- Start Up Cost:
- Franchise Type:
- Sector Type:
- Investment Type:
- Premises Based
- Food & Drink
Papa John’s was founded in the USA in 1984 and the franchise operates around the world. There are well over 350 outlets across the UK and 5,000 stores in more than 40 international markets and territories.
Papa John’s is one of the largest pizza companies in the world and has opportunities for franchisees throughout the UK. We believe in “Better Ingredients Better Pizza” and this is a promise our franchisees deliver every day. Papa John’s runs incentive schemes to help franchisees in the early stages of growing their businesses which can include discounted royalty fees, contribution towards marketing spend plus deals on equipment for new stores opening in our enterprise development zones.
Help is provided with location selection and shop fit-out. As a franchise, the company supplies all the assistance needed to get your successful Papa John’s up and running.
We offer five weeks’ training, three of which are classroom-based at our training centre in Milton Keynes and the other three of which are in a store where you will learn the practical side of the operation.
Following successful completion you will be awarded our prestigious Restaurant Owners Certificate, allowing you to go on and operate you own store.
A day in the life of a Papa John’s franchisee is varied: from general office duties, to stock ordering and rotation, managing staff, right through to taking telephone and over-the-counter orders, and preparing and baking the pizza. Our franchisees’ staff will also deliver the pizza to the customer’s door and will chat about the product and services with customers to ensure 100% satisfaction.
Zulfiqar Haidar joined Papa John’s as a franchisee 16 years ago. He now runs four successful Papa John’s in Scotland, the most recent being an opening in Paisley. Zulfiqar won a Scottish Asian Business Award in 2011 and 2015.
“Our time with Papa Johns Pizza has been quite a journey!” comments Zulfiqar. “I had previously worked in the family convenience business and with some large well established companies. These jobs offered security and routine where I knew what was expected of me. After a few years selling advertising space in a national magazine I started getting itchy feet and felt that there was something more out there.
“We were offered the opportunity to get involved with a new company from the states that wanted to make a mark on the UK as they had done in the US. I was apprehensive to start with as leaving a secure job and setting up for myself seemed daunting. We decided to take a look.
“The food franchise offered the chance for the whole family to become involved in a business. But at the time Papa John’s was in its infancy in the UK so to set up the very first Papa John’s in Scotland needed a huge degree of commitment from both us and Papa John’s. However, we overcame the challenges and set up in Glasgow with my mom making the pizzas, my brother looking after the numbers, my sister on customer service, myself, plus a delivery driver!
“At the time there was no awareness of Papa John’s in Glasgow so news spread by word of mouth. ‘Wow, this is lovely!’ was the comment we heard again and again about the quality pizza we turned out and within about 18 months we had quite a reputation for creating the best pizza in town! Our focus on quality is key, it means customers keep coming back for more and they tell their friends.
“It is the quality of the pizza – made with fresh ingredients and 100% fresh dough – that has really caught on and been the making of us. It sets us apart from any competition and the customers just love it. As a result, over the years we got busier and busier and now employ around 150 staff across four stores. .
“Our most recent Paisley store was selected specifically due to the constant pleas from customers and friends asking us to open a store there. With Paisley’s size, history and mixed demographic we were confident that we would have a broad range of fans quite soon. We wanted to bring lots of new jobs to the local community and offer the opportunity for anyone looking for full or part-time work. We work with our local job centres to help bring the long term unemployed back into work.
“We train new recruits and offer them a real future by creating a win-win situation. All we require is enthusiasm and in return, offer extensive one-to-one training in-store, backed up by Papa John’s excellent online training program. So with the right dedication and effort any member of staff can make their mark and have the chance to work their way to the top in any of the stores.
“On the back of the excellent new store opening in Paisley, we are looking at opening a fifth Papa John’s, helped by the company’s latest generous franchisee incentive scheme. The scheme helps franchisees right when they are starting out in a new venture. Deals on equipment and help with marketing really means Papa John’s has put its money where its mouth is! For anyone considering joining Papa John’s now must be the perfect time!
“For us, our journey has been as much about the team of people we work with as it has growing a successful and thriving franchised operation. We talk about the Papa John’s ‘family’ and that really sums up our staff, many of which have worked for us for 10+ years! Staff come from all walks of life. Often they join, then continue to work for us while at college and some come back when they have graduated. Some fall in love and we have had two marriages and one couple has recently had a baby!
“We try to create a fun working environment, where our staff know they are valued and love coming into work and that sums up what Papa John’s is all about. We offer job security and a good work/social atmosphere with flexible hours to fit around other commitments. As we expand there are also career opportunities for new job roles for staff in marketing and accounts as we open new outlets. Our people enjoy being part of the Papa John’s family and we certainly couldn’t do it without them!
