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CEO Steve Ritchie recently announced the opening of Papa John’s 2000th overseas store. It appears that the largest pizza chain is not going to rest on its global laurels anytime soon. It can be recalled that Papa John’s opened its first overseas store in 1998 in Mexico City.

Its store in Turkey marked its 500th store in 2008. And, its 1000th overseas store was opened in 2013. In one of the press releases issued by the company, chief operating officer Jack Swaysland noted that international development is Papa John’s long-term growth engine.

The 2000th store was recently opened by Russian master franchisee PJ Western in the Commonwealth of Independent States and Poland. In another press release, Papa John’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Ritchie disclosed that the company will continue to look for other opportunities to widen its reach all over the world. During the Q4 earnings call, Ritchie underlined that the international operations counts are increasing at a double-digit rate.

In 2018 alone Papa John’s opened a record-breaking 304 overseas stores. The company has explored 12 new territories since 2016. This means the company expanded its international footprint to 47 new territories and countries. The recently opened 2000th store in Moscow added to the company’s footprint in Russia.

The move might be good for the company because while Pizza is a popular American staple, the domestic market has become overly saturated. In a report released by CHD, the number of pizzerias in the US declined by 300 stores to 75,000 units against 2017. Aside from this, competitive pressures have propelled as more concepts were discovered to even the playing field.

About Steve Ritchie

Steve Ritchie began with Papa John’s as a customer service representative in 1996 earning around $6 per hour. He became the operator and franchise owner of the company in 2006. In 2010, Ritchie started serving in bigger capacities of leadership in terms of operations.

He became the senior vice president of Papa John’s International Inc in 2013 until 2015. Steve Ritchie has been serving as the President of Papa John’s International since 2015. He was appointed as the chief executive officer of the company in 2018.

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