California Pizza Kitchen Opens Tenth Restaurant in MexicoCalifornia Pizza Kitchen, Inc. (CPK) (NASDAQ: CPKI), a leading casual dining chain featuring an imaginative line of hearth-baked pizzas, today announced the opening of its tenth full-service restaurant in Mexico. Opened by CPK franchise partner Grupo Calpik, S.A.P.I. de C.V., the new location is the third California Pizza Kitchen in Naucalpan de Juárez, a northwest suburb of Mexico City.

The 6,400 square-foot CPK seats approximately 210 people and is located on the first floor, near the main entrance, of the new Terraza Lomas Verdes shopping center.

Tastefully decorated with warm colors and rich textures, the restaurant will open Monday through Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m., Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Guests can choose to dine inside, on the large outdoor patio or place a take-out order.

The menu will feature all of the popular CPK favorites including everything from the Original BBQ Chicken Pizza and Waldorf Chicken Salad to the Kung Pao Spaghetti and Avocado Egg Rolls.

The new restaurant will also offer an extensive beverage menu from its full bar, including the CPK Ultimate Margarita and other signature favorites such as the Original Recipe Mojitos.

Additional CPK restaurants are located in Guadalajara, Cancun and the following suburbs of Mexico City: Lomas Verdes, Bosques de Las Lomas, Polanco District, Santa Fe, Coyoacán and Satelite.

Round Table Pizza Restructures, Anticipates Minimal Impact on CustomersRound Table Pizza, Inc. said yesterday it filed a petition for protection under Chapter 11 with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Oakland designed to improve the company’s cash flow and stabilize its business through recapitalization of its debt and renegotiation of above-market leases. Despite improving business performance and expense reductions, the company said seeking legal protection under Chapter 11 was necessary to improve the company’s competitiveness as the economy recovers.

This action will not impact Round Table’s 148 franchisees that operate 355 independently owned Round Table Pizza restaurants on the West Coast. Round Table Pizza, Inc. said that it will close some unprofitable, company-owned restaurants but stressed that most of its company-owned locations and all of its franchised locations will remain open, with minimal impact on consumers.

“Our company has experienced consistent growth and management has been responsive to the difficult economic environment,” explained Rob McCourt, the Company’s President who has also been appointed CEO by the Board of Directors. “Unfortunately, we are compelled to take further steps, including this reorganization plan, to meaningfully address the high cost of our capital and above-market leases.

“Round Table remains open for business and fully operational, and we will continue to serve our customers The Last Honest Pizza,” said McCourt.

McCourt also said that the company was placing a high priority on communication to employees, franchisees, vendors, and other key audiences through the reorganization process, which is expected to take approximately 6 to 12 months.

Founded in Menlo Park, CA in 1959, Round Table Pizza has been a west coast institution for 50 years. Round Table has grown to be a leader in the premium pizza market and focuses on serving the needs of families. The company, known for making “The Last Honest Pizza,” has a system of approximately 470 franchised and company-owned stores operating in the western U.S. with system revenues in excess of $400 million. Round Table Pizza, Inc. is a private, 100% employee-owned company with corporate offices based in Concord, California.

Papa John's Continues Valentine's Day Tradition with Heart-Shaped PizzaChocolates are great. Flowers are nice. And diamonds say, “I love you.” But to really heat things up this Valentine’s Day, a Papa John’s heart-shaped pizza will certainly do! Available now through Feb. 14, couples and loved ones can skip the crowded, over-priced dine-out spots by ordering this limited-time pizza that everyone will take to heart.

Last year, Papa John’s sold more than 60,000 heart-shaped pizzas, proving many consumers forgo the fancy Valentine’s Day dinner to spend quality time at home with significant others, friends and family.

“For some, our heart-shaped pizza has become a Valentine’s Day tradition,” Papa John’s chief marketing officer Andrew Varga said. “As Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday this year, it’s a great night to be able to celebrate at home with a fresh, hot heart-shaped pizza that is delivered right to the door.”

To please even the most discerning couples and families alike, customers can mix and match toppings to ensure everyone receives exactly what they were hoping for on Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is traditionally one of the busiest days for restaurants. The average love struck consumer will spend $120 on Valentine’s Day related gifts and events.

Pizza Inn, Inc. Reports Results for Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2011Pizza Inn, Inc. (Nasdaq:PZZI) has reported net income of $0.4 million, or $0.05 per share, for the fiscal quarter ended December 26, 2010, versus net income of $0.4 million, or $0.05 per share, for the same quarter of the prior fiscal year on total revenue of $10.4 million for each of the fiscal quarters ended December 26, 2010 and December 27, 2009.

For the six months ended December 26, 2010, Company revenues were $21.0 million compared to $20.4 million for the same period in the prior fiscal year. Net income for the six months ended December 26, 2010 was $0.5 million, or $0.06 per share, compared to $0.8 million, or $0.09 per share, for the same period in the prior fiscal year. The decline in net income is primarily attributable to $0.3 million of depreciation expense associated with the closure of a company store opened prior to the rollout of the new buffet prototype.

