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Trending this week: Papa Johns plans to open nearly 2,000 stores by the end of 2025

This week on Nation's Restaurant News, the top story was Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s to undergo $500 million brand transformation. The Franklin, Tenn.-based company said it will spend $60 million on what it is calling a “brand transformation” that will include new digital menu boards at the drive-thrus and dining rooms, new equipment, streamlined menus and new equipment to make the restaurants more efficient and employees’ jobs easier. The remainder of the spending will come from franchisees, whose restaurants make up 94% of the two brands’ locations.

In other news, Papa Johns International, Inc. continued its growth momentum with 1.9% same-store sales growth for North America during the first quarter ended March 27, the company reported on Thursday. In addition to the sales growth, the Louisville-based pizza chain is also planning an aggressive footprint expansion — especially in international markets — with plans for 1,400-1,800 new stores opening by the end of 2025, and 320 units opening in fiscal ’22, CEO Rob Lynch said. Accelerating unit growth contributed to about half of the company’s sales gains last quarter.

Also, Sweetgreen, the Los Angeles-based fast-casual salad restaurant brand, is piloting a new digital-only pickup location in Washington, D.C., the chain announced on Friday. The Sweetgreen Pickup Kitchen will open Aug. 1.

See what else was trending on this week. 

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