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Papa John’s Posts Biggest Sales Gains Since Schnatter Era


Less than nine months after appointing former Arby’s President Rob Lynch as its new president and CEO, Papa John’s posted systemwide sales growth of 5.3 percent during the first quarter of 2020, the brand’s best results since company founder John Schnatter resigned as CEO in late 2017.

Getting more granular about its results amid the pandemic, Papa John’s broke down its comparable sales results over four periods: December 30, 2019 to January 26, 2020; January 27 to February 23; February 24 to March 29; and March 30 through April 26.

For March 30 through April 26, company-owned Papa John’s locations in the United States posted a 22 percent increase in comp sales. Franchised restaurants in North America saw sales increase by 28.4 percent, for a systemwide tally of 26.9 percent growth in the entirety of its locations in North America.

“Although March sales in North America were negatively impacted by the cancellation of large gatherings, including major sporting events, our domestic businesses have performed well, as customers and communities rely on us and others in the food delivery industry,” the company said in a press release. “The demand for carryout and delivery across our markets has increased over the past several weeks.”

Of the company’s approximately 2,100 international franchised stores, approximately 375 are temporarily closed, principally in Europe (140 stores), Latin America (130 stores), and the Middle East (95 stores) in accordance with government policies.

A version of this story originally appeared in sister publication Food On Demand.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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