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Papa John’s Case study: Muhammad Abid

Muhammad Abid

Muhammad Abid first joined Papa John’s in 2013; he now runs 40 stores across the UK and still has plans to grow further.

“I have big plans for pizza! My ultimate aim is to have 100 Papa John’s stores so there will be some busy years up ahead. The company offers the opportunity to grow and I’m hungry for success.”

Muhammad Abid franchise owner

What was your career experience before becoming a Papa John’s franchisee?

“I used to run a college for international students in London before joining Papa John’s.

“I purchased the Newbury franchised store in 2013. I now run 40 Papa John’s stores across the UK with plans to grow to 100 by the end of 2022.”

How did you first hear about franchising? And what attracted you to the franchise model?

“A friend worked in franchising and recommended the model. He was happy and making a good living. Franchising is a professional set up and so in combination with Papa John’s top-quality product and service – which I’d already tried and loved – I knew the business opportunity was there and I was hungry for a new challenge.”

Why did you decide to invest in multiple units?

“It was a big learning curve as I was completely new to the industry and it took a couple of years to realize the full opportunity which Papa John’s offers. I now know how to grow sales and the importance of focusing on quality and marketing. The success over the years has enabled me to purchase multiple stores.

“Running multiple Papa John’s stores offers economies of scale on ordering, marketing and it helps with recruitment advertising too. Staff can move between stores and there is always a path for promotion for them which is motivating as we like to keep our best people.”

Muhammad Abid's store team celebrates opening

What is your experience when you open a new location?

“Opening in a new location always starts with great sales. It is then up to us to maintain the customers’ interest over time with marketing, offers and always delivering the best product and service available.

“We have also invested in existing stores with a deal made possible through Papa John’s. Sometimes people want to sell up then, once approved by Papa John’s, you can buy the re-sale franchise which means there are already staff in place and an existing customer base. Having said that, I also like opening new stores and bringing the very best pizza to people for the first time!”

Have there been any unexpected challenges to scaling up?

“The main challenge in growth is to manage cash flow carefully. On one hand, there is a need to invest in stores, staff and marketing and yet on the other watch expenditure and be as cost-effective as possible. Striking a careful balance is crucial to the success of any expanding business.”

What is essential when recruiting and leading a team?

“Success is all about teamwork. I have one managing director, two heads of operations and nine cluster managers to manage the 40 stores I run.

“Communication between us all and to staff is really important. We hold regular weekly web calls to keep everyone updated on progress and protocol.

“I have an HR department to manage the recruitment for stores. Stores must be well-staffed during our busy/peak times between 5-9 pm and on the weekends. Particularly, we need good bike riders and drivers to ensure deliveries are on-time. This means our product is always hot and fresh and customers keep coming back for more.

“We try and promote from within. Working with people you know and trust is an essential ingredient for success.”

What is your vision for the future of your businesses?

“I have big plans for pizza! My ultimate aim is to have 100 Papa John’s stores so there will be some busy years up ahead. The company offers the opportunity to grow and I’m hungry for success.”

Franchisee opportunities available

Papa John’s is currently recruiting for more talented franchisees that embody our values of:

  • People first: focus on the customer and team members
  • Everyone belongs: we believe in diversity, equity, inclusion and teamwork
  • Do the right thing: integrity and character for a better community
  • Innovate to win: think differently and lead change
  • Have fun: it’s pizza, it has to be fun!


As one of the largest pizza companies in the world, Papa John’s has opportunities for multi-unit franchisees throughout the UK.

Help is provided with location selection, growth incentives, and full turn-key opening of stores. As a franchise, the Company supplies all the assistance needed to get your successful Papa John’s up and running.


For further information please visit our franchisee page.