Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) and Founder, Chairman and CEO John Schnatter will mark the opening of the pizza company’s 4,000 th store worldwide Friday by giving away 4,000 pizzas at various locations in New York City, and a celebration at the store itself in nearby New Hyde Park, N.Y. The free pizzas will be distributed in the form of a one-time unique code that can be used to redeem a large one-topping pizza at www.papajohns.com through Sept. 23, accompanied by a custom-made commemorative Rawlings baseball. Schnatter, who founded Papa John’s 28 years ago, will be seen throughout the New York City area, giving away the baseballs and codes, and he will cap the celebration with a special on-field appearance at the New York Yankees’ game on Friday at Yankee Stadium. “Opening the 4,000 th Papa John’s restaurant worldwide is a huge milestone for the brand. It’s been a long road from the broom closet in my Dad’s tavern where we first started making pizzas to Store 4,000, so it’s appropriate that the celebration is anchored in one of the biggest cities in the world, and the restaurant itself is nearby,” Schnatter said. Schnatter will be joined at the mid-day event at the New Hyde Park restaurant, 909 Hillside Ave., in the North Shore Commons, New Hyde Park, NY, by customers and members of the company’s leadership team, franchisees, and community leaders. Schnatter’s New York appearances follow recent visits he made to Papa John’s restaurants and operations in the Middle East, Russia and Latin America where he met with Papa John’s franchisees and customers, as well as local business leaders and dignitaries. The company, which has locations in 32 countries on five continents, recently unveiled its 2013 franchise development incentive program, which, effective immediately, includes zero franchise fee, 0% royalty for 18 months, and $50,000 in restaurant equipment for new restaurants opened through 2013. Papa John’s growth, despite ongoing economic pressures and uncertainty, is a result of its never-ending commitment to quality, Schnatter said.