laws. The revenues we realize from franchised restaurants are largely dependent on the ability of our franchisees to maintain or grow their sales. If our franchisees do not maintain or grow sales, our revenues and margins could be negatively affected. Also, if sales trends worsen for franchisees, especially in emerging markets and/or high-cost markets, their financial results may deteriorate, which in the past has resulted in, and could in the future result in, among other things, required financial support from us, higher numbers of restaurant closures (which could cause us to miss our net unit development targets), reduced numbers of restaurant openings, franchisee bankruptcies or restructuring activities, delayed or reduced payments to us, or increased franchisee assistance, which reduces our revenues.
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Our success also increasingly depends on the willingness and ability of our franchisees to remain aligned with us on operating, promotional and marketing plans. Franchisees’ ability to continue to grow is also dependent in large part on the availability of franchisee funding at reasonable interest rates and may be negatively impacted by the financial markets in general or by the creditworthiness of our franchisees. Our operating performance could also be negatively affected if our franchisees experience food safety, compliance, or other operational problems or project an image inconsistent with our brand and values, particularly if our contractual and other rights and remedies are limited, costly to exercise or subjected to litigation. If franchisees do not successfully operate restaurants in a manner consistent with our required standards or applicable laws, the brand’s image and reputation could be harmed, which in turn could hurt our business and operating results.
We may be adversely impacted by increases in the cost of food ingredients and other costs.
We are exposed to fluctuations in prices of commodities. An increase in the cost or sustained high levels of the cost of cheese or other commodities could adversely affect the profitability of our system-wide restaurant operations, particularly if we are unable to increase the selling price of our products to offset increased costs. We have recently experienced significant inflation in commodities prices, including food ingredients, which has significantly increased our operating expenses. Cheese, representing our largest food cost, and other commodities can be subject to significant cost fluctuations due to weather, availability, global demand and other factors that are beyond our control. Additionally, increases in labor, mileage, insurance, fuel, and other costs could adversely affect the profitability of our restaurant and QC Center businesses. Many of the factors affecting costs in our system-wide restaurant operations are beyond our control, and we may not be able to adequately mitigate these costs or pass along these costs to our customers or franchisees, given the significant competitive pricing pressures we face.
Changes in privacy or data protection laws could adversely affect our ability to market our products effectively.
We rely on a variety of direct marketing techniques, including email, text messages, social media and postal mailings. Any future restrictions in federal, state or foreign laws regarding marketing and solicitation or Domestic or International data protection laws that govern these activities could adversely affect the continuing effectiveness of email, text messages, social media and postal mailing techniques and could force changes in our marketing strategies. If this occurs, we may need to develop alternative marketing strategies, which may not be as effective and could impact the amount and timing of our revenues.
Higher labor costs, increased competition for qualified team members and ensuring adequate staffing in our restaurants and QC Centers increase the cost of doing business. Additionally, changes in employment and labor laws, including health care legislation and minimum wage increases, could increase costs for our system-wide operations.
Our success depends in part on our and our franchisees’ ability to recruit, motivate, train and retain a qualified workforce to work in our restaurants in an intensely competitive environment. We and our franchisees have experienced, and could continue to experience, a shortage of labor for restaurant positions due to job market trends and conditions, which could decrease the pool of available qualified talent for key functions. Our ability to attract and retain hourly employees in our restaurants has been impacted by these trends and conditions, and we expect staffing and labor challenges to continue into 2023. Increased costs associated with recruiting, motivating and retaining qualified employees to work in Company-owned and franchised restaurants have had, and may in the future have, a negative impact on our Company-owned restaurant margins and the margins of franchised restaurants. Competition for qualified drivers for both our restaurants and supply-chain function also continues to increase as more companies compete for drivers or enter the delivery space, including third party aggregators. Additionally, economic actions, such as boycotts, protests, work stoppages or campaigns by labor organizations, could adversely affect us (including our ability to recruit and retain talent) or our franchisees and suppliers. Social media may be used to foster negative perceptions of employment with our Company in particular or in our industry generally, and to promote strikes or boycotts.
We are also subject to federal, state and foreign laws governing such matters as minimum wage requirements, overtime compensation, benefits, working conditions, citizenship requirements and discrimination and family and medical leave and employee related litigation. Labor costs and labor-related benefits are primary components in the cost of operation of our restaurants and QC Centers. Labor shortages, increased employee turnover and health care mandates could increase our system-wide labor costs.
A significant number of hourly personnel are paid at rates at or above the federal and state minimum wage requirements. Accordingly, the enactment of additional state or local minimum wage increases above federal wage rates or regulations related to exempt employees has increased and could continue to increase labor costs for our Domestic system-wide
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operations. A significant increase in the federal minimum wage requirement could adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations.
Additionally, while we do not currently have a unionized workforce, certain employees of other companies in our industry have recently become unionized. If a significant portion of our corporate or franchisee’s workforce were to become unionized, labor costs could increase and our business could be negatively affected by union requirements that increase costs, disrupt business, reduce flexibility and affect the employer-employee relationship. Further, corporate or franchisees’ response to any union organizing efforts could negatively impact how our brand is perceived.
We rely on information technology to operate our businesses and maintain our competitiveness, and any failure to invest in or adapt to technological developments or industry trends could harm our business.
We rely heavily on information systems, including digital ordering solutions, through which a majority of our Domestic sales originate. We also rely heavily on point-of-sale processing in our Company-owned and franchised restaurants for data collection and payment systems for the collection of cash, credit and debit card transactions, and other processes and procedures. Our ability to efficiently and effectively manage our business depends on the reliability and capacity of these technology systems. In addition, we anticipate that consumers will continue to have more options to place orders digitally, both domestically and internationally. We plan to continue to invest in enhancing and improving the functionality and features of our information technology systems. However, we cannot ensure that our initiatives will be beneficial to the extent, or within the timeframes, expected or that the estimated improvements will be realized as anticipated or at all. Our failure to adequately invest in new technology and adapt to technological developments and industry trends, particularly our digital ordering capabilities, could result in a loss of customers and related market share. Notwithstanding adequate investment in new technology, our marketing and technology initiatives may not be successful in improving our comparable sales results. Additionally, we are in an environment where the technology life cycle is short and consumer technology demands are high, which requires continued reinvestment in technology that will increase the cost of doing business and will increase the risk that our technology may not be customer-centric or could become obsolete, inefficient or otherwise incompatible with other systems.
We rely on our International franchisees to maintain their own point-of-sale and online ordering systems, which are often purchased from third-party vendors, potentially exposing International franchisees to more operational risk, including cyber and data privacy risks and governmental regulation compliance risks.
Company Risks
Our reorganization activities may increase our expenses, may not be successful, and may adversely impact employee hiring and retention.
We opened an office in Atlanta, Georgia in October 2021 and in February 2023, we announced a plan to sell our office building and campus in Louisville and move the office to a new location in Louisville. These plans could also impact the existing location of our QC Center in Louisville. As a result, we have incurred and will incur certain non-recurring corporate reorganization costs, and these expenses have impacted and could adversely impact our results of operations during the relevant period, reduce our cash position and/or result in an impairment risk related to these assets. Additionally, our ability to achieve the anticipated benefits of our corporate reorganization are subject to assumptions and uncertainties. If we do not realize the anticipated benefits from these measures, or if we incur costs greater than anticipated, our financial condition and operating results may be adversely affected.
In addition, turnover in our Atlanta, Louisville and Milton Keynes, UK, corporate office support teams could distract our employees, decrease employee morale, harm our reputation, and negatively impact the overall performance of our corporate support teams. As a result of these or other similar risks, our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.
We may not be able to effectively market our products or maintain key marketing partnerships.
The success of our business depends on the effectiveness of our marketing and promotional plans. We may not be able to effectively execute our national or local marketing plans, particularly if we experienced lower sales that would result in reduced levels of marketing funds. In addition, our financial results may be harmed if our marketing, advertising, and promotional programs are less effective than those of our competitors, who may have greater resources which enable them to invest more than us in advertising. We may be required to expend additional funds to effectively improve consumer sentiment and sales, and we may also be required to engage in additional activities to retain customers or attract new
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customers to the brand. Such marketing expenses and promotional activities, which could include discounting our products, could adversely impact our results.
Spokespersons or marketing partners who endorse our products could take actions that harm their reputations, which could also cause harm to our brand. From time to time, in response to changes in the business environment and the audience share of marketing channels, we expect to reallocate marketing resources across social media and other channels. That reallocation may not be effective or as successful as the marketing and advertising allocations of our competitors, which could negatively impact the amount and timing of our revenues.
We may not be able to execute our strategy or achieve our planned growth targets, which could negatively impact our business and our financial results.
