LOUISVILLE, KY. – Papa John’s International and franchisee, HB Restaurant Group, signed an agreement to open 49 new stores in Philadelphia and southern New Jersey between 2021 and 2028. The deal represents the largest domestic development agreement in 20 years for Papa John’s.

“Papa John’s has long offered franchise investors one of the fastest paybacks in our industry,” said Amanda Clark, Papa John’s chief development officer. “Recent record sales have driven further gains in store profitability. Combined with our resilient e-commerce and delivery model, a transforming brand and significant whitespace, Papa John’s today offers franchise investors a truly compelling opportunity. We’re excited to grow our partnership with HB Restaurant Group, already an important member of the Papa John’s family, as we accelerate our development activities at this unique moment for the brand.”

HB Restaurant Group currently owns 43 restaurants in the Mid-Atlantic area and has been a Papa John’s franchisee since April 2019. Stuart Hunt, president of HB Restaurant Group, said, “We joined the Papa John’s system a year ago after seeing a tremendous opportunity to invest in and grow with a great brand. We are very excited to extend our growth strategy by developing new stores in a great market like Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. Papa John’s is built on supporting our neighbors where we are located, and we embrace these values. We look forward to becoming an integral part of our communities as we grow.”

As of June 28, Papa John’s had approximately 1,100 restaurants — 100 units in North America and 1,000 units internationally) — in its development pipeline. Most of those restaurants are scheduled to open over the next six years.

Almost all traditional Papa John’s restaurants are open and fully operational, the company said. Several non-traditional restaurants located in universities and stadiums are temporarily closed; however, these locations are not material to revenues and operating results, the company noted.

Approximately 150 of the company’s approximately 2,100 international franchised stores are temporarily closed because of the pandemic.