Papa Jeff Schnatter, the founder of Papa John’s pizza, converted a broom closet in the back of his father’s tavern, Mick’s Lounge, in Jeffersonville, Indiana, back in 1984 to the first papa pizza kitchen.

The Start

Selling his car and using the funds to buy second-hand pizza-making equipment, he began selling his creations to the tavern’s customers and quickly grew in popularity.

Within a year, he expanded the business into a bigger space and crafted his now-infamous Papa John’s dipping sauces to go along with his freshly baked pizzas.

In 2009, a whopping 15 years later, Schnatter bought back his original car with some of the profits made from the now-global chain.

Massive Worldwide Growth From Papa John

Today, there are Papa John’s franchises across 4,700 sites in 37 countries and territories, and the chain is the third largest take-out and pizza delivery brand in the US.

The company headquarters are now in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, and the slogan “Better Ingredients. Better Pizza” dictates the ethos and mission of the brand.

At the beginning of 2018, the Papa himself stepped down as CEO of the company to enjoy a well-earned retirement but has assured everyone that the quality they’ve come to expect will remain.

about papa johns


Did you know….?:

  • Papa John’s headquarters are in Kentucky
  • Papa John is the 3rd largest pizza chain in the US!
  • The company was founded in 1984 by Papa John Schnatter.
  • Papa John has 5199 worldwide shops in the USA and 300 in the UK making better pizza!
  • In 2010 they signed an agreement to be the Official Pizza Sponsor of the US National Football League and Super Bowls

Looking for some recommendations? 

Here are the squirrel’s favs:


The perfect accompaniment to any Papa John’s pizza meal, the Papa Johns Signature Chicken Sharer includes three types of chicken for a very American side dish. Six finger-licking plain roasted chicken wings, six chicken wings marinated in the famously scorching spicy buffalo sauce and six chicken wings dripping in smoky BBQ sauce make up this great sharing box… unless of course, you’d prefer not to share and fancy scoffing them all yourself!


The original and best, this is very much ‘the pizza makers pizza’. Papa Johns’ international classic dough, perfected years ago, lies beneath rich vine-ripened tomato sauce, a blend of no less than SIX Italian cheese, slices of smoky pepperoni, chunks of meaty sausage and just a sprinkle of Italian herb seasoning across the top. Hungry yet? The Papa’s Favourite is available on an original crust, stuffed crust, extra thin crust or deep pan, so you can get it just how you like it before you tuck in.


Most of us don’t think to order a dessert when we’re already ordering a giant main course and sides, but yet don’t you always crave something sweet after a good meal? This beautiful steaming hot dessert is just the thing. Freshly baked bite-size rolls of sweet dough are covered in cinnamon crumbles with melted icing dripped over the top. They’re the perfect balance of spicy and sweet to satisfy your pudding craving.

Summary of Papa John

We hope you have enjoyed this Papa John’s pizza guide all about the company.

Remember if you’re looking for a student discount or other ways to save have a look at our fantastic Papa John’s student discount page, where we have a code plus more money-saving tips.

Finally, if you’re looking for similar offers then check out these pages below for some top tips as well as Pizza Express and Dominos:

Happy shopping!