Our growth strategy depends on our and our franchisees’ ability to open new restaurants and to operate them on a profitable basis. We expect substantially all of our International unit growth and much of our Domestic unit growth to be franchised units. Accordingly, our profitability increasingly depends upon royalty revenues from franchisees. If our franchisees are not able to operate their businesses successfully under our franchised business model, our results could suffer. Additionally, we may fail to attract new qualified franchisees or existing franchisees may close underperforming locations. Planned growth targets and the ability to operate new and existing restaurants profitably are affected by economic, regulatory and competitive conditions and consumer buying habits. A decrease in sales, or increased commodity or operating costs, including, but not limited to, employee compensation and benefits or insurance costs, could slow the rate of new store openings or increase the number of store closings. Our business is susceptible to adverse changes in local, national and global economic conditions, which could make it difficult for us to meet our growth targets. Additionally, we or our franchisees may face challenges securing financing, finding suitable store locations at acceptable terms or securing required Domestic or foreign government permits and approvals. Declines in comparable sales, net store openings and related operating profits can impact our stock price. If we do not continue to grow future sales and operating results and meet our related growth targets or external expectations for net restaurant openings or our other strategic objectives in the future, our stock price could decline.
Our franchisees remain dependent on the availability of financing to remodel or renovate existing locations, upgrade systems and enhance technology, or construct and open new restaurants. From time to time, the Company may provide financing to certain franchisees and prospective franchisees in order to mitigate store closings, allow new units to open, or complete required upgrades. If we are unable or unwilling to provide such financing, which is a function of, among other things, prevailing interest rates and a franchisee’s creditworthiness, the number of new restaurant openings may be slower or the rate of closures may be higher than expected and our results of operations may be adversely impacted. To the extent we provide financing to franchisees, our results could be negatively impacted by negative performance of these franchisee loans.
Our dependence on a sole supplier or a limited number of suppliers for some ingredients and other supplies could result in disruptions to our business.
Domestic restaurants purchase substantially all food and related products from our QC Centers. We are dependent on Leprino Foods Dairy Products Company (“Leprino”) as our sole supplier for mozzarella cheese, one of our key ingredients. Leprino, one of the major pizza category suppliers of cheese in the United States, currently supplies all of our mozzarella cheese domestically and substantially all of our mozzarella cheese internationally. We also depend on a sole source for our supply of certain desserts and garlic sauce, which constitute less than 10% of our Domestic Company-owned restaurant sales. While we have no other sole sources of supply for key ingredients or menu items, we do source other key ingredients from a limited number of suppliers. While we strive to engage in a competitive bidding process for our ingredients, because certain of these ingredients, including meat products, may only be available from a limited number of vendors, we may not always be able to do so effectively. We may be subject to interruptions in supply or shortages of these items due to factors beyond our control or issues with our suppliers from time to time. Alternative sources of mozzarella cheese, desserts, other key ingredients or menu items may not be available on a timely basis or may not be available on terms as favorable to us as under our current arrangements.
Increase in ingredient and other operating costs, including those caused by weather, climate change, COVID-19 and food safety, could adversely affect our results of operations.
Our Company-owned and franchised restaurants could also be harmed by supply chain interruptions including those caused by factors beyond our control or the control of our suppliers. However, prolonged disruption in the supply of products from or to our QC Centers due to weather, climate change, natural disasters, COVID-19, crop disease, food safety incidents, regulatory compliance, labor dispute or interruption of service by carriers could increase costs, limit the availability of
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ingredients critical to our restaurant operations and have a significant impact on results. Increasing weather volatility or other long-term changes in global weather patterns, including related to global climate change, could have a significant impact on the price or availability of some of our ingredients, energy and other materials throughout our supply chain. In particular, adverse weather or crop disease affecting the California tomato crop could disrupt the supply of pizza sauce to our and our franchisees’ restaurants. Insolvency of key suppliers could also cause similar business interruptions and negatively impact our business.
We rely on third parties for certain business processes and services, and failure or inability of such third-party vendors to perform subjects us to risks, including business disruption and increased costs.
We depend on the performance of suppliers, aggregators and other third parties in our business operations. Third-party business processes we utilize include information technology, gift card authorization and processing, other payment processing, benefits, and other accounting and business services. We conduct third-party due diligence and seek to obtain contractual assurance that our vendors will maintain adequate controls, such as adequate security against data breaches. However, the failure of our suppliers to maintain adequate controls or comply with our expectations and standards could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and operating results.
Changes in purchasing practices by our Domestic franchisees, or prolonged disruptions in our QC Center operations, could harm our commissary business.
Although our Domestic franchisees currently purchase substantially all food products from our QC Centers, the only required QC Center purchases by franchisees are pizza sauce, dough and other items we may designate as proprietary or integral to our system. Any changes in purchasing practices by Domestic franchisees, such as seeking alternative approved suppliers of ingredients or other food products, could adversely affect the financial results of our QC Centers and the Company. In addition, any prolonged disruption in the operations of any of our QC facilities, whether due to technical, systems, operational or labor difficulties, destruction or damage to the facility, real estate issues, limited capacity or other reasons, could adversely affect our business and operating results.
Our current insurance may not be adequate and we may experience claims in excess of our reserves.
Our insurance programs for workers’ compensation, owned and non-owned automobiles, general liability, property, and health insurance coverage provided to our employees are funded by the Company up to certain retention levels under our retention programs. Retention limits generally range up to $0.5 million. These insurance programs may not be adequate to protect us, and it may be difficult or impossible to obtain additional coverage or maintain current coverage at a reasonable cost. We also have experienced claims volatility and high costs for our insurance programs. We estimate loss reserves based on historical trends, actuarial assumptions and other data available to us, but we may not be able to accurately estimate reserves. If we experience claims in excess of our projections, our business could be negatively impacted. Our franchisees could be similarly impacted by higher claims experience, hurting both their operating results and/or limiting their ability to maintain adequate insurance coverage at a reasonable cost.
Risks Related to our Indebtedness
We have incurred substantial debt obligations, which could adversely affect our financial condition, and we may be able to incur substantially more indebtedness, including secured debt, and take other actions that could further exacerbate the risks associated with our substantial indebtedness or affect our ability to satisfy our obligations under our indebtedness.
Our outstanding debt as of December 25, 2022 was $605.0 million, which was comprised of $400.0 million outstanding under our 3.875% senior notes due 2029 (the “Notes”) and $205.0 million under our revolving credit facility (the “PJI Revolving Facility”) that forms part of our amended and restated credit agreement (the “Amended Credit Agreement”). We had approximately $395.0 million of remaining availability under the PJI Revolving Facility as of December 25, 2022.
Our substantial level of indebtedness could have important consequences, including the following:
require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to payments on our indebtedness, thereby reducing the availability of our cash flow to fund working capital, capital expenditures, growth opportunities, acquisitions and other general corporate purposes;
increase our vulnerability to and limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business, the industry in which we operate, regulatory and economic conditions;
expose us to the risk of increased interest rates as borrowings under our Amended Credit Agreement will be subject to variable rates of interest;
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increase our vulnerability to a downgrade of our credit rating, which could adversely affect our cost of funds, liquidity and access to capital markets;
place us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors that have less debt; and
limit our ability to borrow additional funds.
We expect to fund our expenses and to pay the principal of and interest on our indebtedness from cash flow from operations. Our ability to meet our expenses and to pay principal of and interest on our indebtedness when due thus depends on our future performance, which will be affected by financial, business, economic and other factors. We will not be able to control many of these factors, such as economic conditions in the markets where we operate and pressure from competitors.
In addition, subject to restrictions in the agreements governing our existing and future indebtedness, we may be able to incur substantially more indebtedness in the future, resulting in higher leverage. The Indenture and the Amended Credit Agreement allow us to incur additional indebtedness, including secured debt. Such additional indebtedness may be substantial. Our ability to recapitalize, incur additional debt and take a number of other actions that are not prohibited by the Indenture or the Amended Credit Agreement could have the effect of exacerbating the risks associated with our substantial indebtedness or diminishing our ability to make payments on our indebtedness when due, which would reduce the availability of cash flow to fund acquisitions, working capital, capital expenditures, other growth opportunities and other general corporate purposes.
The agreements governing our debt, including the Indenture governing our Notes and the Amended Credit Agreement, contain various covenants that impose restrictions on us.
The Indenture and the Amended Credit Agreement impose operating and financial restrictions on our activities. In particular, such agreements limit or prohibit our ability to, among other things:
incur additional indebtedness;
make certain investments;
sell assets, including capital stock of certain subsidiaries;
declare or pay dividends, repurchase or redeem stock or make other distributions to stockholders;
consolidate, merge, liquidate or dissolve;
enter into transactions with our affiliates; and
incur liens.
In addition, our Amended Credit Agreement requires us to maintain compliance with specified leverage ratios under certain circumstances. Our ability to comply with these provisions may be affected by our business performance or events beyond our control, and these provisions could limit our ability to plan for or react to market conditions, meet capital needs or otherwise conduct our business activities and plans.
These restrictions on our ability to operate our business could seriously harm our business by, among other things, limiting our ability to take advantage of financing, merger and acquisition and other corporate opportunities.
