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Inside Papa John’s new international prototype

The pizza chain, eager to add locations outside the U.S., has rolled out a new prototype designed to be more flexible and tailored to specific needs.
Papa John's prototype
The first new Papa John's international prototype has already opened in China. / Photographs courtesy of Papa John's.

Papa John’s will look a little different outside the U.S.

The Louisville, Ky.-based pizza delivery chain this week unveiled a new prototype designed for markets outside North America.

That prototype is designed to be more flexible, for operators that either want some indoor seating—common in some international markets—or delivery. Or both.

The design highlights the chain’s focus on premium ingredients, with signs such as “welcome to the dough show” in bright lights. It features the brand’s new identity through its colors, lighting and decor. Customers may find artwork depicting the chain’s “hand-drawn happiness” illustration style along with digital screens and ordering kiosks.

The design follows Papa John’s rollout of a new North America design last year. The first restaurant opened recently in China’s Hubei province. Seven more locations are under construction in Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kenya.

It comes as the brand is focused on international development to speed its overall growth. While Papa John’s domestic unit count has been largely flat in recent years, international markets have thrived. The number of locations outside the U.S. is up 41% over the past five years, according to Restaurant Business sister company Technomic. Papa John’s operates 5,650 locations, including 2,500 international restaurants.

The company believes that this new design could spur even more growth.

“By reinforcing our premium position within the QSR pizza industry, this new restaurant design gives current and potential franchise partners another reason to say yes to developing with Papa John’s,” Amanda Clark, Papa John’s chief international and development officer, said in a statement.

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