Papa John’s International has unveiled plans to open 50 more US restaurants by 2028 through a new agreement with franchisee Nadeem Bajwa and his company, the Bajco Group.

The move is part of a broader strategy to increase the brand’s presence in key markets and is aligned with the Bajco Group’s objective to own 500 Papa Johns outlets. The group currently operates more than 200.

Bajwa said: “Signing this deal, I am as excited today as I was 20 years ago when I opened my first restaurant.

“Papa Johns is not just about business. My team members are my family – and that’s a whole different ballgame.

“I’m proud that in partnership with Papa Johns, I have been able to pursue my own aspiration, and watch my own team members go from starting their first jobs to becoming leaders.”

The new agreement will see the expansion of the brand in the Midwest, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Florida.  

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Earlier this year, Papa Johns introduced its Back to Growth (B2G) Program to spur growth in North America as a component of its Back to Better 2.0 strategy.

The programme focuses on enhancing restaurant-level margins, offering a 600-basis point annual cost saving in restaurant profit and loss statements during the first five years of new restaurants’ operations.

The initiative will significantly improve cash-on-cash returns for franchisees, add scale for Papa Johns in strategic markets and attract growth-oriented franchisees.

Papa Johns’s chief restaurant officer Joe Sieve said: “Nadeem’s story is a clear example of how Papa Johns supports its franchisees to build shared success.

“After starting his Papa Johns’ journey as a delivery driver, today he is one of the strongest ambassadors for the opportunities Papa Johns presents to its team members and franchisees.

“Nadeem’s confidence in the brand and expertise in the industry reinforces why he knows there has never been a better time to grow with Papa Johns.”

In March 2023, Papa Johns launched its latest menu platform, the Crispy Cuppy ‘Roni, in the US.