Amit Abhol (Rana) joined Papa John’s in 2017 and plans to open 20 Papa John’s by 2020.   

I was previously employed at a rival pizza firm, based out of Northern Ireland.  I started taking phone orders, then became a manager in training and eventually worked

my way up over 15 years to become an operations director for biggest franchisee in Ireland, managing multiple stores.  I was able to increase the sales in those stores dramatically so knew I could do the job!

I liked the idea of the franchised business model, as much of the marketing and brand awareness work has been completed compared with starting out alone. It means franchisees can hit the ground running. Franchise companies are supportive and provide training and resources to help individuals become successful.

I was aware of Papa John’s when working in Northern Ireland and was impressed by the Company’s growth.  With more than 5000 stores world-wide Papa John’s is firmly on the map and yet still has significant prospects for further growth and this is where I saw an opportunity to take a slice of the market!

Papa John’s concept of:  BETTER INGREDIENTS.  BETTER PIZZA. is also really popular.  It means franchisees supply a superior quality product using only fresh dough and ingredients.  It is important to have a popular product with real customer demand in order to expand.

However, at the end of the day, any business is about the people driving it and so it was important we met, I received a warm welcome and got on well with the Papa John’s head office team.  They are dedicated and share our goals for success and growth and we felt this would be a positive match.

Even though I have significant industry experience training has been thorough.   Papa John’s also offers staff training through an online modular system which will be really helpful as we recruit more staff.

The support from Papa John’s in terms of the current franchisee incentive scheme has also been very useful.  It offers help with marketing, reduced royalty fees and some free equipment to support new store openings from the outset.

A typical day as a franchisee is busy and varied!  Currently, we are working on opening new stores.  This may mean looking at locations and overseeing fit-out.  We also need to manage the operating stores to ensure our staff are motivated and delivering great quality product day in and day out!   In the future, I see my role as very hands-on, particularly on the training side of the business.  Good, well trained people make good pizza and a successful business!

Solihull was our first Papa John’s, but this is just the start.  We have completely re-fitted the store and aim to grow sales dramatically.  We aim to be up to ten Papa John’s in the 12 months.  These are likely to be a mixture of both new and existing stores.  We will add a further ten Papa John’s to our portfolio in the next year and aim to be running minimum 20 within three years.