Says Papa Steve

In lieu of the usual menu specials and whatnot that arrive in my mailbox literally every day, Steve Ritchie, new CEO at Papa John’s Pizza, sent along this apologetic missive:

I know that for the past 6 weeks people have been talking about the name on our pizza boxes — and what that name stands for. And I’ve been quiet about it for too long.

Some of you may have seen my statement from Friday, but there’s more I want to say. I shared it on my twitter feed and want to say it again here.

I’ve been listening along with my team members. I’ve heard their hurt, disappointment and anger, and that of our franchisees, our customers — and those who used to be.

And now we’re all looking inwards, reclaiming the responsibilities Papa John’s has to our partners, customers and communities. And in thinking about what we want the Papa John’s name to stand for moving forward, we’re now going where we should have been all along.

United in the belief that we — company, community and country — are better together. Joining the voices for fairness, social justice, equity, representation, and inclusion. Standing against hateful words, deeds and attitudes.

I shared the first steps towards achieving this vision in our Values statement, but know that at an organizational level, we are committed to adding more diversity to Papa John’s leadership team and supplier base. We are forming a foundation that will focus on supporting organizations that are working to eradicate the biases that keep us apart, while also supporting and celebrating those groups that bring us together. And we’ll be creating a franchise expansion and development program for women and minorities.

At the ground level, we’re making changes that will impact every pizza that leaves our stores. We want to improve customer service and offer you a better, more delightful ordering experience through our app and website. We want to ensure that every pizza is delivered on time, hot and fresh, and we are investing in technology to improve order accuracy and quality control, so that those pizzas are always up to the standards that you expect.

We recognize that this is only the beginning. But please hold us accountable to these words and commitments. Hold me accountable to them.

On behalf of the 120,000 team members in the Papa John’s family, you have my promise: we will always strive for better.


Steve Ritchie,
CEO, Papa John’s

There isn’t anything here that couldn’t have been cut and pasted from the portfolio of one of those Diversity Consultants out there, but Steve gets credit for this: he did not attach a coupon. This suggests, to the suggestible, that there might be something more important than right-now commerce. Few organizations will ever allow themselves to imply such a thing.

So yeah, I ordered a pizza. Of course, I had a coupon.

1 comment

  1. McGehee »

    28 August 2018 · 7:38 pm

    I’m not sure how what “Papa” John said — accurately reported (which is, of course, the dealbreaker) — would have had any substantive impact on any customer. This is all just Virtue Theater on the part of all concerned, and I’ve had it up to here with Snowflake Nation.

    If the new management’s changes end up making the pizza-ordering experience worse instead of better, I will not be one bit surprised.

    (Now Roger can stop questioning his sanity, and all is once again right with the world.)

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