“It has been a long journey but we are excited about the future with the national marketing initiatives that Papa John’s is coming up with – we know the business is taking off in a very big way! We are busier than ever and interestingly, Papa John’s is the company now offering me security, confidence and a great futures in a currently unstable economic climate!”
Umar Malik joined Papa John’s as a franchisee when he was just 27! One of the youngest franchisees in Papa John’s network he is now expanding in Wales and currently manages seven stores. Last year, Umar opened four Welsh Papa John’s. Already in 2016 Umar has added two Cardiff stores to his portfolio of franchised outlets which also include a store he opened in Cardiff at the end of 2015, Neath, Newport and Swansea, plus a further Swansea store which he opened originally in 2014.
“I first discovered a passion for pizza while studying for my MBA in Carlisle,” explains Umar. “I worked as a delivery driver for a rival firm and later discovered Papa John’s. The concept of ‘Better Ingredients, Better Pizza’ impressed me from the outset. I’d never seen repeat business like it and customers just kept coming back for more!
“I funded my first Swansea Papa John’s through savings plus a business loan from HSBC,” continues Umar. “HSBC fully understood the Papa John’s franchise model and its potential, so securing the necessary funding was straight-forward.
“Since then, the franchise has gone from strength to strength and I have opened four stores this year and progress won’t stop here!” confirms Umar. “With the help of the Papa John’s franchisee incentive scheme I am looking at opening five additional stores, also in Wales, next year too!
“As the capital of Wales, Cardiff is a great location,” continues Umar. “It’s a big city and people were missing out! I am now delighted to have trained up 30 staff ready to be able to deliver on our special opening promotions.”
Papa John's is one of the largest pizza companies in the world and has opportunities for franchisees throughout the UK. Papa John’s is currently running an incentive scheme to help franchisees in the early stages of growing their businesses which includes discounted royalty fees, contribution towards marketing spend plus free equipment for new stores.
Tony Singh is a man on a mission! He joined Papa John’s in 2002 buying the Hitchin pizza delivery store and now owns 15 franchise outlets in London and the surrounding area including Milton Keynes, Bedford and Egham – and he is still hungry for success!
Anthony Round, business development manager, Papa John’s explains: “Tony was quick to realise the potential of owning and running multiple outlets and within a few months of joining Papa John’s as a franchisee he had opened his second store. 12 years later and Tony now successfully runs 15 Papa John’s which is a testament to his hard work and ability to take full advantage of Papa John’s successful formula of ‘better ingredients, better pizza’.
“We have been delighted to support Tony in the expansion of his pizza franchises over the years. As a company we are managing a programme of expansion and are always looking for more enthusiastic, ambitious individuals like Tony.”
Before joining Papa John’s Tony worked for a rival pizza company, learning the trade as a delivery driver for seven years. Tony says: “I was really impressed with the help and advice I received when I first joined Papa John's. The staff were always there to support me, visiting me regularly to make sure I was happy, and dropping in at short notice if necessary. My calls and questions would always be answered quickly, and I was always welcome at head office if I wanted to meet the management team. I received a lot of help with learning about the area around my store, and the people in it.”
Tony continues: “I think the secret to my success is rolling my sleeves up, working very hard, and having a team I can trust and rely on. There are challenges to face when you open a store, but they are easily overcome if everyone works together. I have invested in my businesses over the years and the rewards have been worthwhile. It is a wonderful feeling to be part of an expanding brand.”
Former wine merchant and previous divisional director for hospitality brand Whitbread, Steve Mullarkey is no stranger to supplying a great product combined with excellent customer service. As a result, pizza is now proving big business for this Papa John’s franchisee who has plans to open up to 15 stores in the north-west over the next few years.
Steve explains: “I chose Papa John’s as it was very simply better than the competition. The product’s freshness, quality and value for money is a recipe for success. In addition, Papa John’s is an exciting company and committed to growth. The head office staff’s enthusiasm for the future is impressive, they really believe this company is going places and I have to agree.”
Steve opened his first Warrington Papa John’s store at the end of 2013 and has already signed up to open a total of five outlets with the help of Papa John’s current franchisee incentive deal, which includes a royalty break, some free equipment and marketing spend for the store opening launch for stores opening before the end of 2014.
Steve says: “The incentive deal was a great boost as Papa John’s provided budget for our marketing launch and contributed towards equipment to get us started. As a result, the Warrington opening has gone really well. Our customer database is increasing week on week and we exceeded our expectations on sales right from day one. We have competition in the area so it is important we provide a superior product with excellent customer service and delivery times.