Furthermore, various risks, uncertainties and events beyond our control could affect our ability to comply with these covenants. Failure to comply with any of the covenants in our existing or future financing agreements could result in a default under those agreements and under other agreements containing cross-default or cross-acceleration provisions, and could increase the costs of availability of credit for us. Such a default would permit lenders to accelerate the maturity of the debt under these agreements and to foreclose upon any collateral securing the debt. Under these circumstances, we might not have sufficient funds or other resources to satisfy all of our obligations. In addition, the limitations imposed by financing agreements on our ability to incur additional debt and to take other actions might significantly impair our ability to obtain other financing. We cannot assure you that we will be granted waivers or amendments to these agreements if for any reason we are unable to comply with these agreements or that we will be able to refinance our debt on terms acceptable to us, or at all.
We are exposed to variable interest rates under our Amended Credit Agreement, and increases in interest rates would also increase our debt service costs and could materially impact our profitability.
We are exposed to variable interest rates under the Amended Credit Agreement. We have entered into interest rate swaps that fix a portion of our variable interest rate risk. However, by using a derivative instrument to hedge exposures to changes in interest rates, we also expose ourselves to credit risk. Credit risk is due to the possible failure of the counterparty to perform under the terms of the derivative contract.
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General Risks
Natural disasters, hostilities, social unrest, severe weather and other catastrophic events may disrupt our operations or supply chain.
The occurrence of a natural disaster, hostilities, cyber-attack, social unrest, terrorist activity, outbreak of epidemic, pandemic or other contagious disease, power outages, severe weather (such as tornados, hurricanes, blizzards, ice storms, floods, heat waves, etc.) or other catastrophic events may disrupt our operations or supply chain and result in the closure of our restaurants (Company-owned or franchised), our corporate offices, any of our QC Centers or the facilities of our suppliers, and can adversely affect consumer spending, consumer confidence levels and supply availability and costs, any of which could materially adversely affect our results of operations.
Climate change may have an adverse impact on our business.
We operate in 48 countries globally and recognize that there are inherent climate-related risks wherever business is conducted. For example, as we noted above, the supply and price of our food ingredients can be affected by multiple factors, such as weather and water supply quality and availability, which factors may be caused by or exacerbated by climate change. While we believe this geographic diversity is likely to lessen the impact of individual climate change related events on our financial results, our restaurants and operations may nonetheless be vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, which are predicted to increase the frequency and severity of weather events and other natural cycles such as wildfires and droughts. Such events have the potential to disrupt our and our franchisees’ operations, cause store closures, disrupt the business of our third-party suppliers and impact our customers, all of which may cause us to suffer losses and additional costs to maintain or resume operations.
Increasingly complex laws and regulations could adversely affect our business.
We operate in an increasingly complex regulatory environment, and the cost of regulatory compliance is increasing. Our failure, or the failure of any of our franchisees, to comply with applicable U.S. and international labor, health care, food, health and safety, consumer protection, franchise, anti-bribery and corruption, competition, environmental, and other laws may result in civil and criminal liability, damages, fines and penalties. Enforcement of existing laws and regulations, changes in legal requirements, and/or evolving interpretations of existing regulatory requirements may result in increased compliance costs and create other obligations, financial or otherwise, that could adversely affect our business, financial condition or operating results. Increased regulatory scrutiny of food matters, online advertising, product marketing claims, and increased litigation and enforcement actions may increase compliance and legal costs and create other obligations that could adversely affect our business, financial condition or operating results. Governments may also impose requirements and restrictions that impact our business. For example, some local government agencies have implemented ordinances that restrict the sale of certain food and drink products, or the type of packaging and utensils that may be used.
Compliance with new or additional Domestic and International government laws or regulations, including the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”), and several other data privacy and biometric laws adopted by U.S. states, which could increase costs for compliance. These laws and regulations are increasing in complexity and number, change frequently and increasingly conflict among the various states and countries in which we operate, which has resulted in greater compliance risk and costs. If we fail to comply with these laws or regulations, it could damage our brand and subject the Company to reputational damage, significant litigation, monetary damages, regulatory enforcement actions or fines in various jurisdictions. For example, a failure to comply with the GDPR could result in fines up to the greater of €20 million or 4% of annual global revenues.
There also has been increased stakeholder focus, including by US and foreign governmental authorities, investors, media and nongovernmental organizations, on environmental sustainability matters, such as climate change, the reduction of greenhouse gases and water consumption. Legislative, regulatory or other efforts to combat climate change or other environmental concerns could result in future increases in taxes, restrictions on or increases in the costs of supplies, transportation and utilities, any of which could increase our operating costs and those of our franchisees, and necessitate future investments in facilities and equipment. These risks also include the increased pressure to make commitments, set targets, or establish additional goals to take actions to meet them, which could expose us and our franchisees to market, operational, execution and reputational costs or risks. These initiatives or goals could be difficult and expensive to implement, the technologies needed to implement them may not be cost effective and may not advance at a sufficient pace, and we could be criticized for the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of any disclosure.
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In addition to the changing rules and regulations related to environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) matters imposed by governmental and self-regulatory organizations such as the SEC and the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, a variety of third-party organizations and institutional investors evaluate the performance of companies on ESG topics, and the results of these assessments are widely publicized. These changing rules, regulations and stakeholder expectations have resulted in, and are likely to continue to result in, increased general and administrative expenses and increased management time and attention spent complying with or meeting such regulations and expectations. Further, statements about our ESG-related initiatives and goals, and progress against those goals, may be based on standards for measuring progress that are still developing, internal controls and processes that continue to evolve, and assumptions that are subject to change in the future.
Disruptions of our critical business or information technology systems could harm our ability to compete and conduct our business.
Our critical business and information technology systems have in the past and could in the future be damaged or interrupted by power loss, various technological failures, user errors, cyber-attacks, ransomware sabotage or acts of God. In particular, the Company and our franchisees have experienced occasional interruptions of our digital ordering solutions, which make online ordering unavailable or slow to respond, negatively impacting sales and the experience of our customers. If our digital ordering solutions do not perform with adequate speed and security, our customers may be less inclined to return to our digital ordering solutions.
Part of our technology infrastructure, such as our Domestic point-of-sale system, is specifically designed for us and our operational systems, which could cause unexpected costs, delays or inefficiencies when infrastructure upgrades are needed or prolonged and widespread technological difficulties occur. Significant portions of our technology infrastructure, particularly in our digital ordering solutions, are provided by third parties, and the performance of these systems is largely beyond our control. Occasionally, we have experienced or could experience temporary disruptions in our business due to third-party systems failing to adequately perform. Failure to manage future failures of these systems, particularly as our online sales grow, could harm our business and the satisfaction of our customers. Such third-party systems could be disrupted either through system failure or if third party vendor patents and contractual agreements do not afford us protection against similar technology. In addition, we may not have or be able to obtain adequate protection or insurance to mitigate the risks of these events or compensate for losses related to these events, which could damage our business and reputation and be expensive and difficult to remedy or repair.
Failure to maintain the integrity of internal or customer data could result in damage to our reputation, loss of sales, and/or subject us to litigation, penalties or significant costs.
We are subject to a number of privacy and data protection laws and regulations. We collect and retain large volumes of internal and customer data, including credit card data and other personally identifiable information of our employees and customers housed in the various information systems we use. Constantly changing information security threats, particularly persistent cyber security threats, pose risks to the security of our systems and networks, and the confidentiality, availability and integrity of our data and the availability and integrity of our critical business functions. As techniques used in cyber-attacks evolve, we may not be able to timely detect threats or anticipate and implement adequate security measures. The integrity and protection of the customer, employee, franchisee and Company data are critical to us. Our information technology systems and databases, and those provided by our third-party vendors, including international vendors, have been and will continue to be subject to computer viruses, malware attacks, unauthorized user attempts, phishing and denial of service and other malicious cyber-attacks. The failure to prevent fraud or security breaches or to adequately invest in data security could harm our business and revenues due to the reputational damage to our brand. Such a breach could also result in litigation, regulatory actions, penalties, and other significant costs to us and have a material adverse effect on our financial results. These costs could be significant and well in excess of, or not covered by, our cyber insurance coverage.
We have been and will continue to be subject to various types of investigations and litigation, including collective and class action litigation, which could subject us to significant damages or other remedies.
We are subject to the risk of investigations and litigation from various parties, including vendors, customers, franchisees, state and federal agencies, stockholders and employees. From time to time, we are involved in a number of lawsuits, claims, investigations, and proceedings consisting of securities, antitrust, intellectual property, employment, consumer, personal injury, corporate governance, commercial and other matters arising in the ordinary course of business.
We have been subject to claims in cases containing collective and class action allegations. Plaintiffs in these types of lawsuits often seek recovery of very large or indeterminate amounts, and the magnitude of the potential loss and defense costs relating to such lawsuits may not be accurately estimated. Litigation trends involving personal injury, employment
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law, intellectual property, data privacy, and the relationship between franchisors and franchisees may increase our cost of doing business. We evaluate all of the claims and proceedings involving us to assess the expected outcome, and where possible, we estimate the amount of potential losses to us. In many cases, particularly collective and class action cases, we may not be able to estimate the amount of potential losses and/or our estimates may prove to be insufficient. These assessments are made by management based on the information available at the time made and require the use of a significant amount of judgment, and actual outcomes or losses may materially differ. Regardless of whether any claims against us are valid, or whether we are ultimately held liable, such litigation may be expensive to defend and may divert resources away from our operations and negatively impact earnings. Further, we may not be able to obtain adequate insurance to protect us from these types of litigation matters or extraordinary business losses.
