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Papa John's (US) to Expand into Germany

29 Jun 2021 - Papa John’s is going to Germany.

The Louisville, Ky.-based pizza chain, which is working to push development in the U.S. and internationally, on Tuesday announced a 250-unit deal with PJ Western Group to expand into Germany over the next seven years.

PJ Western Group is already one of Papa John’s largest operators, with 200 locations, and first made a move into Germany in 2019 with the acquisition of 13 restaurants of another pizza concept, with plans to convert them into Papa John’s.

The company has already opened the first seven Papa John’s locations in Magdeburg and Leipzig and plans to open another six stores in Halle and Mersburg by the end of the summer. “We are excited to expand our business farther west into the heart of Europe,” PJ Western Group CEO Christopher Wynne said in a statement.

Papa John’s, like a number of restaurant chains, is intently focused on international expansion. The company operates just more than 2,200 overseas locations, though that is many fewer than rivals Domino’s and Pizza Hut, both of which have over 11,000 international locations.

While unit growth has become more challenged domestically, there remains demand for U.S. restaurants in other countries, and pizza has an established presence in many markets.

Papa John’s itself is eyeing potential franchisees in Brazil, Japan and Southeast Asia and in recent years has entered a dozen new countries.

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