LOUISVILLE, KY. – In light of the global pizza chain’s record growth, Papa John’s announced plans to invest $2.5 million over the next five months on programs designed to recruit and retain employees. With 5,400 stores operating in 50 countries, officials are incentivizing the 14,000 front-line line employees working in its corporate-owned restaurants as well as its supply chain operation by offering referral bonuses to current employees, hiring bonuses to new hires and incremental appreciation bonuses to corporate employees for the remainder of the year. At the end of 2020, the company announced it would similarly award front-line workers of corporate-owned locations with end-of-year bonuses totaling $2.5 million.

“The incredible hard work and commitment of our team members, which powered Papa John’s tremendous performance and transformation over the past 18 months, is just as important to our sustained long-term growth,” said Rob Lynch, president and chief executive officer.

The latest program offers corporate employees $50 referral bonuses for each newly hired worker they recruit in addition to a $50 bonus paid to the new hire. Additionally, current corporate employees will be eligible for incremental bonuses up to $400 for the remainder of the year.

As of 2020, approximately 600 US stores were company owned and about 2,500 were owned by franchisees, according to Statista. Lynch said the programs are comparable to those being offered by franchise-owned stores.

“These new bonuses for our team members in our corporate restaurants and QCCs reflect the value we place on growing, retaining and supporting our dedicated team. In addition, we’ve made permanent the expanded health, wellness, paid time-off and college tuition benefits we rolled out during the pandemic, as we strive to be the employer of choice within our dynamic industry,” he said.

The company recently announced its fiscal Q1 results ended March 28, which compared favorably to the same period in 2020. Comparable store sales in the quarter shot up 26% in North America and 23% internationally when compared to the previous year’s first quarter. Papa John’s International reported net income of $33.9 million, or 83¢ per share on the common stock, which compared to $8.4 million, or 15¢ per share, in the previous year’s first quarter. Total revenues, at $511.7 million, marked the first time Papa John’s surpassed $500 million in a quarter and was a 25% increase from $409.9 million in the previous year’s first quarter.