Papa John's Pizza is an American pizza restaurant franchise. It runs the fourth largest pizza delivery restaurant chain in the United States, with headquarters in Jeffersontown, Kentucky.
The Papa John's restaurant was founded in 1984 when "Papa" John Schnatter knocked out a broom closet in the back of his father's tavern, Mick's Lounge, in Jeffersonville, Indiana. He then sold his 1971 Camaro Z28 to purchase US$1,600 worth of used pizza equipment and bega selling pizzas to the tavern's customers out of the converted closet. His pizzas proved sufficiently popular that a year later he moved into an adjoining space. Dipping sauce specifically for pizza was invented by Papa John's Pizza that same year, and has since become popular when eating pizza, especially the crust. The company went public in 1993. A year later it had 500 stores, and by 1997 it had opened 1,500 stores. In 2009, Schnatter reacquired the Camaro back after offering a reward of $250,000 for the car.