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Papa Johns Looks to Fuel Youth Entrepreneurs Through Sales of Its Shaq-a-Roni Pizza

The fan-favorite pizza makes its U.S. return and inaugural international debut as Papa Johns reinforces its commitment to supporting youth leaders of tomorrow

Papa Johns announced today the limited-time return of its popular Shaq-a-Roni pizza in the U.S., developed in partnership with board member, franchisee and former basketball superstar, Shaquille O’Neal. A fan favorite menu item for the past three years, Papa Johns will donate $1 to The Papa Johns Foundation for each Shaq-a-Roni purchased at participating locations.

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Papa Johns board member, franchisee and former basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal and the Shaq-a-Roni pizza (Photo: Business Wire)

Papa Johns board member, franchisee and former basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal and the Shaq-a-Roni pizza (Photo: Business Wire)

Plus, this pizza with a purpose is making its international debut today, with Papa Johns locations around the world donating the U.S. $1 equivalent to local charities for each Shaq-a-Roni purchased. Please visit for participating countries and corresponding charities and donation amounts.


Over the last three years, Papa Johns has raised more than $9 million for community organizations through sales of the Shaq-a-Roni pizza. Given its widespread success and the company’s commitment to building up communities, Papa Johns is celebrating the fourth year of this LTO by launching the pizza globally and with a pointed mission to support youth entrepreneurs and future leaders.

“At Papa Johns, we believe pizza brings people together. The Shaq-a-Roni and our partnership with Shaquille O’Neal has accomplished a great deal over the last three years to unite the areas where our consumers work and live,” says Jaclyn Ruelle, Head of Brand at Papa Johns. “We’re setting our sights even bigger this year by debuting the Shaq-a-Roni internationally and investing in communities across the globe.”


With more than 60% of today’s youth considering entrepreneurship as a career option–and nearly half seeking resources to get their dreams off the ground1–Papa Johns is setting out to kickstart youth entrepreneurship by investing a portion of this year’s Shaq-a-Roni sales into youth-led small businesses and community projects.

Starting November 1, kids of all ages across the U.S. can share their business concept with Papa Johns and Shaquille O’Neal for a chance to bring their big idea to life. Five applicants from around the United States will be selected and awarded a $5,000 grant to invest in their project.

“Through partnerships with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Junior Achievement, Papa Johns has a longstanding global commitment to empowering youth and the leaders of tomorrow,” says Jenn Garner, Senior Director, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, at Papa Johns. “Now more than ever, young adults are looking for ways to create positive change in their communities, so we couldn’t be more excited to leverage the impact of our Shaq-a-Roni pizza to support the ventures of our young leaders.”

As part of its commitment to youth leadership and ahead of National Entrepreneurship Month, Papa Johns also teamed up with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to host its first-ever Entrepreneurship Shadow Day on October 12 in Atlanta, Georgia. Local youth were given the opportunity to shadow notable Papa Johns franchisee Joe Johnson to get a firsthand look at a day in the life of a successful business owner. The company hopes to replicate the pilot program in additional markets in 2024.


The Shaq-a-Roni pizza features an extra-large pizza made with Papa Johns’ fresh, never frozen, original dough covered in extra cheese and extra pepperoni, baked to perfection, and cut into eight slices. This fan-favorite pizza will be available nationally for $13.99 and in select global markets beginning October 24.

More information about the Shaq-a-Roni pizza can be found at

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About Papa Johns

Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) (“Papa Johns”) opened its doors in 1984 with one goal in mind: BETTER INGREDIENTS. BETTER PIZZA.® Papa Johns believes that using high quality ingredients leads to superior quality pizzas. Its original dough is made of only six ingredients and is fresh, never frozen. Papa Johns tops its pizzas with real cheese made from mozzarella, pizza sauce made with vine-ripened tomatoes that go from vine to can in the same day and meat free of fillers. It was the first national pizza delivery chain to announce the removal of artificial flavors and synthetic colors from its entire food menu. Papa Johns is co-headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. and Louisville, Ky. and is the world’s third-largest pizza delivery company with more than 5,700 restaurants in approximately 50 countries and territories. For more information about the Company or to order pizza online, visit or download the Papa Johns mobile app for iOS or Android.


1 Junior Achievement USA, “Survey: 60% of Teens Would Prefer to Start a Business Over Having a Traditional Job” (2021)


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