US-based pizza chain Papa John’s International Inc on April 7 unveiled plans to open 15 new outlets in the Kingdom over the next three years.
Papa John’s opened its flagship store in Phnom Penh late last month, the company said in a press release.
The chain’s Cambodia franchisee Peter Xu said: “We are very excited to bring Papa John’s global brand to Cambodia. Papa John’s Cambodia’s team is truly passionate about pizza. With our ‘better ingredients, better pizza’ promise, we look forward to providing local pizza lovers with quality products and outstanding services.”
With prior business ventures in Cambodia, Xu was keen to bring his experience as a franchisee with Papa John’s restaurants in New York City to the Kingdom, the company added.
Chief operating officer Jack Swaysland echoed Xu’s excitement to “deliver our delicious pizza and food to new customers in Cambodia”.
He said: “Following a record year of sales and growth, Papa John’s is better positioned than ever to accelerate international development, which is a key pillar for the brand’s long-term growth. This is a significant new partnership in Asia, and we look forward to continue growing the Papa John’s family across the globe.”
Heng Sengly, general manager of local restaurant chain Park Cafe Food and Beverage Co Ltd, noted that Papa John’s debut in the Kingdom would have limited repercussions for local eateries. “They have their own customers.”
He told The Post: “The market is still good for business in Cambodia, we figure that there aren’t as many famous brands here as there are in neighbouring countries Thailand and Vietnam, which leaves us ample market opportunities.”
On the contrary, he said, Papa John’s presence in the Kingdom would likely attract more investment and tourists after the Covid-19 situation has improved.
“It’ll show that Cambodia has market potential and will also help woo other famous brands to the Cambodian scene,” Sengly said.
Papa John’s noted that it has a footprint in 48 countries and international territories, and made debuts over recent years in 12 new nations – France, Spain, Tunisia, Iraq, the Netherlands, Morocco, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Bahamas, Pakistan and Portugal.
“The company looks to continue its rapid global development and is seeking potential franchisees in Brazil, Japan and Southeast Asia,” it added.
On the Nasdaq stock exchange, Papa John’s share price surged $2.37 or 2.60 per cent to close April 7 at $93.58 for a market capitalisation of $3.08 billion, with 572,398 shares traded.