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Papa John's

Food

Papa John’s ditches the crust in its latest menu item

The pizza chain is coming out with a line of Papa Bowls that feature pizza toppings without the crust.

Financing

High cheese prices give Papa John’s some indigestion

The company’s sales increased last quarter despite weakening demand. But its food costs rose 18% and corporate store margins took a big hit.

The Bottom Line: Pizza chains are struggling to find enough drivers. They are increasingly turning to delivery services, which are not having the same problem.

The pizza chain, whose sales continue to outperform its rivals, is raising its development outlook as operators speed up unit growth.

The pizza chain is getting strong results from its latest premium pie, its Epic Pepperoni Stuffed Crust Pizza. That focus on higher-end pizzas has helped it in more ways than one.

Amanda Clark was promoted to chief international and development officer and Liz Williams is named chief international operations officer for the pizza chain.

The former Inspire Brands executive will oversee franchise-operations support and company-owned restaurants at the pizza chain.

The former NBA star-turned-pitchman helped the pizza chain turn around when he became spokesman and director three years ago. He’s being rewarded with a deal worth at least $11 million in cash and stock.

The Bottom Line: The pizza delivery chain bested its primary rivals because of its embrace of third-party delivery, its focus on premiumization, and Shaq.

The refranchising deal follows a 100-unit development agreement the large Texas-based operator signed with the pizza chain last year.

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