Highlights for the second quarter of fiscal year 2011 included:

  • Sales from Company-owned restaurants increased 20%, or $0.2 million, in the second quarter of fiscal 2011 compared to the same quarter of the prior fiscal year, primarily due to the opening of a new buffet location in Lewisville, Texas in December, 2010 and the acquisition of a delivery carryout location from a franchisee in September, 2010. The new buffet restaurant was the third such Company-owned location opened since September, 2009.
  • Comparable domestic buffet restaurant sales decreased 2.2% for the second quarter of fiscal 2011 compared to the same quarter of the prior fiscal year.
  • Chain-wide comparable domestic restaurant sales decreased 2.6% for the second quarter of fiscal 2011 compared to the same quarter of the prior fiscal year.
  • The 0% First Year Royalty incentive program has resulted in seven buffet openings in the last six fiscal quarters, with an eighth buffet unit opened in the current quarter. Waived royalties under this incentive program were $58,000 for the second quarter of fiscal 2011 and $131,000 for the first six months of fiscal 2011. All of these new buffet units began or will begin paying royalties in fiscal year 2011 or 2012.
  • Subsequent to quarter end, the Company entered into an amendment to its Loan Agreement with Amegy Bank that increased the term loan facility to $2.56 million, providing additional growth capital for continued Company-owned restaurant expansion.

Charlie Morrison, President and CEO, commented, “We successfully opened our fifth company store in December, the second opening of this fiscal year, and secured additional financing to continue with our growth plans. This, combined with openings of eight new buffet restaurants in the last 18 months across the US under our $0 First Year Royalty incentive program, continues to position us for future growth. Although we continue to face difficult commodity markets and price competition in our category, we expect to see continued improvement in same store sales for the balance of this fiscal year.”

Pizza Inn, Inc. is an owner, franchisor and supplier of a system of restaurants operating domestically and internationally under the trademark “Pizza Inn.” The Company and its distribution division, Norco Restaurant Services Company, are headquartered in The Colony, Texas. The Company’s common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “PZZI.”

Seven Touchdowns in Super Bowl XLV Means Seven Free Toppings for Papa John's CustomersWhile Super Bowl XLV did not go into overtime, Papa John’s, as the Official Pizza Sponsor of the NFL, announced today that customers can receive up to seven free toppings – the number of touchdowns scored Sunday – on a large cheese pizza ordered online at regular menu price.

Papa John’s “Toppings for Touchdowns” offer runs today through Wednesday, Feb. 9, for orders made at www.papajohns.com. The promotion follows a company-record Super Bowl Sunday when Papa John’s sold more than 1 million pizzas, in addition to giving away $45 Papa Cards every 45 seconds throughout the day to randomly selected customers ordering online.

Had the Super Bowl gone into overtime, as previously announced Papa John’s was set to give a free large three-topping pizza to each of its more than 1.1 million My Papa Points online customer loyalty program members.

“As the Official Pizza Sponsor of the NFL and Super Bowl XLV, the entire season was a tremendous success for Papa John’s,” company Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Varga said. “Toppings for Touchdowns is a great way to celebrate and, most importantly, thank our customers for a great season.”

Papa John’s is in the first year of a multi-year sponsorship with the NFL. Papa John’s is also the Official Pizza of the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins.

Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) is the world’s third largest pizza company. For 10 of the past 11 years, consumers have rated Papa John’s No. 1 in customer satisfaction among all national pizza chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Papa John’s also was honored by Restaurants & Institutions Magazine (R&I) with the 2009 Gold Award for Consumers’ Choice in Chains in the pizza segment. Papa John’s is the Official Pizza Sponsor of the National Football League and Super Bowl XLV, XLVI and XLVII. For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John’s at www.papajohns.com.

OVERTIME PIZZA GIVEAWAY

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (D.C.) 18 AND OLDER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sweepstakes ends 2/5/11 at 11:59 P.M. ET. For Official Rules and complete details, visit www.papajohns.com. Sponsor: Papa John’s International, Inc. The NFL Entities (as defined in the official rules) have not offered or sponsored this Sweepstakes in any way. ©2011 NFL Properties LLC. All NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League.

45-SECOND PIZZA GIVEAWAY

NO PURCHASE OR ORDER NECESSARY. LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (D.C.) 18 AND OLDER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Starts 2/6/11 at 10:00 A.M., ET and ends 2/6/11 at 9:59:59 P.M., ET. See Official Rules at www.papajohns.com. Sponsor: Papa John’s International, Inc. The NFL Entities (as defined in the official rules) have not offered or sponsored this Sweepstakes in any way. ©2011 NFL Properties LLC. All NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League.

© 2011 NFL Properties LLC. Team names/logos/indicia are trademarks of the teams indicated. All other NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League.

It’s a rare confluence of gridiron and gastronomy.

