US pizza chain Papa John's look at opening New Zealand stores

American owned pizza chain Papa John's is looking to open 100 restaurants across New Zealand.

Globally, the fast food pizza company owns more than 5000 restaurants in 45 countries. And New Zealand could be the next base as soon as next year.

Papa John's international business development manager told Fairfax that the chain was looking for developers to open "approximately 100 units" for the country.

"Typically it takes nine months from the time we sign a development agreement to open a store. Therefore 2017 is not possible, 2018 maybe, if we find a strong candidate."

Papa John's could be the fourth massive pizza chain in New Zealand, in a market where Pizza Hut, Domino's and Hell's Pizza currently dominate.

Domino's has the most stores with 114 across the country, followed by Pizza Hut's 93 restaurants, and Hell's Pizza's 66.

Papa John's point of difference however is a single peperoncini pepper they place inside of every pizza box.

New Zealand's favourite fast food is still considered to be McDonald's and KFC over pizzas.