Papa John's International today announced the opening of its first restaurant in Azerbaijan, serving the more than 2 million residents of Baku.

The Papa John's restaurant, owned by Kamran Aliyev and Murad Melikov of PJA Limited, offers dine-in, takeout and delivery. PJA Limited plans to grow the Azerbaijan market by opening several Papa John's restaurants throughout the next few years.

"For more than 28 years Papa John's has grown steadily by delivering on its 'Better Ingredients. Better Pizza. brand promise," said Tom Sterrett, Papa John's senior vice president, International. "Azerbaijanis can expect to enjoy the same great taste and high-quality ingredients with every pizza that so many loyal customers around the world experience every day."

At the end of the second quarter, Papa John's had 855 restaurants open outside of the U.S. The company began its international operations 13 years ago and has recently ramped-up its international growth efforts.

"We spent a lot of time methodically growing and developing our international operations," Sterrett said. "Over the past couple of years we have significantly ramped-up our development efforts, and with more than 850 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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