On Super Bowl Sunday, North Texas will host football’s biggest game. And for many local pizza purveyors, it will be the year’s biggest day.

 Few regions this side of Tuscany have a bigger stake in pizza than North Texas, which is home to three of the top 10 chains — including the nation’s largest — plus three more in the top 50.

No other region in the U.S. has such a hefty slice.

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More Than 1 Million Americans Set to Receive Free Papa Johns Pizza If Super Bowl XLV Goes into OvertimeWith kickoff of Super Bowl XLV just two days away, more than 1 million Americans already are eligible to score a free large three-topping pizza if the game goes into overtime Sunday.

Papa John’s, the Official Pizza Sponsor of the NFL and Super Bowl XLV, announced Jan. 24 that it will give away a free pizza to everyone in America if the Super Bowl goes into overtime for the first time in history. To be eligible, all consumers need to do is register for Papa John’s online customer loyalty program, My Papa Points, at www.papajohns.com, by 11:59 p.m. ET Saturday, Feb. 5.

“The response to our Super Bowl XLV overtime promotion has been tremendous – from consumers, media, bloggers and others, and it’s a testament to the die-hard passion America has for the highest quality football and pizza – the NFL and Papa John’s,” said Andrew Varga, Papa John’s Chief Marketing Officer. “This year’s Super Bowl is being touted as one of the most evenly matched games in years, and if it goes into overtime, Papa John’s will make history with the biggest free pizza delivery of all time.”

If Super Bowl XLV goes into overtime, My Papa Points enrollees will be rewarded the next day with 25 Papa Points – the amount of points needed to redeem a large up to three-topping pizza. Consumers can redeem the 25 Papa Points for the free pizza anytime through June 30, 2011.

Papa John’s is also enhancing the Super Bowl experience by giving away $45 Papa John’s Papa Cards every 45 seconds on Super Bowl Sunday for consumers who order online at papajohns.com between 10 a.m. and 9:59 p.m. ET. Papa John’s will randomly select one online customer every 45 seconds to win a $45 Papa Card.

Papa John’s is in the first year of a multi-year sponsorship with the NFL and Papa John’s is also the Official Pizza of the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins.

Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) is the world’s third largest pizza company. For 10 of the past 11 years, consumers have rated Papa John’s No. 1 in customer satisfaction among all national pizza chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Papa John’s also was honored by Restaurants & Institutions Magazine (R&I) with the 2009 Gold Award for Consumers’ Choice in Chains in the pizza segment. Papa John’s is the Official Pizza Sponsor of the National Football League and Super Bowl XLV, XLVI and XLVII. For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John’s at www.papajohns.com.

OVERTIME PIZZA GIVEAWAY

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (D.C.) 18 AND OLDER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sweepstakes ends 2/5/11 at 11:59 P.M. ET. For Official Rules and complete details, visit www.papajohns.com. Sponsor: Papa John’s International, Inc. The NFL Entities (as defined in the official rules) have not offered or sponsored this Sweepstakes in any way. ©2011 NFL Properties LLC. All NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League.

45-SECOND PIZZA GIVEAWAY

NO PURCHASE OR ORDER NECESSARY. LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (D.C.) 18 AND OLDER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Starts 2/6/11 at 10:00 A.M., ET and ends 2/6/11 at 9:59:59 P.M., ET. See Official Rules at www.papajohns.com. Sponsor: Papa John’s International, Inc. The NFL Entities (as defined in the official rules) have not offered or sponsored this Sweepstakes in any way. ©2011 NFL Properties LLC. All NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League.

© 2011 NFL Properties LLC. Team names/logos/indicia are trademarks of the teams indicated. All other NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League.

Larry Lundy, a well-known New Orleans businessman and Pizza Hut magnate who owned dozens of the franchises in southeast Louisiana that abruptly closed last month, filed a counterclaim Monday against the pizza chain, claiming it hampered his company’s profitability as it attempted to squeeze him out of the market.

Lundy Enterprises, the company’s franchisee for New Orleans and Baton Rouge, owned 44 Pizza Hut locations at the time of the most recent court proceedings, including two in New Orleans, according to a lawsuit filed Jan. 3 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas.

Painting a picture of a contentious relationship, Lundy, who owned Lundy Enterprises with his wife, Marilyn, says in his counterclaim that Pizza Hut imposed unfair credit terms on him, refused to allow his chain of restaurants to introduce new products that were available in other markets, and schemed to reclaim his territories for the corporation.

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Pizza Inn Arrives in El Paso, TexasPizza Inn’s popular traditional and specialty pizzas are coming back to El Paso, Texas, with the opening of the newest Pizza Inn buffet restaurant at 1188 North Yarbrough.

The restaurant is part of a three-store deal with International Sunland Restaurants, LLC, a successful international franchisee for Pizza Inn that wanted to bring quality food at an affordable price to the El Paso community in a new, modern Pizza Inn location. 