We may be subject to harassment or discrimination claims and legal proceedings. Our Code of Ethics and Business Conduct policies prohibit harassment and discrimination in the workplace, in sexual or in any other form. To monitor and enforce these policies, we have ongoing programs for workplace training and compliance, and we investigate and take disciplinary action with respect to alleged violations. Nevertheless, actions by our team members could violate those policies. Franchisees and suppliers are also required to comply with all applicable laws and govern themselves with integrity. Any violations (or perceptions thereof) by our franchisees or suppliers could have a negative impact on consumer perceptions of us and our business and create reputational or other harm to the Company.
We may not be able to adequately protect our intellectual property rights, which could negatively affect our results of operations.
We depend on the Papa John’s brand name and rely on a combination of trademarks, service marks, copyrights, and similar intellectual property rights to protect and promote our brand. We believe the success of our business depends on our continued ability to exclusively use our existing marks to increase brand awareness and further develop our brand, both domestically and abroad. We may not be able to adequately protect our intellectual property rights, and we may be required to pursue litigation to prevent consumer confusion and preserve our brand’s high-quality reputation. Litigation could result in high costs and diversion of resources, which could negatively affect our results of operations, regardless of the outcome.
We may be subject to impairment charges.
Impairment charges are possible due to the nature and timing of decisions we make about underperforming assets or markets, or if previously opened or acquired restaurants perform below our expectations. This could result in a decrease in our reported asset value and reduction in our net income.
We operate globally and changes in tax laws could adversely affect our results.
We operate globally and changes in tax laws could adversely affect our results. We have international operations and generate substantial revenues and profits in foreign jurisdictions. The Domestic and International tax environments continue to evolve as a result of tax changes in various jurisdictions in which we operate and changes in the tax laws in certain countries, including the United States, could impact our future operating results. A significant increase in the U.S. corporate tax rate could negatively impact our financial results.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
None.
Item 2. Properties
As of December 25, 2022, there were 5,706 Papa John’s restaurants worldwide. The following tables provide the locations of our restaurants. We define “North America” as the United States and Canada and “Domestic” as the contiguous United States.
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North America Restaurants:
Company (a)
FranchisedTotal
Alabama88 91
Alaska— 10 10
Arizona— 67 67
Arkansas— 28 28
California— 175 175
Colorado— 47 47
Connecticut— 5
Delaware— 17 17
District of Columbia— 10 10
Florida41 259 300
Georgia90 98 188
Hawaii— 17 17
Idaho— 14 14
Illinois72 80
Indiana44 92 136
Iowa— 24 24
Kansas16 19 35
Kentucky42 64 106
Louisiana— 60 60
Maine— 3
Maryland60 42 102
Massachusetts— 7
Michigan— 32 32
Minnesota— 35 35
Mississippi— 34 34
Missouri41 27 68
Montana— 9
Nebraska— 13 13
Nevada— 25 25
New Hampshire— 3
New Jersey— 54 54
New Mexico— 17 17
New York— 85 85
North Carolina104 80 184
North Dakota— 10 10
Ohio— 161 161
Oklahoma— 36 36
Oregon— 14 14
Pennsylvania— 84 84
Rhode Island— 2
South Carolina77 86
South Dakota— 10 10
Tennessee38 80 118
Texas— 302 302
Utah— 32 32
Virginia26 119 145
Washington— 43 43
West Virginia— 23 23
Wisconsin— 25 25
Wyoming— 8
Total U.S. Papa John’s Restaurants5222,6583,180
Canada— 196 196
Total North America Papa John’s Restaurants5222,8543,376
______________________________
(a)    Company-owned Papa John’s restaurants include restaurants owned by majority-owned subsidiaries. There were 98 such restaurants at December 25, 2022 (60 in Maryland, 26 in Virginia, and 12 in Georgia).
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International Restaurants:
Franchised
Azerbaijan13 
Bahrain21 
Bolivia
Cambodia
Cayman Islands
Chile148 
China262 
Colombia56 
Costa Rica51 
Cyprus
Dominican Republic19 
Ecuador29 
Egypt74 
El Salvador36 
Germany15 
Guam
Guatemala33 
Honduras
Iraq
Ireland80 
Israel25 
Kazakhstan
Kuwait35 
Kyrgyzstan
Mexico57 
Morocco
Netherlands32 
Nicaragua
Oman21 
Pakistan18 
Panama32 
Peru51 
Philippines15 
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico26 
Qatar50 
Saudi Arabia20 
South Korea241 
Spain88 
Trinidad
Tunisia11 
Turkey62 
United Arab Emirates82 
United Kingdom532 
Venezuela23 
Total International Papa John’s Restaurants2,330 
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Most Papa John’s Company-owned restaurants are located in leased space. The initial term of most Domestic restaurant leases is five years with most leases providing for one or more options to renew for at least one additional term. Generally, the leases are triple net leases, which require us to pay all or a portion of the cost of insurance, taxes and utilities. As a result of assigning our interest in obligations under property leases as a condition of the refranchising of certain restaurants, we are also contingently liable for payment of approximately 53 Domestic leases.
Our corporate office in Atlanta, Georgia, is located in a leased space. Nine of our 12 North America QC Centers are located in leased spaces, with the remaining three QC Centers located in buildings we own. Our corporate office and our printing operations located in Louisville, KY are in buildings owned by us. We also maintain a Company-owned office and a full-service QC Center outside of London, UK, where our International operations are managed.
At December 25, 2022, we leased and subleased approximately 442 Papa John’s restaurant sites to franchisees in the UK. The initial lease terms on the franchised sites in the UK are generally 15 years. The Company has the option to negotiate an extension toward the end of the lease term at the landlord’s discretion. The initial lease terms of the franchisee subleases are generally five to ten years. See “Note 3. Leases” of “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements” for additional information.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
The information contained in “Note 19. Litigation, Commitments and Contingencies” of “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements” is incorporated by reference herein.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
None.
Information About Our Executive Officers
Set forth below are the current executive officers of Papa John’s:
Name
Age (a)
PositionFirst Elected
Executive Officer
Robert M. Lynch46President and Chief Executive Officer2019
Ann B. Gugino50Chief Financial Officer2020
Amanda Clark43Chief International and Development Officer2020
Caroline M. Oyler57Chief Legal and Risk Officer and Corporate Secretary2018
C. Max Wetzel (b)
46Executive Vice President, Chief Operations Officer2019
(a)Ages are as of January 1, 2023
(b) On February 6, 2023, Mr. Wetzel notified the Company of his intention to resign from his position with the Company, effective March 17, 2023, to assume a chief executive officer position with another company.
Robert M. Lynch was appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer in August 2019. Mr. Lynch joined Papa John’s after serving as President of Arby’s Restaurant Group since August 2017, and served as Brand President and Chief Marketing Officer from August 2013 to August 2017. Prior to Arby’s, he served as Vice President of Marketing at Taco Bell. Mr. Lynch has more than 20 years combined experience in the QSR and consumer packaged goods industries, and also held senior roles at HJ Heinz Company and Procter & Gamble.
Ann B. Gugino was appointed to Chief Financial Officer in October 2020. Ms. Gugino joined Papa John’s from Target Corporation where she served as Senior Vice President, Financing Planning and Analysis since 2018, providing overall strategy, guidance, and direction in the development and execution of Target’s planning, analysis and capital investment portfolios. Prior to Target, Ms. Gugino spent 18 years at Patterson Companies Inc., including four years as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
Amanda Clark was appointed Chief International and Development Officer in May 2022 after previously serving as Chief Development Officer since joining Papa Johns in February 2020. Ms. Clark joined Papa Johns from Taco Bell where she served as Executive Vice President of Restaurant Experience from February 2019 to February 2020. She also served as
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Senior Vice President, North America Development from May 2017 to February 2019. In addition, Ms. Clark served as general manager for Taco Bell Canada. Prior to joining Taco Bell, she worked at Procter and Gamble for nearly 12 years on some of P&G’s biggest brands, such as Olay, Pampers and Oral-B.
Caroline M. Oyler was appointed Corporate Secretary in July 2020 and Chief Legal & Risk Officer in October 2018. Ms. Oyler previously served as Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer from May 2018 to October 2018 and Senior Vice President, General Counsel from May 2014 to May 2018. Additionally, Ms. Oyler served as Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs from November 2012 to May 2014 and as Vice President and Senior Counsel since joining the Company’s legal department in 1999. She also served as interim head of Human Resources from December 2008 to September 2009. Prior to joining Papa Johns, Ms. Oyler practiced law with the firm Wyatt, Tarrant and Combs LLP.
C. Max Wetzel was appointed Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer in May 2022. Mr. Wetzel previously served as Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer from October 2021 to May 2022 and as Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer from November 2019 to October 2021. Mr. Wetzel joined Papa Johns from PPG Architectural Coatings where he served as Vice President Consumer Brands and Business Transformation – U.S. and Canada from July 2018. Also at PPG, Mr. Wetzel served as Vice President Home Centers and Global Strategic Marketing from June 2016 through July 2018 and as General Manager Home Centers and Chief Marketing Officer U.S. & Canada starting in November 2014. Prior to PPG, Mr. Wetzel worked at H.J. Heinz Company for 10 years in a variety of domestic and global roles, leading consumer-driven businesses, developing brand marketing strategies and delivering profitable growth.
