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Papa John's International Inc. announced that it will have signed more than 200 North American franchise agreements in 2012. These franchisees, nearly half of whom represent individuals who are opening their first Papa John's restaurant, expect to create more than 5,000 new jobs throughout the next three years.

"We are in the business of opening more restaurants and creating more jobs that continue to stimulate the economy," said John Schnatter, founder, chairman and CEO. "Nearly 50 percent of the new agreements signed represent individuals who are opening their first Papa John's small business franchise. With the average Papa John's franchisee owning three to five restaurants, we are proud to be doing our part as a brand to keep the economic engine running for small business owners."

This announcement comes less than three months after the company launched a continuation of its franchise development incentive program. The program offers zero franchise fee, zero percent royalty for 18 months and $50,000 in restaurant equipment for new restaurants opened through 2013. In 2012, restaurant openings under this program created approximately 3,000 jobs in North America, according to the company.

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