“It’s a beautiful restaurant with a look and feel that people are going to love,” said Bobby Lyons, general manager for the new Pizza Inn. ”The space combines a legendary brand with an incredibly fresh experience. We can’t wait to welcome customers and serve them the delicious food that has made Pizza Inn an icon of the industry.”

The store will employ approximately 50 people and offer a pizza and salad buffet, as well as carryout options for customers. 

It’s a re-entry for Pizza Inn in the El Paso market, which last had a presence in the city in 1995. The development is part of a nationwide program to grow and update the Pizza Inn chain through new store developments as well as the remodeling of key existing sites.

“El Paso is a perfect setting for this resurgence,” said President and CEO Charlie Morrison. ”The economy is unique to the rest of the country with a strong military presence, a large industrial working force and a desire for a price conscious brand that can deliver a higher quality product. Our made from scratch dough, wide line of specialty pizzas and all you can eat buffet concept provide guests with an exceptional value that fits their budget.” Morrison added that the market has the potential for five restaurants over time.

The El Paso Pizza Inn is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. Carryout orders can be placed by calling 915-593-5656.

California Pizza Kitchen Opens Expanded Location in Fresno Yosemite International AirportCalifornia Pizza Kitchen, home of the Original BBQ Chicken Pizza and other innovative hearth-baked pizzas, made-to-order pastas, creative salads, appetizers, soups, sandwiches and desserts, has expanded upon their kiosk location in the Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FYI) in Fresno, Calif.

The new quick-service location opened by CPK franchise partner HMSHost Corporation, a world leader in travel dining and shopping, will now serve CPK’s signature pizzas on the menu, in addition to the sandwiches and salads that have been available to travelers since July of last year. Located in the Main Terminal Building, the new CPK will service travelers flying upon airline carriers including Delta, American and United Airlines, among others.

The menu at the Fresno Yosemite International Airport location features a specialized selection of CPK’s most popular items from the full-service restaurant menu. Among the items offered will be the Original BBQ Chicken & Thai Chicken Pizzas, Original BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad, Chicken Caesar Sandwich and Sedona Tortilla Soup.

In addition, the new CPK, open daily from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., will offer a breakfast menu highlighted by a great selection of hot Panini egg sandwiches served on Rustic Panini Bread. The menu will also offer The Works Breakfast Burrito with scrambled eggs, applewood smoked bacon, sweet Italian sausage, black beans, Cheddar and Mozzarella cheeses, fresh red and green peppers, onions and tomatillo salsa.

Domino's Pizza Hustles to Prepare for Biggest Day of the YearDomino’s Pizza is counting down to kickoff this weekend and training hard to handle a rush in orders. This Sunday’s game marks the busiest day of the year for Domino’s, as football fans gather to enjoy the competition with pizza, pasta and wings – a sure win in households nationwide.

As the Green Bay and Pittsburgh football teams get ready for their biggest Sunday of the season, the Domino’s team anticipates delivering over 9 million pizza slices nationwide on game day.

“Every night in the Domino’s stores is a dress rehearsal for big days like Sunday,” said Chris Brandon, Domino’s Pizza spokesperson. “Our team is ready to tackle the anticipated rush with smart hustle and precision. We’re poised and ready to deliver a great game day meal to millions of football fans nationwide.”

To see what customers predict for Sunday’s matchup, Domino’s has been conducting a Facebook poll asking which team users thought would bring home a win on Feb. 6. As of Monday afternoon, more than 15,000 customers responded and 52 percent said they thought Green Bay would come out victorious. Consumers can still have their say by continuing to vote up until game time at http://bit.ly/DPZ_Feb6.

Over the years, Domino’s has observed how certain game day scenarios seem to affect sales. For instance, sales tend to increase when the game is close and viewers are glued to their TVs.  Also, while both the Green Bay and Pittsburgh-area Domino’s stores will see high sales at the beginning of the game, the city of the winning team will likely see higher sales at the end of the night.

Pepperoni pizzas are America’s favorite every day, and the same should hold true for this Sunday. Domino’s anticipates almost 60 percent of pizza orders will be for pepperoni pizzas, with sausage being the second most popular topping. Meanwhile, Domino’s delivery drivers will cover up to 4 million miles this Sunday in the U.S. alone.

RedBrick Now Offers Gluten-Free Pizza for Wheat Sensitive DinersContinuing on its quest to create a healthier pizza experience for all, RedBrick Pizza, the fast-growing fast casual restaurant chain known for their fire-roasted gourmet Italian creations, has introduced a new gluten-free pizza crust especially for health conscious and wheat sensitive diners.

Every gluten-free RedBrick Pizza is made with the freshest ingredients of the highest quality including heart healthy olive oil. Each serving contains less sodium, calories, and carbs than ordinary pizza. RedBrick offers a full array of gourmet pizzas ranging from 280 to 450 calories. “We are delighted to be able to serve this audience with a delicious product that they can enjoy without guilt or worry,” says Jim Minidis, co-founder and CEO of RedBrick Pizza Worldwide, Inc.