There are no family relationships between any of the directors or executive officers of the Company.
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PART II
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Our common stock trades on The Nasdaq Global Select Market tier of The Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol “PZZA.” As of February 16, 2023, there were 1,321 record holders of our common stock. However, there are significantly more beneficial owners of our common stock than there are record holders.
On January 26, 2023, our Board of Directors declared a first quarter 2023 dividend of $0.42 per common share. The dividend was paid on February 17, 2023 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on February 6, 2023.
We anticipate continuing the payment of quarterly cash dividends. The actual amount of such dividends is subject to declaration by our Board of Directors and will depend upon future earnings, results of operations, capital requirements, our financial condition, contractual restrictions, including the terms of the agreements governing our debt and any future indebtedness we may incur and other relevant factors. There can be no assurance that the Company will continue to pay quarterly cash dividends at the current rate or at all.
On October 28, 2021, our Board of Directors approved a share repurchase program with an indefinite duration for up to $425.0 million of the Company’s common stock. This share repurchase program operated alongside our previous $75.0 million share repurchase authorization, which began on November 4, 2020 and expired on December 26, 2021. In fiscal 2022, approximately 1,343,000 shares with an aggregate cost of $125.0 million and an average price of $93.07 per share were repurchased under our share repurchase program. Funding for the share repurchase program was provided through our operating cash flows and our $600.0 million PJI Revolving Facility.
The following table summarizes our repurchase activity by fiscal period during the fourth quarter ended December 25, 2022 (in thousands, except per share amounts):
Fiscal PeriodTotal
Number
of Shares
Purchased
Average
Price
Paid per
Share
Total Number
of Shares Purchased
as Part of Publicly
Announced Plans
or Programs
Maximum Dollar
Value of Shares
that May Yet Be
Purchased Under the
Plans or Programs
9/26/2022 - 10/23/2022$— $329,800 
10/24/2022 - 11/20/20228882.51 88322,559 
11/21/2022 - 12/25/202227383.34 273299,800 
Total361$83.14 361$299,800 
Subsequent to year-end, we acquired an additional 319,307 shares at an aggregate cost of $27.6 million. Approximately $272.2 million remained available under the Company’s share repurchase program as of February 16, 2023.
The Company utilizes a written trading plan under Rule 10b5-1 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, from time to time to facilitate the repurchase of shares of our common stock under this share repurchase program. There can be no assurance that we will repurchase shares of our common stock either through a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan or otherwise.
The information required by Item 5 with respect to securities authorized for issuance under equity compensation plans is incorporated herein by reference to Part III, Item 12 of this Form 10-K.
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Stock Performance Graph
The following performance graph compares the cumulative shareholder return of the Company’s common stock for the five-year period between December 31, 2017 and December 25, 2022 to (i) the Nasdaq U.S. Benchmark TR Index and (ii) a group of the Company’s peers consisting of U.S. companies listed on Nasdaq with standard industry classification (SIC) codes 5800-5899 (eating and drinking places). Management believes the companies included in this peer group appropriately reflect the scope of the Company’s operations and match the competitive market in which the Company operates. The graph assumes the value of hypothetical investments in the Company’s common stock and in each index was $100 on December 31, 2017, and that all dividends were reinvested on the day of issuance. The returns shown are based on historical results and are not intended to suggest future performance.
Comparison of Cumulative 5-Year Total Shareholder Return
Stock Price Plus Reinvested Dividends
https://cdn.kscope.io/afa0d151e9389478cf31465895bff771-pzza-20221225_g2.jpg
https://cdn.kscope.io/afa0d151e9389478cf31465895bff771-pzza-20221225_g3.jpgPapa Johns International, Inc. https://cdn.kscope.io/afa0d151e9389478cf31465895bff771-pzza-20221225_g4.jpg NASDAQ U.S. Benchmark TR Index https://cdn.kscope.io/afa0d151e9389478cf31465895bff771-pzza-20221225_g5.jpgNASDAQ Stocks (SIC 5800-5899 U.S. Companies) Eating and Drinking

Dec. 30, 2018Dec. 29, 2019Dec. 27, 2020Dec. 26, 2021Dec. 25, 2022
Papa John’s International, Inc.$73.35$119.07$163.58$250.26$161.12
NASDAQ U.S. Benchmark, TR Index$93.73$124.34$149.05$188.05$152.08
NASDAQ Stocks - Eating and Drinking$108.91$144.93$169.49$190.64$168.88

Item 6. Intentionally Omitted
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Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Introduction and Overview
The following Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data and the Risk Factors set forth in Item 1A. Risk Factors.
This section of this Annual Report on Form 10-K generally discusses fiscal 2022 and 2021 items and year-to-year comparisons between the years ended December 25, 2022 and December 26, 2021. Discussion of 2020 items and year-to-year comparisons between the years ended December 26, 2021 and December 27, 2020 that are not included in this Form 10-K can be found in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Part II, Item 7 of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 26, 2021.
Papa John’s International, Inc. (referred to as the “Company,” “Papa John’s,” “Papa Johns” or in the first-person notations of “we,” “us” and “our”) began operations in 1984. At December 25, 2022, there were 5,706 Papa John’s restaurants in operation, consisting of 522 Company-owned and 5,184 franchised restaurants. Our revenues are derived from retail sales of pizza and other food and beverage products to the general public by Company-owned restaurants, franchise royalties, and sales of franchise and development rights. Additionally, approximately 48% to 52% of our North America revenues in each of the last two fiscal years were derived from sales to franchisees of various items including food and paper products from our Domestic Quality Control Centers (“QC Centers”), operation of our International QC Center in the UK, contributions received by Papa John’s Marketing Fund, Inc. (“PJMF”) which is our national marketing fund, printing and promotional items and information systems equipment, and software and related services. We believe that in addition to supporting both Company and franchised profitability and growth, these activities contribute to product quality and consistency throughout the Papa John’s system.
Recent Business Matters
In 2022, the Company focused on executing strategic priorities and building a foundation for long-term success, while navigating a challenging macroeconomic environment. Our progress and significant transactions during the year are described below.
Growth Strategy. The Company delivered its fourteenth consecutive quarter of Global system-wide restaurant sales growth and continues to expand both domestically and internationally, as evidenced by our comparable sales and restaurant unit growth.
Our menu and digital innovations are an important part of our long-term strategy to drive new customers and ticket sales. We focus our menu innovations on products that add both value and variety for our customers but do not add complexity to our restaurant operations or to our supply chain. Our menu innovation calendar is expansive, flexible and differentiated and allows us to adjust our offerings depending on what customers want – whether that is extending a Limited-Time-Offer or building upon existing platforms. We believe our digital innovations, like our website, digital app, third-party aggregator partnerships and Papa Call call centers are a differentiator for our customers and provide attractive channels that promote customer retention and help us grow our customer base. In 2022, approximately 85% of our Domestic transactions came through these digital channels.
Our expanding development pipeline is also a key long-term growth driver as there remains significant opportunity to offer our differentiated, premium position to more customers globally and domestically. In 2022, we expanded our global footprint by 4.5%, with 244 net new units (excluding the 188 restaurants suspended in Russia in the first quarter of 2022 and discussed below). We expect this growth to accelerate in 2023 with global development to be between 270 to 310 net new units. Our view of our long-term unit opportunity, both domestically and internationally, continues to expand as we sign historic deals to develop within key areas. In 2022, we announced that we expect 1,400 to 1,800 net new Papa Johns restaurants worldwide from 2022 through the end of 2025. We plan to continue focusing on our strategic innovative products and restaurant development across our platforms to drive sustainable growth this year and beyond.
Global Market Conditions. The differentiated brand positioning of Papa Johns and the agility of our business model have been critical to our success as we have had to navigate a constantly changing environment in recent years. Our brand positioning and ability to adapt are no less important today as we continue to adjust to a more inflationary and uncertain environment and consumers are increasingly seeking out value. As consumer demand for dining has softened over the past year, pizza offers tremendous value relative to other quick service restaurants. Using Papa Rewards, our loyalty program, we are able to target more price-sensitive customers with high-value promotions. At the same time, we have continued our
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successful strategy of letting our customers, especially those who are less price sensitive, self-select into our premium priced menu innovations. While we have increased pricing in response to inflation, partially offsetting higher food, labor and fuel costs in our supply chain and at our restaurants, our ticket growth has predominantly come through new premium products and add-ons over the past few years.
Macroeconomic conditions in the United Kingdom, the largest region in our International segment, have declined in light of ongoing inflation, rising interest rates and the recent energy crisis. Against this backdrop, the Company has experienced increasing declines in sales and profitability in the UK market. While uncertain how long these conditions will last, the Company is committed to its presence in the UK and is invested in the Company’s long-term success in this region. As we navigate this challenging economic environment, we will be investing in capabilities to improve our operations and will work to re-position the franchise base to further strengthen our UK business. The next step in our commitment includes a variety of support to help franchisees through this difficult time, including targeted marketing incentives of approximately $2 million to $3 million.
