LOUISVILLE, Ky., Apr 26, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — –Chain Known for “Better Ingredients” Launches Summer-Long “Papa’s Specialty Pizza Challenge” to Find Next Great Specialty Pizza

Have a fixation for fresh dough? A fervor for fresh-packed, vine-ripened tomato sauce? A passion for pepperoni? Or are you just one of the millions of Americans who love pizza? If so, Papa John’s wants you to help create its next menu item!

Papa John’s International, Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!pzza/quotes/nls/pzza (PZZA 28.25, +0.21, +0.74%) is asking its loyal customers to share their ideas for the next great specialty pizza as part of the company’s first ever “Papa’s Specialty Pizza Challenge.” Could it be the “Portabella Mushroom-anator,” the “Jalapeno Jamboree,” or the “The Slice is Right?”

Whatever the name and combination of superior-quality ingredients, Papa John’s is offering the contest winner a “slice” of the sales in return for the top recipe, which will be featured in the future as a Papa John’s offering alongside other Specialty pies like: The Works, Tuscan Six Cheese, Garden Fresh, The Meats, BBQ Chicken and Bacon, Hawaiian BBQ Chicken, Spinach Alfredo and Spicy Italian.

“We hear every day from customers who have a favorite combination of ingredients and there is usually a story behind it,” said Papa John’s chief marketing officer, Andrew Varga. “Our customers know that better ingredients make a better pizza. Now they have the opportunity to put their creativity on display for the right to have their pizza offered alongside ‘The Works’ and ‘The Meats,’ and also to claim a slice of the sales of that pizza as well.”

Beginning today through June 14, participants can enter “Papa’s Specialty Pizza Challenge” through Facebook at www.facebook.com/papajohns. Consumers will be asked to create and name their very own specialty pie on Papa John’s 14-inch never frozen original hand-tossed or thin crust with sauce, cheese and a combination of up to seven Papa John’s better ingredients, including:

— Fresh-Packed Tomato Sauce: Made from vine-ripened tomatoes, which go from the vine to the can in an average of six hours

— Cheese made from 100 percent mozzarella

— 100 percent Real Meats: Bacon, Beef, Ham, Grilled Chicken, Pepperoni, Sausage, Spicy Italian Sausage

— Fresh-Cut Vegetables: Onions, Green Peppers and Roma Tomatoes

— Other high-quality ingredients: Including baby portabella mushrooms and black olives grown in the rich soils of southern Spain

But Papa’s Specialty Challenge isn’t just about recipes. Participants must also share in 250 words or less what makes their pizza so special for a chance to win. Judging criteria throughout the contest will include:

— Overall appeal

— Taste of the final product

— Creativity of the name

— Interest of the pizza’s story

All entries will be featured in a gallery on Papa John’s Facebook page, from which “Papa” John Schnatter himself and his team of experts will choose ten semi-finalists. Those ten recipes will then be tested and tasted by Schnatter and other judges at company headquarters in Louisville, Ky. Schnatter, who personally developed many of the specialty pizza combinations currently offered by Papa John’s, will trim the choices to his three favorite recipes, which will be showcased temporarily on Papa John’s menu (August 2 — August 29), with the ultimate winner being the highest-selling pizza!

And because the stakes — a portion of sales dollars from the winner’s recipe — are so high and to assist with the sales of each pizza, Papa John’s is offering the top three finalists a marketing budget of $1,000 to help drive sales of their respective pizzas.

The grand prize winner will also receive free Papa John’s pizza for life as well as a chance to appear in a “Papa’s in the House” TV commercial. For more details on “Papa’s Specialty Pizza Challenge,” including official contest rules, visit www.facebook.com/papajohns.

Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John’s International, Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!pzza/quotes/nls/pzza (PZZA 28.25, +0.21, +0.74%) is the world’s third largest pizza company. For nine of the last 10 years, consumers 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 and was named 2007 Pizza Today Chain of the Year. For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John’s at www.papajohns.com.

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