Pizza chain Papa Johns has signed its largest multi-unit franchisee in the UK to date, which will see it opening 10 outlets in the west of England.
The franchisor has brought in former Burger King franchisee Geoff Parsons to push its number of outlets past the 100 store count and crack the hegemony of Domino's and Pizza Hut in the UK.
Papa Johns laid out plans in March to double the number of stores in the UK from its current level of 87 and emphasised the need for quality franchisees running multiple sites.
Nigel Travis, chief executive officer at Papa Johns, said: "Our vision is to ultimately have in the UK 350 stores and the way that we do that is get people who are experienced, with a strong business approach. We need people who are willing to understand that pizza is different from other forms of food, in how you market it and trade in it."
Franchisee Geoff Parsons, who franchised for Burger King when Travis was the burger giant's EMEA managing director in the early 1990's, said: "I started talking to Papa Johns about an involvement three years ago but then I did not feel that the customer wanted to know about what they wanted to do. But it has become clear that now they are getting on top of using things like the internet and they are building a big opportunity.
By Daniel Thomas