Papa Johnís Franchise: Get a Slice of the Action

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Papa John's Franchise information

Papa Johnís has over 5,000 restaurants in more than 45 countries and territories worldwide, but this well-loved pizza franchise started from very humble beginnings. In 1984, John Schnatter (or Papa John as he is now known) bought a pizza oven and opened his very first Papa John's outlet in a broom cupboard in his father's tavern.

The passion that Papa John had for making pizza over 30 years ago remains today. Focusing on fresh and handmade pizzas, all Papa Johnís products are made without complicated equipment.

Papa John's Franchise Opportunity - Whatís required?

As a Papa Johnís franchisee, itís crucial that youíre a people person and enjoy dealing with customers and leading a team. Youíll also need to have excellent communication skills and a positive attitude, as well as dedication to providing customers with the best possible service.

Previous experience in the fast food or restaurant sector is not a necessity, but some of the most successful franchisees have an entrepreneurial mindset and the determination to succeed in business. If you make the most of the opportunity, it can be professionally, financially and personally rewarding.

Youíll also need ambition if you want to become a Papa Johnís franchisee, as you will be asked to open and operate a set number of restaurants in a period of three to seven years. This means that prospective franchisees must have a significant net worth and be able to access cash when itís needed.

The Joining Process

The first thing youíll need to do is submit a consideration form. Once youíve registered your interest, a franchise representative will contact you to answer any questions that you may have. This is a great chance for you to find out everything you need to know about the business. You can also use it to make a good first impression, so make sure that you are prepared for this call.

Following this, youíll be expected to supply additional documentation, including your CV, business plan and financial statements. All being well, youíll then be invited to visit the headquarters to meet the franchisor and the senior management team. This visit will allow you to gain an awareness of the Papa Johnís culture and a sense of whether you are a good fit for the company.

Once your application has then been approved by the franchise review board, youíll sign a letter of intent and then a franchise agreement. Before you sign on the dotted line, itís essential that you consult a specialist franchise solicitor. The franchise agreement can be complex, so itís important that you understand what youíre signing up to.

Case study

Sometimes the best opportunities come along when you least expect them. This is exactly what happened to Sam Foster, a Papa Johnís franchisee from Dundee. He had spent nine years in the Airforce, followed by five years working on offshore oil rigs, before a cycling accident made a career change necessary.

With a young family to provide for, Foster needed to get back into the workplace but also wanted a challenge. As his father had been a franchisee for a rival pizza company, Foster decided to reap the benefits of being his own boss by investing in a franchise.

Although pizza-making was in Fosterís family, he had no formal restaurant or business ownership experience. But that didnít matter, as he took full advantage of the comprehensive training package that is offered to all Papa Johnís franchisees. He trained at the businessí headquarters for a couple of weeks, and then completed two weeks of Ďon-the-jobí training.

Not only has becoming a franchisee enabled Foster to run a profitable business, itís also improved his work/life balance. Being in the Airforce and working offshore meant that he often spent weeks at a time away from his family. Life as a franchisee can be tough at times, but it has allowed him to spend more time with his family.

Foster has no plans to stop anytime soon. Heís preparing to open a further three stores over the next 12 months and recommends a Papa Johnís franchise to anyone who is committed and willing to work hard.

Financial Information

There are a number of factors that will influence the total investment cost of a Papa Johnís franchise. These include its location and building costs, but on average the cost ranges between £170,000 and £225,000, of which £100,000 should be in liquid funds.

The Papa Johnís franchise fee is £18,500 plus VAT, but as a franchisee youíll also be responsible for rent and business rates for the term of the agreement. You also need to consider that there is a five percent ongoing royalty fee and an eight percent marketing fee that must be paid monthly on top of the Papa Johnís franchise fee. The franchise agreement is for 10 years, which the franchisee can renew at no additional charge.

So, what do you get in return for the Papa Johnís franchise fee? As youíd expect with a franchise of this size, the franchise package is comprehensive. As well as access to the Papa Johnís trademarks, business model and other intellectual property, youíll also receive training for you and your team, and marketing support prior to launch.

So, if youíd like to join one of the 80,000 strong Papa Johnís global team, youíll need a high net worth and commitment to opening several units during the term of the agreement.

Alternative Franchise Opportunities

If youíre a lover of pizza, Papa Johnís isnít the only franchise available to you. There are a whole host of food franchises that offer Italian food to consumers across the UK. Letís explore three of the best.


Letís start with one that specialises in pizza, just like Papa Johnís. Fireaway prides itself on its use of fresh ingredients and authentic fire oven, which help to create delicious pizzas just like those youíd find in Italy. Whatís more, it offers a quick service, as it takes just 180 seconds for pizzas to be topped with fresh ingredients and baked in the oven.

Fireaway is a relatively young business, as it only opened its doors in 2015, but it has already launched a successful delivery division; Fireaway Express. This subsidiary brand takes advantage of nearby commercial kitchens and sells food through its website and well-known delivery platforms such as Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats. The business is also a versatile eatery, as it hosts childrenís parties and council meetings alongside gatherings from regular customers.

You wonít need experience in the food industry to become a Fireaway franchisee, as it provides extensive training. Also, itís a fairly affordable venture, costing a minimum of £30,000 and monthly fees of just £249. Despite this, you could stand to make a revenue of £500,000 within two years.

Bella Italia

Next, letís take a look at the casual dining restaurant chain, Bella Italia. If you take a seat in one of its restaurants, you can expect to be served authentic, Italian-inspired dishes made with hand-stretched pizza dough, De Cecco pasta made using high-quality grains since 1886 and other ingredients sourced from Italian family producers.

Bella Italia is part of the CDG franchise group, which also owns Las Iguanas and Cafť Rouge. It has a significant reach, as its franchises stretch across three continents. To benefit from its expertise and the Bella Italia brand name, youíll need to make an investment of around £700,000. In return, youíll gain access to an extensive support network that includes an online portal and a dedicated franchise team. You should, however, have a decent list of contacts, experience in the casual dining sector and the capital to invest in the company for at least three years.


If youíre after something a bit different, try Wolf. This is a chain of street food stalls that serve authentic Italian dishes. It started life in 2015 in Chiswick Business Park, London, where it began attracting a pool of loyal customers who couldnít get enough of its tasty offering.

Wolf sets itself apart from big brands by selling healthier versions of favourite dishes. It does this by reducing the carbohydrate and saturated fat content of its recipes and trying to use locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. The franchise has also made a name for itself as a retailer of high-quality produce, as it buys meat from farms that adhere to high animal welfare standards and marinates it for at least 24 hours.

Today, there are eight Wolf sites operating across the UK, in London, Reading, Manchester, Nottingham and Leeds. However, the business is keen to continue growing the business. Thatís why itís advertising both standard and master franchise opportunities. Of course, the investment needed will depend upon the type of franchise agreement you choose, but it is likely to cost you at least £200,000.


To find out more information about these franchises or to discover other profitable ones, head to the Point Franchise directory.

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