US pizza giant Papa Johns aims to have 150 stores trading in the UK and Ireland by the year's end.
Speaking to Caterersearch on a visit to the UK, Papa John's founder and chief executive John Schnatter said the company would look to add 30 to 35 new stores to the 118 it currently has in the region in 2009.
At least four and as many as eight of these new stores are likely to be directly owned and managed, which Schnatter believes is important to maintain brand standards.
The company currently has eight managed store sin the region.
Although Papa John's, which has some 600 stores in the USA, is trailing someway behind Domino's 553 outlets in the UK and Ireland, Schnatter said their rival's success was positive for all pizza companies as it gave them "a bigger pond to fish from".
Schnatter predicted the Papa John's would perform well during 2009 as cash strapped consumers traded down from eating out and opted for takeaway instead.
Papa John's reported a 60% increase in bookings on Monday this week as snowbound consumers ordered in.
By Chris Druce
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