The founder or Papa Johns John Schnatter has been involved in the decline of the company’s reputation in recent months. Last year, Schnatter blamed the decline in sales on the NFL’s inability to find a solution to its problem with national anthem protests. After being blamed by Schnatter, the NFL dropped his company as a sponsor. On a recent conference call, John Schnatter made a racial slur. This led to Major League Baseball dropping his company as a sponsor as well. With this recent sanction, his name and image have been stripped from public locations such as a local Louisville stadium and on all marketing materials of the company.
In an effort to restore the reputation of the company, chief executive officer Steve Ritchie wrote a letter to express his regrets about the company’s conduct. His letter also stated that he would do everything possible to help improve the company’s image and address diversity at Papa Johns. Steve Ritchie acknowledged that the recent remarks by Schnatter were offensive and is very apologetic about hurting the customers. During his statement, Ritchie also said that this conduct does not represent the values and views of the company. He later said sorry for the recent statements made by the founder John Schnatter.
Steve Ritchie also said that racism and insensitive language is not tolerated by the company. He stated that Papa Johns is not an individual but a pizza chain company that has over 120,000 employees and franchisees all over the world. Ritchie said that there are people from all walks of life that are located in every community. They all work hard to provide customers with the best pizza and service available. All of these individuals always make a valuable contribution to the community.
While Steve Ritchie made statements about the company being above any offensive conduct, it still needs to proceed by taking action and not just providing words. In an effort to take action, the company is now going to bring in outside experts to audit the company’s culture and diversity inclusion practices. It will also talk with senior management and have them listen to feedback provided by franchises and employees. Steve is also looking to be transparent and let the customers hold the company accountable for everything it does in the future.