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Papa John's continues franchisee incentives

Papa John’s International Inc. said it would continue its franchise development incentives of the past few years in 2011.

The plan calls for waiving the $25,000 franchise fee and the first 12 months of royalties for qualifying new franchises. Papa John’s also said it would provide two new Middleby-Marshall pizza ovens, which franchisees can purchase for $50 after two years.

If any franchisees who sign up under the plan open their locations 30 days before their scheduled opening date or earlier, Papa John’s will give them a $3,000 credit with PJ Food Service, which operates the chain’s fresh-dough and food distribution quality control centers.

“Papa John’s continues to be a strong and growing brand, with lots of runway remaining to grow both in the U.S. and throughout the world,” said Jude Thompson, the Louisville, Ky.-based company’s president and co-chief executive. “With the continued uncertainty of the economic recover as we head into 2011, we are proud to offer this program to help franchisees bring our “Better Ingredients, Better Pizza” to an increasing number of consumers throughout the U.S.”

The program is available to all franchisees who sign an agreement before Oct. 31, 2011, to open a location in the next calendar year.

Papa John's started the franchise incentives in 2009. The pizza chain was one of several restaurants brands to cut fees and royalties during the recession to encourage franchisees to open more stores.

In its latest earnings report, Papa John’s said franchisees had opened 120 new locations in the United States in the nine months ended Sept. 26, while closing 55 domestic stores.

Louisville, Ky.-based Papa John’s International operated 610 restaurants and franchised another 2,973 units worldwide.

Contact Mark Brandau at [email protected].

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