Refranchising. On March 28, 2022, the Company sold its 51 percent controlling interest in a joint venture between Papa Johns and Blue and Silver Ventures, Ltd. (“Blue and Silver Ventures”). Sun Holdings, Inc. (“Sun Holdings”), a leading multi-brand franchisee operator and one of Papa John’s largest Domestic franchise partners, assumed control of the 90 Papa John’s restaurants in Texas that operated under the joint venture. By strategically refranchising its controlling interests in its joint venture with Blue and Silver Ventures to Sun Holdings, the Company provided Sun Holdings substantial scale to support new restaurant openings under its current, 100-restaurant development agreement with the Company. This commitment is in addition to the 90 refranchised restaurants. As a result, the deal is expected to accelerate the Company’s Domestic development, contributing to long-term earnings via high-margin franchise royalty growth. The restaurants were consolidated in the Company’s results through the date of the transaction, and their results are included in the Company’s North America franchise royalties and fees beginning March 29, 2022. See “Note 22. Divestitures” of “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for further information.
Suspension of Franchisee Support in Russia. The Company has no Company-owned restaurants in Russia or Ukraine. At the end of fiscal year 2021, 188 franchised restaurants were located in Russia, all of which were operated and supplied through a master franchisee. As of March 2022, Papa John’s suspended its corporate operations and support for franchised restaurants in Russia, and fully reserved all receivables from the aforementioned master franchisee. The Company recognized $17.4 million in one-time, non-cash charges related to reserves for certain loans and impairments of reacquired franchised rights due to the conflict in Ukraine and subsequent international government actions and sanctions, which were recorded as Refranchising and impairment loss of $2.8 million and General and administrative expenses of $14.6 million. All assets related to the franchised operations in Russia have been fully reserved or impaired, so there are no additional Russia related charges for reserves, write-offs, or impairments of amounts recorded on the Consolidated Balance Sheet.
Coronavirus Pandemic and Related Market Impact. The restaurant industry has faced and managed staffing challenges since long before the pandemic. These challenges intensified with the increased demand for employees in the service industry as the economy recovered last year. In early 2022, the Omicron variant further exacerbated the situation, given the spike in infection rates and number of people out sick or quarantined at home. Our team members have been working harder than ever to continue to safely serve their customers and communities and we have benefited from their dedication to manage through staffing constraints. We will continue to strive to be the employer of choice in our industry and have taken many actions to create a strong culture and support our people.
Presentation of Financial Results
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
The results of operations are based on our Consolidated Financial Statements, which were prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”). The preparation of Consolidated Financial Statements requires management to select accounting policies for critical accounting areas as well as estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the Consolidated Financial Statements. The Company’s significant accounting policies, including recently issued accounting pronouncements, are more fully described in “Note 2. Significant Accounting Policies” of “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.” A number of our significant accounting policies are critical due to the fact that they involve a significant level of estimation uncertainty and have had or are reasonably likely to have a material impact on our financial condition or results of operations. Significant changes in assumptions and/or conditions in our critical accounting policies could materially impact the operating results.
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Insurance Reserves
Our insurance programs for workers’ compensation, owned and non-owned automobiles, general liability and property insurance coverage are funded by the Company up to certain retention levels. Retention limits range up to $0.5 million. We record the liability for losses based upon undiscounted estimates of the liability for claims incurred and for events that have occurred but have not been reported using certain third-party actuarial projections and our historical claims loss experience.
As of December 25, 2022, our insurance reserves were $67.3 million compared to $88.1 million at December 26, 2021. Reserves are included in Accrued expenses and other current liabilities and Other long-term liabilities on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. Our insurance reserves primarily relate to auto liability and workers’ compensation claims and include the gross up of claims above our retention levels, with a corresponding receivable recorded in Prepaid and other current assets and Other assets on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. The insurance reserves represent the mid-point of the range as determined by our actuarial analysis, which considered various actuarial valuation methodologies. The determination of the recorded insurance reserves is highly complex due to the significant uncertainty in the potential value of reported claims and the number and potential value of incurred but not reported claims.
Allowance for Credit Losses on Franchisee Notes Receivable
The Company has provided financing (recorded as notes receivable) to select Domestic and International franchisees principally for use in the construction and development of their restaurants and for the purchase of restaurants from the Company or other franchisees. Most notes receivable bear interest at fixed or floating rates and are generally secured by the assets of each restaurant and the ownership interests in the franchise. The Company has also provided long-term financing to certain franchisees with royalty payment plans.
The Company establishes an allowance for credit losses on franchisee notes receivables based on management’s estimate of the lifetime expected loss on the notes. The allowance for credit losses on notes receivable is judgmental and subjective based on management’s evaluation of historical collection experience, external market data and other factors, including those related to current market conditions and events. The Company is provided collateral rights of the franchisee’s restaurants (e.g., underlying franchise business, property and equipment) and personal guarantees from the operators to recover the carrying value of the outstanding note receivable in the event collectability concerns arise. Therefore, the Company considers the fair value of the underlying collateral rights (e.g., underlying franchisee business, property and equipment) and any guarantees when assessing the allowance for credit losses (which may require third-party valuations of fair value). Notes receivable balances are charged off against the allowance after recovery efforts have ceased.
Franchisee notes receivable was $42.6 million with an allowance for credit losses of $14.5 million as of December 25, 2022 compared to $49.4 million with an allowance for credit losses of $1.5 million as of December 26, 2021. The increase in the allowance for credit losses was primarily due to an increase for certain notes receivable primarily associated with a master franchisee with operations principally in Russia and the termination of significant franchisees in the UK. See “Note 10. Allowance for Credit Losses” of “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for further information.
Income Tax Accounts and Tax Reserves
Papa John’s is subject to income taxes in the United States and several foreign jurisdictions. Significant judgment is required in determining Papa John’s provision for income taxes and the related assets and liabilities. The provision for income taxes includes income taxes paid, currently payable or receivable and those deferred. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined based on differences between financial reporting and tax basis of assets and liabilities and are measured using enacted tax rates and laws that are expected to be in effect when the differences reverse. Deferred tax assets are also recognized for the estimated future effects of tax attribute carryforwards (e.g., net operating losses, capital losses, and foreign tax credits). The effect on deferred taxes of changes in tax rates is recognized in the period in which the new tax rate is enacted.
Valuation allowances are established when necessary on a jurisdictional basis to reduce deferred tax assets to the amounts we expect to realize and were $32.1 million and $28.6 million as of December 25, 2022 and December 26, 2021, respectively. The determination as to whether a deferred tax asset will be realized is based on the evaluation of historical profitability, future market growth, future taxable income, the expected timing of the reversals of existing temporary differences and tax planning strategies. The Company assesses deferred taxes and the adequacy or need for a valuation allowance on a quarterly basis.
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Tax authorities periodically audit the Company. We record reserves and related interest and penalties for identified exposures as income tax expense. We evaluate these issues and adjust for events, such as statute of limitations expirations, court rulings or audit settlements, which may impact our ultimate payment for such exposures.
In the event the Company is unable to generate future taxable income, there is a material change in the actual effective tax rates, the time period within which the underlying temporary differences become taxable or deductible, or if the tax laws change unfavorably, then we could be required to increase the valuation allowance against deferred tax assets, resulting in an increase in income tax expense and the effective tax rate. We estimate that a one percent change in the effective income tax rate would impact the 2022 income tax expense by $0.8 million. See “Note 17. Income Taxes” of “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements” for additional information.
Global Restaurant Sales and Unit Information
“Comparable sales” represents the change in year-over-year sales for the same base of restaurants for the same fiscal periods. Comparable sales excludes sales of restaurants that were not open during both the current and prior fiscal periods and franchisees for which we suspended corporate support. “Global system-wide restaurant sales” represents total restaurant sales for all Company-owned and franchised restaurants open during the comparable periods, and “Global system-wide restaurant sales growth (decline)” represents the change in total system restaurant sales year-over-year. Global system-wide restaurant sales and global system-wide sales growth (decline) exclude franchisees for which we suspended corporate support.
“Equivalent units” represents the number of restaurants open at the beginning of a given period, adjusted for restaurants opened, closed, acquired or sold during the period on a weighted average basis.
We believe North America, International and global restaurant and comparable sales growth and Global system-wide restaurant sales information is useful in analyzing our results since our franchisees pay royalties and marketing fund contributions that are based on a percentage of franchise sales. Comparable sales and Global system-wide restaurant sales results for restaurants operating outside of the United States are reported on a constant dollar basis, which excludes the impact of foreign currency translation. Franchise sales also generate commissary revenue in the United States and in certain international markets. Franchise restaurant and comparable sales growth information is also useful for comparison to industry trends and evaluating the strength of our brand. Management believes the presentation of franchise restaurant sales growth, excluding the impact of foreign currency, provides investors with useful information regarding underlying sales trends and the impact of new unit growth without being impacted by swings in the external factor of foreign currency. Franchise restaurant sales are not included in the Company’s revenues.
