American pizza delivery company Papa John’s International has opened a new restaurant in Lyon, France, as part of its expansion strategy in Europe.

The new outlet in the 9th District of Lyon is the first of more than 20 branches planned for Southern France.

Over the coming weeks, new restaurants will be opened in the Confluence and Francheville areas of Lyon.

The new restaurant is owned and operated by Papa John’s franchise business partner, Vantage Tourism and Entertainment, which runs more than 45 outlets in Egypt.

Vantage director of operations Ludovic Baudequin said: “We are very excited to open our first restaurant in Lyon, the world capital of gastronomy. We are convinced that the quality of our ingredients and pizzas will exceed the expectations of our future customers. We are very excited to introduce them to Better Ingredients. Better Pizza.”

The pizza outlet chain has over 360 restaurants in the UK and opened restaurants in Northeastern France in 2016.

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Later this month, the company will open its new restaurant in Poland. It is also looking for franchise opportunities in Paris, France, Germany, Belgium, and Denmark.

Papa John’s International senior vice-president & chief development officer Tim O’Hern said: “Our global store growth momentum means that we’re opening fantastic new stores worldwide and attracting new customers to our quality-focused brand.”

Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John’s International is the world’s third-largest pizza delivery company.