For those with celiac disease, the gluten intolerance can be severe, and although our cafés are not a gluten-free establishment, RedBrick has gone to great lengths to train their staff and utilize separate prep and bake processes to keep customers safe and prevent any potential for cross contamination. The entire process has been reviewed and accepted by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) and Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF).

“RedBrick Pizza has a meticulous production process designed around safety and consistency,” noted Restaurant Dietician Darcie Ellyne. ”They have a passion for healthy and wholesome food. People with celiac can be confident that they’ll enjoy a reliable gluten-free pizza. They also have delicious and healthy menu items that cater to everybody in the family.”

RedBrick donates a portion of all gluten-free pizza sales to CDF’s Team Gluten-Free to help send children with severe wheat intolerance to summer camp. ”We’ve been impressed with the great work Team Gluten-Free is performing with children, who through no fault of their own, often find their lives highly restricted due to the prevalence of wheat products in the marketplace,” says Lynn Minidis, RedBrick co-founder.

Named The Future 50 fastest growing emerging chains in America by Restaurant Business, RedBrick Pizza Worldwide, Inc. has Neighborhood Pizza Cafés across the U.S. and Canada serving its fire-roasted gourmet pizzas, Fhazani sandwiches, chopped salads, and real Italian gelato ice cream.

To find your nearest RedBrick Pizza visit www.redbrickpizza.com.

Domino's Pizza Opens First New Store in BulgariaDomino’s Pizza has opened its first store in Bulgaria, with the promise of hot, delicious pizza for the residents of Sofia.

The master franchisee for Bulgaria is Anatron Food Services, who also serves as the master franchisee for Domino’s Pizza in Greece and Cyprus.

However, the stores in Bulgaria will be operated by LN Solutions, owned by Lazgin Majid and Nikola Nikolov. The two partners have experience with other fast food franchises, as well as a non-food franchise, and also are involved in other businesses in the country. Their broad business experience in Bulgaria makes them well-positioned to develop Domino’s into a leading brand in the country.

“Domino’s Pizza is known around the world for delivering quality products to its customers,” said Majid. “The people of Bulgaria will now get to experience the high level of service and quality pizza that customers worldwide enjoy.”

Domino’s Pizza has also reopened in the Philippines, with a store in City of Makati in the Greater Manila area. The new master franchisee in the Philippines is a partnership formed by the Domino’s Pizza master franchisee for South Korea, Goldilocks Bakery and a minority operating partner. This partnership leverages the experience of a successful Domino’s master franchisee, a highly successful family-owned Philippine bakery chain with more than 300 stores and a partner who is a seasoned operator in the pizza business.

Domino’s Pizza now operates in 69 markets worldwide, with nearly half of its global retail sales coming from international stores, generating roughly a third of its operating income.  

 

Pizza has thrown a flying wedge at the worst recession since the Great Depression.

The recipe for surviving — even thriving — in the current economy may be less tax cut extension and more bubbling cheese, savory tomato sauce and chewy crust.

This year, the 65,000 pizza parlors in the U.S. are doing a booming business, with Americans ordering 5.5 billion pies every day. The slice is remarkably resistant to the recession.

“It’s such a cheap meal – a large pizza for a family of four is an easy indulgence,” said comfort food expert Brian Wansink, professor of marketing at Cornell University and author of “Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More than We Think.”

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Papa John's Names Tony Thompson Executive Vice PresidentPapa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) today announced the promotion of Tony Thompson to Executive Vice President, responsible for overseeing Papa John’s North American operations. Thompson will also continue in his role as President, Global PJ Food Service and Research & Development, responsible for leading Quality Control Center Operations, Strategic Supply Chain Management, Research & Development/Quality Assurance and the company’s Preferred Marketing Solutions printing and promotions subsidiary. He will report to Papa John’s co-Chief Executive Officers, John Schnatter and Jude Thompson (no relation to Tony Thompson).

“Tony has done an outstanding job driving efficiencies and improvements throughout our global distribution, quality assurance and supply chain functions,” said Jude Thompson, Papa John’s President and co-Chief Executive Officer. “Supported by talented and experienced operators in Steve Ritchie and Tim North, we look forward to Tony expanding his leadership to our North American operations teams.”

Steve Ritchie has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Operations, responsible for leading Papa John’s domestic company-owned restaurant operations. Ritchie has served in various capacities of increasing responsibility since joining the Papa John’s system in 1996, including Vice President, Global Operations Support & Training since July 2010, responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company’s global operations support and training functions. Since 2006, Ritchie has served as Operating Partner for 19-store franchise, Capital Pizza, in the company’s Midwest Division.

Tim North, Senior Vice President, North American Operations, will lead the brand’s growing North American franchise operations, including the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and Canada. Prior to his appointment as Senior Vice President in 2009, from 2005 to 2009 North served as Papa John’s Division Vice President for the Northeast, overseeing operations for 100 company-owned and nearly 400 franchised units. Both Ritchie and North will report to Tony Thompson.

Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) is the world’s third largest pizza company. For 10 of the past 11 years, consumers have rated Papa John’s No. 1 in customer satisfaction among all national pizza chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Papa John’s also was honored by Restaurants & Institutions Magazine (R&I) with the 2009 Gold Award for Consumers’ Choice in Chains in the pizza segment. Papa John’s is the Official Pizza Sponsor of the National Football League and Super Bowl XLV, XLVI and XLVII. For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John’s at www.papajohns.com.

Pizza Fusion Restaurant Franchise Soon to Open Two Locations in Tampa, FloridaNatural and eco-friendly pizza restaurant franchise and 2010 Hot Concept Winner, Pizza Fusion will be opening two locations in the Tampa, Florida area in January 2011. Pizza Fusion has become one of pizza-lovers’ favorite pizzerias not only because of its award-winning taste, but because they only use the freshest, healthier and all-natural, hormone, pesticide and chemical-free ingredients.

Voted “Best Pizza” numerous times, Pizza Fusion’s well-rounded menu offers something for everyone at a great value. Menu items range from traditional pizzas and sandwiches to its extensive offering of handcrafted, specialty pizzas, like Four Cheese & Sundried Tomato, Sausage & Tri-Colored Peppers or the popular Founder’s Pie. Pizza Fusion’s award-winning, organic salads offer a tasty meal for a quick lunch or healthy dinner. Beyond its organic offerings, Pizza Fusion also offers a number of menu items for selective eaters, including vegan, vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-free pizza and other options.

The two new Pizza Fusion restaurant owners, Ralph Santell and David Burton, plan to open their respective locations in January 2011. Ralph Santell will be opening his new location in Westchase at 9556 West Linebaugh and Dave Burton will be opening doors on his restaurant on 777 North Ashley Drive.

Pizza Fusion CEO Mark Begelman commented, “I am honored to have two such outstanding businessmen and entrepreneurs as Ralph Santell and David Burton join the Pizza Fusion family. With their combination of experience, talent and passion, their restaurants will not only be great pillars in the Tampa community, but also outstanding leaders within our own dynamic organization.”

Dave Burton notes that, “I was drawn to Pizza Fusion mainly because of its focus on fresh and natural foods as well as it being a restaurant leader in environmentally sustainable practices. I’ve always tried to align myself with organizations built around integrity and am delighted to work with a company that prides itself on social responsibility.”

And Ralph Santell says, “Having a Pizza Fusion franchise will allow us to impact more people’s lives in a positive manner in many ways. Being good stewards of the environment while providing healthy and delicious food options for our community will give all of our team members a sense of satisfaction as well as a feeling of accomplishment. Come visit us and see what we are all about!”

Pizza Fusion, whose motto is ‘Saving the Earth, One Pizza at a Time,’ practices a socially-conscious approach to its entire existence, including the restaurants’ build-out, service and overall operations. These steps ensure that each pizza franchise is not only good for the community and environment, but it is also saving on costs such as electricity and water. Through building all of its restaurants to LEED standards and offsetting 100% of its power consumption at all of its restaurants, among many other green initiatives, Pizza Fusion is pioneering the sustainable restaurant movement.

In the United States, restaurants are the top electricity consumer among retail businesses, accounting for 33% of the total consumption. Each restaurant produces an average of 50,000 pounds of waste per year. Pizza Fusion’s restaurants reduce water waste by 40 percent and electricity consumption by 20 percent annually. The chain’s LEED certified restaurants feature a number of unique, eco-efficient products, techniques and designs. Pizza Fusion restaurants’ eco-elements include countertops made of reused glass bottles from other Pizza Fusions and manufactured using a cradle-to-cradle approach, bamboo flooring, 30% recaptured industrial concrete, non-VOC paints, energy start certified appliances, insulation made from recycled blue jeans, ceiling baffles made from recycled composite board, low-voltage, low-heat lighting, furniture made from reclaimed wood, and much more – all the way down to the 100 percent post-consumer toilet paper in their bathrooms.

Pizza Fusion is considering Area Developer and Franchise candidates to open several locations. For more information on Pizza Fusion franchise and area development opportunities, visit: http://www.mypizzafusionfranchise.com.

“Best Concept” Winner of 2010 by the Nation’s Restaurant News, Pizza Fusion was founded in the best interest of the individual and the environment and is the number-one green franchise in North America. Based out of Fort Lauderdale, FL, the all-natural pizza restaurant chain offers fresh, natural, and healthier foods in all its eco-friendly, LEED certified locations worldwide. The pizza franchise’s mission is to uphold the highest level of integrity in all they do, from the quality and origin of their food to their care for the health of their customers and the environment. Pizza Fusion, “Saving the Earth, One Pizza at a Time.” (www.pizzafusion.com).