Year Ended
Amounts below exclude the impact of foreign currencyDecember 25, 2022December 26, 2021
Comparable sales growth (decline):
Domestic Company-owned restaurants(1.0)%11.3 %
North America franchised restaurants1.2 %12.0 %
North America restaurants0.7 %11.8 %
International restaurants(5.3)%13.0 %
Total comparable sales growth (decline)(0.8)%12.1 %
System-wide restaurant sales growth:
Domestic Company-owned restaurants1.3 %11.1 %
North America franchised restaurants2.5 %13.0 %
North America restaurants2.3 %12.6 %
International restaurants (a)
4.8 %24.4 %
Total global system-wide restaurant sales growth (a)
2.9 %15.4 %
______________________________
(a)    The twelve months ended December 25, 2022 excludes the impact of franchisee suspended restaurants.
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Restaurant ProgressionYear Ended
December 25, 2022December 26, 2021
North America Company-owned:
Beginning of period600 588 
Opened10 11 
Acquired— 
Refranchised(90)
End of period522 600 
North America franchised:
Beginning of period2,739 2,701 
Opened76 74 
Closed(49)(35)
Refranchised90 — 
Sold(2)(1)
End of period2,854 2,739 
International franchised:
Beginning of period2,311 2,111 
Opened292 304 
Closed(85)(104)
Suspended (a)
(188)— 
End of period2,330 2,311 
Total restaurants – end of period5,706 5,650 
Full year net store growth (b)
244 250 
______________________________
(a)    As previously disclosed, the Company has suspended corporate support for all franchised restaurants located in Russia. These suspended restaurants are excluded from net unit growth calculations.
Fiscal Year
Our fiscal year ends on the last Sunday in December of each year. All fiscal years presented in the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements consist of 52 weeks.
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Results of Operations
Revenues
The following table sets forth the various components of Revenues from the Consolidated Statements of Operations.
(Dollars in thousands)December 25, 2022December 26, 2021Increase
(Decrease)
Revenues:
Domestic Company-owned restaurant sales$708,389 $778,323 (9.0)%
North America franchise royalties and fees137,399 129,310 6.3 %
North America commissary revenues869,634 761,305 14.2 %
International revenues129,903 150,771 (13.8)%
Other revenues256,778 248,712 3.2 %
Total revenues$2,102,103 $2,068,421 1.6 %
For the year ended December 25, 2022, the discussion of changes in revenues below for Domestic Company-owned restaurants and North America franchised restaurants include an explanation of the impact of refranchising 90 restaurants during the second quarter of 2022 (the “2022 refranchising”). See “Refranchising” above and “Note 22. Divestitures” of “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements” for additional information.
Total revenues increased $33.7 million, or 1.6% to $2.10 billion for the year ended December 25, 2022, as compared to the prior year. Excluding the impact of the 2022 refranchising, total revenues increased $86.9 million, or 4.4%, for the year ended December 25, 2022.
Domestic Company-owned restaurant sales decreased $69.9 million, or 9.0% for the year ended December 25, 2022 compared to the prior year. Excluding the impact of the 2022 refranchising, Domestic Company-owned restaurant sales increased $8.7 million, or 1.3% for the year ended December 25, 2022, primarily due to innovations and strategic pricing actions to help offset food and labor inflation. Equivalent units also increased 3.7% for the year ended December 25, 2022, excluding the 2022 refranchising, and the related increase was partially offset by a comparable sales decline of 1.0%.
North America franchise royalties and fees increased $8.1 million, or 6.3% for the year ended December 25, 2022 compared to the prior year. Excluding the impact of 2022 refranchising, North America franchise royalties and fees increased $4.2 million, or 3.1% for the year ended December 25, 2022, primarily due to an increase in comparable sales of 1.2% and equivalent units of 1.4%.
North America franchise restaurant sales, excluding the impact of the 2022 refranchising, increased 2.3% to $2.99 billion for the year ended December 25, 2022 compared to the prior year. North America franchise restaurant sales are not included in Company revenues; however, our North America franchise royalties are derived from these sales.
North America commissary revenues increased $108.3 million or 14.2% for the year ended December 25, 2022 compared to the prior year. North America commissaries have increased prices in line with rising commodity prices driven by inflation, principally in cheese, soy oil, proteins and wheat.
International revenues decreased $20.9 million, or 13.8% for the year ended December 25, 2022 compared to the prior year, primarily due to lower UK commissary revenues. The overall declines in our International revenue performance were largely attributable to a decrease in comparable sales of 5.3% for the year ended December 25, 2022 related to inflationary pressures in the PJUK market.
International franchise restaurant sales decreased to $1.17 billion for the year ended December 25, 2022 compared to $1.27 billion for the year ended December 26, 2021. Excluding the impact of foreign currency fluctuations and the previously disclosed franchisee suspended restaurants, International franchise restaurant sales increased $58.2 million or 4.8% for the year ended December 25, 2022. International franchise restaurant sales are not included in Company revenues; however, our International royalty revenue is derived from these sales.
Other revenues, which primarily includes our national marketing funds, online and mobile ordering business and our wholly-owned print and promotions subsidiary, increased $8.1 million, or 3.2% in 2022 primarily due to higher revenues
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from our technology services from higher equivalent units and higher revenues from Preferred Marketing, our wholly-owned print and promotions company as they return to pre-pandemic levels.
Costs and Expenses
The following table sets forth the various components of Costs and expenses from the Consolidated Statements of Operations, expressed as a percentage of the associated revenue component.
(Dollars in thousands)Year Ended
December 25, 2022% of Related
Revenues
December 26, 2021% of Related
Revenues
Increase (Decrease) in % of Revenues
Costs and expenses:
Operating costs (excluding depreciation and amortization shown separately below):
Domestic Company-owned restaurant expenses$585,307 82.6 %$621,871 79.9 %2.7 %
North America commissary expenses811,446 93.3 %703,622 92.4 %0.9 %
International expenses76,001 58.5 %87,286 57.9 %0.6 %
Other expenses238,810 93.0 %226,320 91.0 %2.0 %
General and administrative expenses217,412 10.3 %212,265 10.3 %— %
Depreciation and amortization52,032 2.5 %48,816 2.4 %0.1 %
Total costs and expenses1,981,008 94.2 %1,900,180 91.9 %2.3 %
Refranchising and impairment loss(12,065)(0.6)%— — %(0.6)%
Operating income$109,030 5.2 %$168,241 8.1 %(2.9)%
Total costs and expenses were approximately $1.98 billion, or 94.2% of total revenues in 2022, as compared to $1.90 billion, or 91.9% of total revenues for the prior year. The increase in total costs and expenses, as a percentage of revenues, was primarily due to the following:
Domestic Company-owned restaurant expenses were $585.3 million, or 82.6% of related revenues in 2022, compared to expenses of $621.9 million, or 79.9% of related revenues for the prior year. The expenses, as a percentage of revenues, increased 2.7% primarily due to increased food cost attributable to higher commodity prices driven by inflation and labor expenses as staffing levels recover at increased cost. Our strategic pricing actions implemented in 2022 helped reduce the impact of the underlying cost pressures.
North America commissary expenses were $811.4 million, or 93.3% of related revenues in 2022, compared to $703.6 million, or 92.4% of related revenues, for the prior year. The expenses, as a percentage of revenues, increased 0.9% primarily due to rising commodity prices driven by inflation, principally in cheese, soy oil, proteins and wheat, and higher delivery costs.
International expenses were $76.0 million, or 58.5% of related revenues, for 2022 compared to $87.3 million, or 57.9% of related revenues for the prior year. International expenses were flat as a percentage of revenues as lower labor costs and lower food costs from negative comparable sales were offset by higher distribution costs as a percentage of revenues.
Other expenses were $238.8 million, or 93.0% of related revenues in 2022, as compared to $226.3 million, or 91.0% of related revenues for the prior year. The expenses, as a percentage of related revenues, increased 2.0% primarily due to timing of expenditures on technology platform initiatives to further enhance our digital capabilities and the customer experience.
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General and Administrative Expenses General and administrative (“G&A”) expenses were $217.4 million, or 10.3% of total revenues for 2022 compared to $212.3 million, or 10.3% of total revenues for the prior year. G&A expenses consisted of the following (in thousands):
Year Ended
December 25, 2022December 26, 2021
Administrative expenses (a)
$181,538 $199,452 
Strategic corporate reorganization costs (b)
— 13,094 
Legal settlement accruals (c)
15,000 — 
Additional specific accounts receivable and notes receivable provisions (d)
18,376 — 
Other general expenses (e)
2,498 (281)
General and administrative expenses$217,412 $212,265 
______________________________
(a)    The decrease in administrative expenses of $17.9 million for the year ended December 25, 2022 compared to the prior year was primarily due to lower incentive compensation linked to Company performance, which was partially offset by higher labor costs as well as travel and occupancy costs associated with the re-opening of corporate headquarters in the first quarter of 2022.
