Papa John's Pizza No. 774

Papa John's at 3570 Peachtree Industrial Blvd in Duluth.

The well-known pizza chain Papa John’s has picked metro Atlanta for the site of its new international headquarters to open in 2021, Gov. Brian Kemp’s office announced Thursday.

The move is poised to generate 200 jobs and comes as the popular pizza chain has seen sales growth during the COVID-19 pandemic as people rely more on food deliveries than in-person restaurant dining.

Papa John’s current headquarters is in Louisville, Ky. The company said it is exploring locations in the Atlanta area for the new headquarters and expects to open in summer 2021.

The pizza chain joins other major companies headquartered in the Atlanta area including The Coca-Cola Co., The Home Depot Inc. and Chick-fil-A. The bustling Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is also a boon for locally headquartered businesses.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome Papa John’s to the strong list of internationally known U.S. companies that have chosen the Peach State for their global headquarters,” Kemp said in a statement. “As the Top State for Business for seven consecutive years, these leading businesses know that Georgia has what they need to continue to thrive and expand.”

The announcement comes after Kemp earlier this month touted an industry award highlighting Georgia’s strong business growth that the state has won for seven consecutive years.

While coronavirus-prompted closures have hammered local service industries since March, Georgia still managed to drum up more than $7.4 billion in new investments stemming from around 350 development projects since July of 2019, Kemp noted earlier this month. 

The headquarters move by Papa John’s will bring to Atlanta the pizza chain’s key corporate tasks including designing menus, marketing, e-commerce and development jobs. The company has around 5,300 locations across the world, plus 2,500 employees already in Georgia.

“Papa John’s already has a major corporate presence in Georgia and metro Atlanta, and we know the many strengths of the region,” said Papa John’s president and CEO Rob Lynch. “So, we’re especially excited to be expanding here, as part of our long-term growth plans.”

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