“Training has been key to ensure our staff function well as a team and can maintain high service levels at all times. I currently work in the shop about five days a week. I like to be a ‘hands on’ manager and this way I know all my staff by name and can help out at peak times and often answer the phone to take orders. Papa John’s has recently introduced a customer service initiative, Rant and Rave, which allows customers to supply immediate feedback. This is brilliant as I can keep track on how we are doing and address any issues straight away. This helps in constantly improving our service levels and keep customers coming back for more!
“Marketing has also been crucial to increase sales. We target around 8000 people a week through local newspapers, leafleting them with special offers. However, we also use social media and through our many twitter followers, every night we pick a winner for a free pizza which is hugely popular! In addition, we nominate one local business every Friday and supply three medium sized pizzas to hard working staff at lunch time which always goes down well!”
“We also keen to get involved and give back to our local community,” confirms Steve. “Staff have recently raised money for St Rocco's, an independent Hospice and Charity, by donating 20p for every pizza sold during a week of trading, as well has having collection tins and posters in-store.
“If I had to give advice for prospective franchisees it would be to work hard and put the effort in. There is always a way around any obstacles but perseverance is important! In relation to the future I am very excited! I can’t wait to open stores two and three! My family and some close friends will be heavily involved in running the enterprise and therefore instrumental in the success of the franchise. This means I will be working with people I trust and that is a really exciting prospect for all of us!”
The 25 year old gritted his teeth and got involved in every part of his new business. He took orders, made and sliced the pizzas, often delivered them himself and even went out leafleting to try and drum up trade.
And now the 33 year old from East London is enjoying more than a slice of success, with nine stores under his belt within the M25.
Raheel’s father is from Pakistan but he was born in East London, where he had a modest upbringing. From a young age he wanted to help out with the family dry cleaning business, and he started learning the laundry trade before he had even reached his tenth birthday.
But Raheel wanted to make a name for himself, rather than following in his father’s footsteps. He became a franchise owner in 2003 when he opened his first Papa John’s Pizza store in Grays, Essex, despite having no experience in the food industry.
He now operates outlets in Wanstead, Angel, Chingford, Docklands, Farringdon, Fulham, Harringay, Hoxton & Cricklewood selling more than one million pizzas a year. In 2005, Raheel was flown over to the USA so that Papa John’s Pizza founder John Schnatter could congratulate him on his success in person.
Raheel said: “I am very proud of what I have achieved so far and I am building on my success by opening a new store in Tower Bridge in 2011. I’m aiming to add another four stores to my franchise portfolio next year, and beyond that I’m hoping to run as many as 20 outlets.
“I chose Papa John’s Pizza in the first place because it was a great opportunity and they proved they could give me a lot of support when I was starting out. The business model was already a proven success, and I definitely made the right decision. I even recommended Papa John’s to two of my friends and they are now running successful stores.
“Running my first store was a real learning curve because I rolled my sleeves up and got to know all aspects of my business. I think this was the key to my success, and I would advise any new franchise owner to follow my example. If you want to be a cut above the rest, you need to earn your crust through passion and hard graft.”
Jitesh Patel bought his first Papa John’s franchised pizza delivery store when he was just 20 years old! He now owns and runs a total of six outlets in Kings Heath (Birmingham), Birmingham Central, Bearwood, Selly Oak, Worcester and Cheltenham. Jitesh also helped his sister Nisha set up two further Papa John’s in Leicestershire, employing around 50 people and she is soon to open a third. But Jitesh’s ambitions don’t stop there: his aims to open three or four more Papa John’s this year!
“I used to work as a systems manager for a competitor, however, I always knew I wanted my own pizza store,” explains Jitesh. “When I first became a Papa John’s franchisee in 2005, the company had only 50 UK outlets. I have another sister who lives in the USA and she had told me how popular Papa John’s was over there and how that success would soon come to the UK. She was proved right as now the company has more than 250 UK stores and is growing rapidly!
“Growth in the size of the company means Papa John’s has more marketing ‘clout’. Recently some great company-wide marketing initiatives have been introduced include the sponsorship of the Football League and the Papa Rewards scheme online. These have been a massive help to increase custom in stores.
“However, popularity is not only down to good marketing, but also a fantastic product. Papa John’s is the only branded pizza chain to use only 100% fresh dough, giving a better natural flavour and a unique tomato sauce is made from the best Californian tomatoes, picked and packed from vine to can in just six hours. Our customers tell us the pizza is by far the best on the market and so the great taste and top quality customer service always keeps them coming back for more.”
He continues: “Owning multiple stores has its own challenges. However, there are economies of scale to be realised as variable costs come down with greater purchasing power. Also understanding the business model by taking time to learn the successful Papa John’s formula makes each store opening easier. Training staff improves with experience; we use Papa John’s clever online training system called ULearn, which really gets new team members up to speed quickly.