(b)    Represents strategic reorganization costs associated with our new corporate office in Atlanta which concluded at the end of 2021. See “Note 16. Strategic Corporate Reorganization for Long-term Growth” to our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
(c)    Expense of $15.0 million related to certain legal settlements. See “Note 19. Litigation, Commitments and Contingencies” to our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
(d)    Represents 2022 expenses for the following:
1.One-time, non-cash provision of $14.6 million on accounts receivable and notes receivable in connection with the conflict in Ukraine and related government actions,
2.One-time, non-cash provision of $3.7 million for certain accounts receivable and notes receivable in the United Kingdom.
(e)    Included in the Other general expenses for the year ended December 25, 2022 is $1.5 million related to advisory fees and severance costs associated with the transition of certain executives.
Depreciation and Amortization. Depreciation and amortization expense was $52.0 million, or 2.5% of revenues in 2022, as compared to $48.8 million, or 2.4% of revenues for the prior year, primarily due and increase in capital expenditures for our technology platforms and new restaurants.
Refranchising and Impairment Loss
Refranchising and impairment loss was $12.1 million for the year ended December 25, 2022 as compared to zero for the prior year. The 2022 amount was comprised of an $8.4 million loss on our 2022 refranchising, an impairment loss of $2.8 million for reacquired franchise rights due to the financial and operational impact of the conflict in Ukraine and lease impairment charges of $0.9 million related to the termination of a significant franchisee in the UK. See “Note 22. Divestitures” of “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements” for additional information on the 2022 refranchising and the charge related to the conflict in Ukraine.

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Operating Income by Segment
Operating income is summarized in the following table on a reporting segment basis. Adjusted operating income, a non-GAAP measure, is presented below. See “Non-GAAP Measures” for a reconciliation to the most comparable U.S. GAAP measure. We believe this non-GAAP measure is important for comparability purposes.
 (In thousands)
Year Ended December 25, 2022Year Ended December 26, 2021
Reported
(a)
Adjustments
AdjustedReported
(a)
Adjustments
AdjustedReported
Increase
(Decrease)
Adjusted
Increase
(Decrease)
Domestic Company-owned restaurants$15,966 $8,412 $24,378 $49,628 $— $49,628 $(33,662)$(25,250)
North America franchising127,882 — 127,882 120,949 — 120,949 6,933 6,933 
North America commissaries42,531 — 42,531 39,873 — 39,873 2,658 2,658 
International17,891 9,644 27,535 34,896 — 34,896 (17,005)(7,361)
All others10,084 — 10,084 17,704 — 17,704 (7,620)(7,620)
Unallocated corporate expenses(104,419)30,376 (74,043)(94,114)13,094 (81,020)(10,305)6,977 
Elimination of intersegment (profits)(905)— (905)(695)— (695)(210)(210)
Total$109,030 $48,432 $157,462 $168,241 $13,094 $181,335 $(59,211)$(23,873)
______________________________
(a)    See “Non-GAAP Measures” below for a detail of the adjustments in each year and for a reconciliation to the most comparable U.S. GAAP measure.
Operating income was $109.0 million for the year ended December 25, 2022 compared to $168.2 million for the prior year, a decrease of $59.2 million. Adjusted operating income was $157.5 million for the year ended December 25, 2022 compared to $181.3 million for the prior year, a decrease of $23.9 million, or 13.2%. The decrease in adjusted operating income in 2022 compared to 2021 was primarily due to the following:
Domestic Company-owned restaurants decreased $25.3 million for the year ended December 25, 2022. Excluding the impact of the 2022 refranchising in the second quarter, Domestic Company-owned restaurants decreased $21.3 million, primarily due to higher commodity and labor costs, partially offset by lower bonuses and higher revenues related to strategic pricing actions.
North America franchising increased $6.9 million for the year ended December 25, 2022. Excluding the impact of the 2022 refranchising, North America franchising increased $4.3 million, due to an increase in comparable sales of 1.2% and higher equivalent units of 1.4%.
North America commissaries increased $2.7 million for the year ended December 25, 2022. North America commissaries have increased prices in line with inflation, which has been partially offset with lower margins due to lower volume of items sold.
International decreased $7.4 million for the year ended December 25, 2022, primarily due to significant inflation and high energy prices in the UK that attributed to lower comparable sales, which declined 5.3%.
All Others, which primarily includes our online and mobile ordering business and our marketing funds, decreased $7.6 million for the year ended December 25, 2022, compared to the prior year, primarily due to timing of expenditures for technology support initiatives.
Unallocated corporate expenses decreased $7.0 million for the year ended December 25, 2022, primarily due to lower incentive compensation costs, partially offset by higher labor, travel, professional fees and occupancy cost associated with the re-opening of corporate headquarters in the first quarter of 2022.
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Items Below Operating Income
The following table sets forth the various items below Operating income from the Consolidated Statements of Operations:
(Dollars in thousands)Year Ended
December 25, 2022December 26, 2021Change
Operating income$109,030 $168,241 $(59,211)
Net interest expense(25,261)(17,293)(7,968)
Income before income taxes83,769 150,948 (67,179)
Income tax expense14,420 25,993 (11,573)
Net income before attribution to noncontrolling interests69,349 124,955 (55,606)
Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests(1,577)(4,939)3,362 
Net income attributable to the Company$67,772 $120,016 $(52,244)
Calculation of net income for earnings per share:
Net income attributable to the Company$67,772 $120,016 $(52,244)
Dividends on redemption of Series B Convertible Preferred Stock— (109,852)109,852 
Dividends paid to participating securities(306)(6,091)5,785 
Net income attributable to participating securities(104)— (104)
Net income attributable to common shareholders$67,362 $4,073 $63,289 
— 
Basic earnings per common share$1.90 $0.12 $1.78 
Diluted earnings per common share$1.89 $0.12 $1.77 
Net Interest Expense
Interest expense increased approximately $8.0 million for the year ended December 25, 2022 compared to the prior year, primarily due to higher average outstanding debt on our revolving credit facility. Total debt outstanding was $605.0 million and $490.0 million as of December 25, 2022 and December 26, 2021, respectively.
Income Tax Expense
The effective income tax rate was 17.2% for both 2022 and 2021. The effective rate was flat due to the income mix and items impacting tax expense being proportional to the pre-tax income year-over-year.
(Dollars in thousands)Year Ended
December 25, 2022December 26, 2021
Income before income taxes$83,769 $150,948 
Income tax expense$14,420 $25,993 
Effective tax rate17.2 %17.2 %
See “Note 17. Income Taxes” of “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements,” for additional information.
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Net Income Attributable to Noncontrolling Interests - see “Note 9. Noncontrolling Interests” of “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements,” for information.
Diluted Earnings Per Share
Diluted earnings per common share was $1.89 for the year ended December 25, 2022 compared to $0.12 for the year ended December 26, 2021, representing an increase of $1.77. Diluted earnings per common share for the year ended December 26, 2021 was reduced by $3.10 from a reduction in net income attributable to common shareholders related to the repurchase and conversion of all of the shares of the Company’s previously outstanding Series B Convertible Preferred Stock (“Series B Preferred Stock”) during the second quarter of 2021. This reduction reflected the excess of the one-time cash payment over the carrying value of the Series B Preferred Stock. See “Note 6. Stockholders’ Deficit” and “Note 7. Earnings per Share” of “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements,” for additional information. Adjusted diluted earnings per common share, a non-GAAP measure, was $2.94 for the year ended December 25, 2022 compared to $3.51 for the year ended December 26, 2021, representing a decrease of $0.57. See “Non-GAAP Measures” for additional information.
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Non-GAAP Measures
In addition to the results provided in accordance with U.S. GAAP, we provide certain non-GAAP measures, which present results on an adjusted basis. These are supplemental measures of performance that are not required by or presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP and include the following: adjusted operating income, adjusted net income attributable to common shareholders and adjusted diluted earnings per common share. We believe that our non-GAAP financial measures enable investors to assess the operating performance of our business relative to our performance based on U.S. GAAP results and relative to other companies. We believe that the disclosure of these non-GAAP measures is useful to investors as they reflect metrics that our management team and Board of Directors utilize to evaluate our operating performance, allocate resources and administer employee incentive plans. The most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measures to adjusted operating income, adjusted net income attributable to common shareholders and adjusted diluted earnings per common share are operating income, net income attributable to common shareholders and diluted earnings per common share, respectively. These non-GAAP measures should not be construed as a substitute for or a better indicator of the Company’s performance than the Company’s U.S. GAAP results. The table below reconciles our GAAP financial results to our non-GAAP financial measures.
Year Ended
(In thousands, except per share amounts)December 25, 2022December 26, 2021
Operating income$109,030$168,241
Refranchising and impairment losses (a)
26,702
Legal settlements (b)
15,000
Costs associated with the termination of significant franchisees (c)
5,223
Strategic corporate reorganization costs (d)
13,094
Other costs (e)
1,507
Adjusted operating income$157,462$181,335
Net income attributable to common shareholders $67,362$4,073
Refranchising and impairment losses (a)
26,702
Legal settlements (b)
15,000
Costs associated with the termination of significant franchisees (c)
5,223
Strategic corporate reorganization costs (d)
13,094
Other costs (e)
1,507