Papa John’s International (NASDAQ: PZZA – News) today opened its first restaurant in the Dominican Republic, bringing with it more than 85 jobs and superior-quality pizza to Santo Domingo’s 1.9 million residents.

The 257-seat Papa John’s restaurant, owned by the Inversiones Blumaro S.A. Group, led by Isabel Turrull and Manuel Corripio, features dine-in, takeout, and delivery, in a location co-branded with Burger King. Inversiones Blumaro plans to open 18 Papa John’s restaurants over the next nine years in the Dominican Republic, including three additional restaurants this year, bringing hundreds of jobs to the region.

The opening of the Papa John’s in Santo Domingo represents the company’s 600 restaurant open outside of the U.S. Papa John’s celebrated its 10-year anniversary of international operations and its 500th international restaurant opening in July 2008.

“We spent the first 10 years methodically growing and developing our international operations,” says David Flanery, Papa John’s chief financial officer and head of the company’s international division. “It has just been in the past couple of years where we have significantly ramped-up our development efforts, and with 600 restaurants we feel we have a strong global footprint to continue to bring a better pizza experience to more and more consumers around the world.”

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