October, 2011 (Marketwi""re) — Papa John’s International, Inc. /quotes/zigman/54006/quotes/nls/pzza PZZA -1.15% and Founder, Chairman and CEO John Schnatter will mark the opening of the pizza company’s 3,000th store in North America this afternoon with a public celebration at a Papa John’s restaurant in suburban Chicago. 

Schnatter, who founded Papa John’s 27 years ago, will give away 3,000 slices of free Papa John’s pizza between 2 and 4 p.m. at the 3,000th restaurant at 7856 S. Cicero Ave. in Burbank, Ill., and donate 3,000 canned goods to the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, who will be on hand. Schnatter will be joined by members of the company’s leadership team, community leaders and, of course, Papa John’s customers.

“We’re really proud of opening our 3,000th North American location, and being the ‘Better Ingredients, Better Pizza’ company, we wanted to celebrate this milestone by helping better the community through donating food to feed the hungry,” Schnatter said. “We’re thrilled to be in Chicago and are committed to being a big part of this community.”

Schnatter’s Chicago appearance will be the most recent in what has been a whirlwind year of visits to Papa John’s locations around the world, which now total nearly 4,000. In the past six months, Schnatter has traveled to Central America, South America, Europe and Asia, as well as throughout North America, to meet with Papa John’s franchisees and customers, as well as local business leaders and dignitaries.

Papa John’s continues to grow despite global economic pressures and uncertainty. Now with locations in 32 countries on five continents, the primary stimulus for growth is the company’s commitment to quality.

“Customers and prospective franchisees continue to put a premium on quality, and that’s where Papa John’s wins,” Schnatter added.

Additional activities at the Chicago celebration will include guest appearances by Chicago area celebrities and dignitaries, and giveaways sponsored by Coca-Cola, including special edition Coca-Cola mountain bikes. Papa John’s also is donating $7,500 to Bears Care, a Chicago Bears nonprofit organization committed to improving the quality of life for people in the Chicagoland community, especially disadvantaged children and their families, through targeted programs supporting education, youth athletics, and medical research and health awareness programs focusing on breast and ovarian cancer.

Headquartered in Louisville, Ky. (USA), Papa John’s International, Inc. /quotes/zigman/54006/quotes/nls/pzza PZZA -1.15% is the world’s third largest pizza company. For 10 of the past 12 years, Americans have rated Papa John’s No. 1 in customer satisfaction among all national pizza chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Papa John’s also was honored by Restaurants & Institutions Magazine (R&I) with the 2009 Gold Award for Consumers’ Choice in Chains in the pizza segment. Papa John’s is the Official Pizza Sponsor of the National Football League and Super Bowl XLV, XLVI and XLVII. For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John’s at www.papajohns.com .

Archives, Pizza News