Papa Johns to shut 50 UK-owned stores

Papa Johns is set to close 50 UK stores in Q2 of 2024

The famous pizza takeaway store is set to close 50 underperforming stores across the country. 

All Papa John closures will occur in the second quarter. 

The company, which operates 524 stores in the UK – 406 of which are run by franchises – established a corporate presence in 2023, acquiring 118 stores across June and July. That portfolio will now be reduced to 68 restaurants. 

Papa Johns CEO notes

CEO Rob Lynch describes this group as underperforming stores that would not benefit from better operations, that are located in obsolete trade zones and face other challenges that aren’t easily mitigated to get them to profitability.

Lynch notes that the UK has dealt with significantly higher rates of inflation when compared to the US and that the labour market has been just as problematic.

The sites to be closed accounted for two-thirds of the brand's operating loss in the UK during the 2023 Q4. Lynch says the company will continue to evaluate its portfolio and franchise locations, including a focus on sales trends, profitability and lease and loan obligations. Through this process, more closures could occur. 

International same-store sales dipped 5.5% in Q4 and 3.1% in 2023 due in part to the UK struggles. While Papa Johns has debuted approximately 50 stores annually in the UK market in recent years, the issue is that those openings haven’t always been efficient, Lynch says. 

Papa Johns is hyper-focused on US development. In 2023, the chain opened 57 new restaurants in North America. In 2024, the brand expects 20% higher growth, which would be close to 70 new units. 

You may also be interested in…