“I’ve employed some of my key staff for five or six years now so I’m working with people I trust. It also means you can arrange a day off occasionally!
“Our focus is on getting the basics of great pizza, excellent customer service and proactive marketing right and the formula is working very well: I was awarded Papa John’s Franchisee of the Year Award a few years ago!
“Working in franchising is hard work but straightforward if you love the brand – and you only love the brand if it makes you a good income. I love the Papa John’s brand!”
Newest Member of Papa John’s Family Set to Become Big Cheese in Cheshire
Pizza franchise, Papa John’s, has announced its latest store opening in Ellesmere Port. New franchisee Dave Foster is set to become a ‘big cheese’ in Cheshire as he follows in the footsteps of his brother Sam, who runs the successful franchised Papa John’s outlet in Dundee.
“Pizza is in our family,” explains Dave Foster. “My father worked as a franchisee for a rival firm for many years, while myself and my brother Sam also worked in the industry before cooking up plans to run our own franchised pizza stores.
“I originally started out as a delivery driver for the same company as my Dad,” continues Dave. “I worked my way up to shift manager and then area manager. After 12 years it was time to stop making pizza and start making money!
“I had seen how well my brother was doing with Papa John’s, how the company was expanding and that there was an incentive scheme to help new franchisees starting out. Deals on equipment and reduced royalty fees took a healthy slice off the final investment needed to set up, giving me just the boost I needed.
“Even with my background, training has been thorough,” confirms Dave. “I spent time at Papa John’s HQ in Milton Keynes and then worked in my brother’s store for three weeks too. I have been impressed how much attention is given to making the pizzas to create a superior product that tastes better than the competition.
“In Ellesmere Port my wife Rachael, who was also a training manager for the pizza firm we used to work for, will now help me run the business. When it comes to recruiting and training staff, it will be great to be working with someone I trust and who is so experienced in this area. Our plan is to add one or two more franchised stores next year as we believe Papa John’s has all the right ingredients for success.”
Papa John’s franchisee Bally Brar successfully manages the Berkhamsted Papa John’s franchise. He also runs Gerrard’s Cross and has recently taken over Oxford, Marston. Bally aims to open a further five Papa John’s within the next two years.
Bally started out working for different rival firms for 10 years. He went to work in the Berkhamsted Papa John’s store making pizzas for 6 weeks, before striking a deal with the former franchisee to buy the franchise.
Bally explains: “I have a background in the industry, including previously working as an area manager for another pizza firm. Having sampled the competition first hand, I knew Papa John’s pizza was second to none. Papa John’s is the only pizza chain to use only 100% fresh dough, giving a better natural flavour and a unique tomato sauce made from the best Californian tomatoes; it had me hooked!
“I was keen to purchase my own Papa John’s franchise one day and take advantage of the opportunities being created by the company’s rapid growth. Eventually, I completed my management training and decided to gain some hands-on experience working at the Berkhamsted Papa John’s while waiting for the right opportunity to come up – and sure enough it did!
“After running Berkhamsted successfully I opened a further store in Gerrard’s Cross and more recently took over the Oxford, Marston store. I have big expectations of Oxford as it will attract university students as well as a broad demographic mix and this will be good for business.
“During my Papa John’s journey so far, all the head office staff have been really supportive. Whatever help I have needed they are always there. The Papa John’s incentive scheme designed especially for franchisees starting up has also given me a great head start. Deals on equipment and franchisees fees, mean there are more funds to invest in marketing for the new stores. This is important as I have plans to open five more over the next two years!
“The main challenge with growing rapidly is that you need a great team around you. You are only as good as your staff and this in-turn reflects on sales. I have an excellent area manager and a terrific team. From the pizza makers, to the shift managers to the drivers, everyone plays an important part when it comes to delivering the best pizza in town, day-in, day-out.
“For this reason, excellent training is essential. I take on some of the training along with my area manager. We are assisted by Papa John’s online learning system which enables staff to work through various modules to gain certification at the end. This also gives staff chance to progress their careers which is good for moral. Pizza makers can go onto become shift managers and when we open new stores we like to promote from within, so store manager vacancies become available too.
“As well as creating a great product backed up by top quality service we need to be proactive when it comes to marketing to attract new customers. Papa John’s has recently invested in several TV advertising campaigns which has really boosted awareness. As soon as customers have tasted our top quality pizza then they keep coming back for more!
“Papa John’s ‘Better Ingredients, Better Pizza’ concept continues to prove popular and our customers recognise that we provide a superior product and this brings in business. Joining Papa John’s as a franchisee has exceeded all my expectations and I am very much looking forward to opening more Papa John’s in the very near future!”