(By Balaseshan) Papa John's International Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) said it will sign more than 200 franchise agreements this year in North America that are expected to create more than 5,000 jobs.
These franchisees, nearly half of whom represent individuals who are opening their first Papa John's restaurant, expect to create more than 5,000 new jobs over the next three years.
The current franchise program offers zero franchise fee, 0 percent royalty for 18 months and $50,000 in restaurant equipment for new restaurants opened through 2013. In 2012, restaurant openings under this program created about 3,000 jobs in North America.
Under the company's 2013 development incentive program, franchisees signing development agreements in the U.S. now through 2013 under this program can receive: No franchise fee ($25,000 value); and $50,000 in equipment, including two Middleby-Marshall ovens, which may be purchased by the franchisee for $50 after operating for three years.
The franchisees can also receive: a royalty waiver for up to 18 months; and a $3,000 food credit with PJ Food Service, which operates Papa John's fresh dough and food distribution quality control centers, for each restaurant that opens at least 30 days prior to the scheduled opening date.
The program is generally available for new U.S. unit development agreements signed by qualifying franchisees through Nov. 30, 2013, for new restaurant openings on or before Dec. 29, 2013.
"Nearly 50 percent of the new agreements signed represent individuals who are opening their first Papa John's small business franchise. With the average Papa John's franchisee owning three to five restaurants, we are proud to be doing our part as a brand to keep the economic engine running for small business owners," said John Schnatter, founder, chairman and chief executive of Papa John's.
PZZA is trading up 1.23 percent at $49.19 on Tuesday. The stock has been trading between $35.57 and $56.41 for the past 52 weeks.