Papa Johns has been one of the top pizza restaurant chains over the last couple of decades. However, the company has suffered a significant setback in terms of its reputation and public relations. The founder of the company John Schnatter made critical remarks about the NFL’s inability to put an end to protests of the national anthem. Since his company was sponsored by the NFL, it experienced a decrease in sales. After receiving this criticism, the NFL dropped Papa Johns as a sponsor. Schnatter would later attend a conference call and make a racial slur. This led to his company losing its sponsorship with another major sports league; Major League Baseball. After losing two major sponsorships, Papa Johns has experienced a significant backlash among consumers as well.
With the reputation and image of Papa Johns suffering, the company’s chief executive officer Steve Ritchie looked to help resolve the problem. His first task was to draft a letter to customers. The letter revealed that Papa Johns is much better in terms of relating to people than what the founder displayed recently. Steve Ritchie said that he was sorry for hurting customers with the racist remark by the founder. Ritchie revealed in the letter that the conduct by the founder does not represent the values of Papa Johns and that it has employees and franchisees that are part of a diverse community. Steve is looking to allow customers to hold the company accountable for its recent actions.
During his statement, Steve Ritchie said that racism is not a part of Papa Johns and is never acceptable at any time. Papa Johns has franchise locations all over the world where people of all backgrounds serve their community. All of the franchisees and employees always look to offer the best pizza and service in the industry. As well as offering the best pizza and service, the franchisees and employees are also active in helping make the community a better place as well.
While apologizing via letter may help, action also needs to be taken in order to restore the reputation of Papa Johns according to Steve Ritchie. He is now looking to develop programs that focus on addressing diversity and inclusion for Papa Johns. Ritchie is also looking to have meetings with franchisees and employees to get feedback on how the company can improve its standing with the public. These actions will hopefully improve the overall reputation of Papa Johns and allow it to thrive at a high level again.