CiCi's Pizza Announces Hiring of New Director of Real Estate Services and SupportCiCi’s Pizza, home of the $4.99 endless pizza, pasta, salad and dessert buffet, announces today the addition of Deb Chappell as Director of Real Estate Services and Support.

A 25-year veteran, Chappell led expansion efforts for big names like Chili’s Grill & Bar, Romano’s Macaroni Grill and BJ’s Restaurants. At CiCi’s Pizza, Chappell is tasked with building on CiCi’s diversity in franchising and continued growth. The Texas-based company plans to add 500 units in the next eight to 10 years and is actively recruiting franchise partners.

Chappell brings decades of experience in helping brands expand through market development and analysis and real-estate development. She’ll begin outreach to potential multi-unit franchisees and developers immediately. Chappell has also worked extensively in non-traditional development and will be a key resource as CiCi’s expands in non-traditional locations, like airports, college campuses and military bases.

“CiCi’s has an attractive concept that consistently caters to its guests. It’s a household name that thrives in all types of locations,” Chappell said. “My job is to use thorough analysis to ensure locations are ideally positioned for strong success.”

Before joining the CiCi’s team, Chappell led expansion efforts in the Eastern, Midwestern and Central regions as Director of Real Estate for BJ’s Restaurants, where she developed and directed strategic and five-year growth plans for all concepts. While at Brinker International, Chappell led a team to oversee all aspects of the real estate development process, including strategic market analysis, site procurement and provided guidance on contract negotiations, leases and more. Immediately before coming on board with CiCi’s, Chappell owned the consulting firm DC Interests.

“Deb’s experience and the relationships she’s forged with multi-unit franchisees and developers across the country are powerful assets to the CiCi’s brand,” said CiCi’s Pizza CEO Mike Shumsky. “She is key to executing our strategic growth plan.”

California Pizza Kitchen Continues Expansion in Mexico CityCalifornia Pizza Kitchen, Inc. (CPK) (NASDAQ:CPKI), a leading casual dining chain featuring an imaginative line of hearth-baked pizzas, today announced the opening of its ninth restaurant in Mexico. Opened by CPK franchise partner Grupo Calpik, S.A.P.I. de C.V., the new full-service restaurant is located in the Jardines del Pedregal neighborhood of Mexico City.

The 6,400 square-foot CPK seats approximately 210 people and is located on the second floor of the Terraza Pedregal business center.

Tastefully decorated with warm colors and rich textures, the restaurant will open Monday through Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., Friday through Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Guests can dine inside, on the large outdoor patio or place a take-out order.

The menu will feature all of the popular CPK favorites including everything from the Original BBQ Chicken Pizza and Waldorf Chicken Salad to the Kung Pao Spaghetti and Avocado Egg Rolls.

The new restaurant will also feature an extensive beverage menu from its full bar, including the CPK Ultimate Margarita and other signature favorites such as the Original Recipe Mojitos.

Additional CPK restaurants are located in Guadalajara, Cancun and the following suburbs of Mexico City: Lomas Verdes, Bosques de Las Lomas, Polanco District, Santa Fe, Coyoacán and Satelite.

Papa John's Names Five Finalists in Search for Fantasy Football League That's 'Better Than the Rest'As fantasy football teams across the country load up for a playoff push, owners in five elite leagues will square off to determine which league reigns supreme. Papa John’s, the Official Pizza Sponsor of the NFL, today announced the selection of five finalists for its “Fantasy to Reality” contest, a competition to find the fantasy football league that’s “better than the rest,” with the winner claiming ultimate bragging rights and a trip to the 2011 NFL Draft in New York City.

Consumers can review the finalists and cast their votes now through Dec. 12 at Papa John’s Facebook page. America’s vote will be included in selection of the winner, who also will be judged by an expert panel led by six-time All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates and ESPN Senior Fantasy Analyst Matthew Berry. The winner will be announced the week of Dec. 13 as many fantasy football playoffs kick off.

“In fantasy football, just like in the National Football League, you have to bring your ‘A’ game every season, every week, every game,” Gates said. “These five finalists have done just that, competing and managing their leagues to perfection and providing the ultimate fantasy experience – from draft day blowouts, entertaining smack talk, strategic roster moves and great competition. But only one of these leagues can take home the title of the fantasy league that’s ‘better than the rest’.”

