LOUISVILLE, KY. — Papa John’s International, Inc. is opening a restaurant in Lisbon, Portugal, marking the company’s first expansion into the country.

The new Portugal location is being opened by Drake Food Service International, the master franchisee in the Iberian Peninsula, Chile, Panama and Costa Rica.

 “We are committed to developing the Papa John’s brand in Latin America and Europe,” said Javier Aranguiz, chief executive officer of Drake Food Service International. “We look forward to becoming the most beloved pizza brand, one neighborhood at the time.”

Portugal is the 12th new country Papa John’s has entered in the past three years, bringing the pizza chain’s global presence to 48 international countries and territories. The company also recently opened flagship stores in France, Spain, Tunisia, Iraq, the Netherlands, Morocco, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, the Bahamas and Pakistan.

 “The opening of this new restaurant in Portugal with Drake Food Service International shows the importance of building strong relationships with our global partners,” said Jack Swaysland, chief operating officer for Papa John’s International. “As highlighted in the past, international development is the long-term growth engine for Papa John’s. Pizza is loved by consumers across the world. Friends and families gather around and have fun moments around pizza. And at Papa John’s we are thrilled to deliver on our ‘Better Ingredients. Better Pizza.’ promise to customers in Portugal.”

As Papa John’s looks to the future, the company said it is seeking potential franchisees in Brazil, Australia, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.