Food

Shaq says he 'couldn't put down' Papa John's new Papadia, a pizza and sandwich in one

Not sure if you want pizza or a sandwich for lunch? Well, now you can have both.

Papa John's is launching its latest menu item, the Papadia, nationwide Monday in four varieties, company officials shared exclusively with USA TODAY.

The $6 pizza-sandwich combo is inspired by the "piadina," an Italian folded flatbread sandwich from Northern Italy, Paul Fabre, the chain's senior vice president of product innovation, said in a statement.

"It combines the original Papa John’s crust people crave along with fresh toppings, making it the best of both worlds – it’s both a pizza and a sandwich,” Fabre said. “The Papadia is great for people on the go who are looking to mix up their traditional lunch routine.”

But while the Papadia is being marketed as a lunch item, it will be available during restaurant's normal hours. The four varieties are Italian, Philly Cheesesteak, Grilled BBQ Chicken & Bacon and Meatball Pepperoni and they come with a dipping sauce and pepperoncini pepper.

Shaq says he 'couldn't put down' Papa John's new Papadia, a pizza and sandwich in one

The launch follows the introduction of Papa John's Garlic Parmesan crust last November, the first flavor added to its six-ingredient original crust in the company's 35-year history.

The nation's third-largest pizza delivery company says more innovations are in store for 2020.

In March 2019, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal joined Papa John's board of directors, making history as its first African-American board member. O'Neal also is the company's brand ambassador, a spokesperson and owner of nine franchises in the Atlanta area.

The self-described "pizza fanatic" told USA TODAY that "tasting top-secret, unreleased products" is one of the best parts of the job.

“I can tell you, I couldn’t put down this new menu item that combines everything you love about pizza and sandwiches into one meal," O'Neal said in a statement to USA TODAY.

Shaq and Papa John's partnership came after the company's 2018 scandal in which founder and former chairman John Schnatter reportedly used a racial slur during a conference call and later resigned.

Papadias will be available at all U.S. Papa John’s locations beginning Monday for $6 and can be ordered by phone, online, on the company's app, Facebook, Apple TV or by asking Alexa.