The five finalists are:

  • Excessive Celebration – Brent Johnson leads this 12-team, Atlanta-based league with an iron fist, even drafting up a Constitution with league rules and bylaws. This well-oiled machine of a league holds league votes to approve incoming owners and awards virtual trophies each week for some added motivation.
  • The Dude Abides – This long-standing league, spearheaded by Hunt Meacham of Charlotte, N.C., consists of best friends dating back to elementary school, all coming back every year for a shot at the title. But these friendships make way for fierce rivalries as each owner strives for a chance to wear the coveted league championship belt.
  • Southern Illinois Fantasy Football – Not content with standard 10- or 12-team leagues, this league consists of 32 teams split in four divisions. League Commissioner Donald Basta from Carterville, Ill., and his league managers are so dedicated to their league that they hold an annual owners meeting each April to discuss all potential rule changes to improve the league.
  • The Coaches Poll – Peter LaBauve from Columbus, Ohio takes his league so seriously that he created a website featuring league updates, manger profiles, photos and The Coaches Poll record books. The dedication is all worth it for a chance to win the 3-foot-tall Trueman Trophy.
  • The AFFL – Each year, 12 team owners battle it out for the coveted AFFL Championship Ring, which bears the league’s creed: “Survival of the Luckiest.” League Commissioner Raffi Lalazarian of Los Angeles manages the league’s website, which features customized team pages and weekly articles and podcast interviews with team owners.

“The quality of the responses in our search for the fantasy football league that’s better than the rest is a true testament to the passion and dedication that exists for fantasy football,” said Andrew Varga, Papa John’s chief marketing officer. “And we knew that in order to choose between these five deserving leagues, we needed to get input from America, as well as some fantasy football experts. Who better to help determine the fantasy league that’s ‘better than the rest’ than the best tight end in fantasy and reality, Antonio Gates, and ESPN’s Matthew Berry, the expert fantasy owners turn to for advice on how to bring home the championship for their fantasy team?”

“Between the hundreds of leagues I’ve played in over the past 25 years as well as the millions of leagues I have seen in my 10 years writing for ESPN.com, I definitely know firsthand the creativity, hard work, friendship and banter it takes to make a league great,” said Berry, a charter member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. “I’m looking forward to helping choose the league that’s better than the rest and stealing some of their ideas for leagues of my own.”

Known for “Better Ingredients, Better Pizza,” Papa John’s is in the first year of a multi-year sponsorship with the NFL and Papa John’s is also the Official Pizza of the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins.

Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) is the world’s third largest pizza company. For 10 of the past 11 years, consumers have rated Papa John’s No. 1 in customer satisfaction among all national pizza chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Papa John’s also was honored by Restaurants & Institutions Magazine (R&I) with the 2009 Gold Award for Consumers’ Choice in Chains in the pizza segment. Papa John’s is the Official Pizza Sponsor of the National Football League and Super Bowl XLV, XLVI and XLVII. For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John’s at www.papajohns.com.

© 2010 NFL Properties LLC. Team names/logos/indicia are trademarks of the teams indicated. All other NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League.

No purchase necessary.  For Official Rules, go to www.papajohns.com.

Papa John's Introduces New Double Bacon Six Cheese PizzaWhile turkey traditionally takes the spotlight this time of year, Papa John’s, the world’s third-largest pizza company, is offering consumers something that they love all year long – bacon. And more bacon.

Now through Dec. 26, Papa John’s is introducing the Double Bacon Six Cheese pizza, a specialty pizza made with a six-cheese blend of Mozzarella, Parmesan, Romano, Asiago, Provolone and Fontina, and topped with both hickory-smoked bacon and Canadian bacon.

“Our newest pizza creation definitely answers the call for anyone looking to ‘bring home the bacon’ Thanksgiving Eve and throughout the holiday season,” said Papa John’s Chief Marketing Officer, Andrew Varga.

In 2009, U.S. consumption of turkey averaged 17 pounds per person, while the average American eats 17.9 pounds of bacon per year, making bacon an equally popular choice for not just Thanksgiving leftovers, but pizza, too. So Papa John’s is using its better ingredients to satisfy bacon cravings all holiday season long.

“We think this is the perfect time to introduce a new bacon pizza,” Varga said. “Year after year, we see a huge spike in pizza sales the day before Thanksgiving. Add to that the hundreds of bacon fan pages, dedicated blogs, its pervasiveness in pop culture and the fact that it is one of our top selling ingredients, it is clear that consumers have an enormous appetite and affinity for bacon.”

The Double Bacon Six Cheese pizza is available for only $11.00 at all Papa John’s restaurants, and can be ordered online at the recently revamped Papa John’s online ordering site, www.papajohns.com. The new site includes pizza builder graphics that allow customers to put together their own pizzas through an interactive pizza-making application, showing them a visual of their finished product that matches in-restaurant topping specifications.

The site also offers consumers the only national online pizza loyalty program, Papa Points, in which customers can earn points towards free pizza with each online purchase. Once enrolled, customers earn one point for every $5 spent online; when customers accumulate 25 points, they receive a free pizza with their next online pizza purchase.

Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) is the world’s third largest pizza company. For 10 of the past 11 years, consumers have rated Papa John’s No. 1 in customer satisfaction among all national pizza chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Papa John’s also was honored by Restaurants & Institutions Magazine (R&I) with the 2009 Gold Award for Consumers’ Choice in Chains in the pizza segment. Papa John’s is the Official Pizza Sponsor of the National Football League and Super Bowl XLV, XLVI and XLVII. For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John’s at www.papajohns.com.