From Papa John’s To Papa Gone, It Was All Good Just A Year Ago

We’ve always suspected that Papa John aka John Schnatter was a racist, a classist and an all-around POS.  Who had to wait until John Schnatter was revealed to have used a racial epithet on a company call (about diversity of all things), to know that he was likely harboring similar thoughts at the very least? Remember his faux concern over the impact of Obamacare on pizza prices? Or perhaps the stolen workers’ wages scandals that resulted in the company having to pay back millions, including $800,000 in the State of New York ruled on by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman?

A history of anti-worker policies and apathy toward a living wage for workers painted him as a rabid capitalist.  But his business plan brought in dollars, and dollars have a way of obscuring character flaws and idealism.  The almighty dollar, so eloquently crooned and moaned about by the OJays and JAY Z alike was what Schnatter was good at getting.

The full year 2014 revenues were $1.60 billion, an increase of 11.1% from 2013 revenues of $1.44 billion. Full-year 2014 net income was $73.3 million, compared to 2013 net income of $69.5 million. Full year diluted earnings per share were $1.75 compared to 2013 diluted earnings per share of $1.55, an increase of 12.9%. Fourth quarter 2016 revenues were $439.6 million, a 5.5 percent increase from fourth quarter 2015 revenues of $416.8 million. The full year 2016 revenues were $1.71 billion, a 4.7 percent increase from the full year 2015 revenues of $1.64 billion.

When things are going well, the foolhardy will find a way to be foolish.

Crappy Politics, Crappy Leadership, Crappy Pizza: Papa John’s!

“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.” – Theodore Roosevelt Total NFL ratings through the first seven weeks declined 5% compared to this time last year, and 15% compared to 2015.

He was like the “Diddy” of fast food franchising, all up in the commercials, all up on the logo and all up on college and professional sports arenas and stadiums across the country.  Commercials with JJ Watt and Peyton Manning, the MLB “Papa Slam” promo, and his likeness displayed prominently on every item associated with the company.

Boy things had to have been going sweet.  Then, adversity reared its head and presents us with the opportunity to grow.  The first time John Schnatter was presented with that opportunity was just prior to him blaming a decrease in pizza sales on his company’s association with the NFL.

The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle, he said on a conference call one fateful day last fall.  At the time, Papa John’s was the league’s official pizza sponsor. Now, it’s Pizza Hut.

Papa John reportedly mentioned the NFL a total of 44 times during that company earnings call, according to Bloomberg. He further stated that he believed that the player protests should have been nipped in the bud in the previous season, during which Colin Kaepernick first began kneeling during the anthem.

For his comments, Schnatter placed himself in unison with Trump on the anthem.  He and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones are buddy-buddy, leading to speculation that Jones was the battery in Schnatter’s back when he made his NFL anthem comments.

Papa John’s CEO Blames The NFL Protests For Hurting His Brand

The chickens have come home to roost at Papa John’s Pizza. These chickens, according to Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter, were hatched by the NFL’s inability to properly deal with activist actions performed by players during the national anthem. “The NFL has hurt us,” company founder and CEO John Schnatter said during a recent conference call.

However, it’s one thing to believe that associating with the NFL is hurting your brand but it’s another thing to say it aloud, especially when you’re a CEO. In February 2018 it Papa John’s revealed on a quarterly earnings call that they would no longer be the official sponsor of the NFL.

Apparently, having not learned his lesson the last time he decided to get candid on a conference call, it was reported that Schnatter used the full-on n-word on a May conference call regarding sensitivity training with a marketing firm called Laundry Service, owned by the Wasserman PR group.

According to Forbes, Schnatter complained on the call that Colonel Sanders called blacks n*****s and was not publicly criticized for it. Schnatter issued an apology and did not deny the story.

To top it off, he had the nerve to place blame on someone else for his misstep.

On Friday afternoon, Schnatter, in an interview on WHAS, a Louisville radio station, said he was pressured to use the N-word during the conference call.

The agency was promoting that vocabulary They pushed me. And it upset me, he told host Terry Meiners.

Its caused a lot of grief for my community, for my university, Schnatter noted. My employees are distraught, theyre crushed, and its all because I was sloppy and I wasnt as sensitive. Its the same mistake I made on the NFL comments.

That’s the part where we realize that Schnatter actually is the culmination of all the bad things we’ve previously only imagined him to be due to his prior callous comments about his own workers. John Schnatter has resigned from the University of Louisville board, Major League Baseball has ended its affiliation with Schnatter by eliminating its Papa Slam promotion and he resigned as chairman of the company he started in 1984 on Wednesday of last week.  However, he remains a board member and has a 30% equity stake in the company.  

The University of Louisville also announced on Friday that it will be removing the Papa John’s name from Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Morehouse University has also decided to part ways with the troubled brand. Additionally, both the Seattle Seahawks and the Atlanta Falcons have both suspended business relationships with the Papa John’s brand.

Morehouse College on Twitter

Due to a recent racial slur made by Papa John’s founder John Schnatter, @Morehouse is immediately suspending its campus dining relationship with Papa John’s. The College is exploring all options for removal of the franchise from campus in light of this highly offensive behavior.

Shares of Papa John’s went up 10 percent following the Thursday announcement of Schnatter’s exit. This is a prime example of the chickens coming home to roost for Schnatter and Papa John’s. And, paraphrasing Malcolm X, I ain’t never had no problem with chickens coming home to roost.

Being an old farm boy myself, chickens coming home to roost never did make me sad; they always made me glad.”

Today the fallout continues as we learned that the company is putting more space between it and Schnatter. He’s now, per CNBC, prohibited from “talking to the press, removing him from the pizza chain’s advertising materials and revoking his office space at the company’s headquarters.” 

The company also created a special committee of independent directors to evaluate the situation, and they have now terminated Schnatter’s “Founder Agreement,” which made the face of the company’s advertising and marketing, and “terminated his sublease agreement for office space at Papa John’s Louisville, Kentucky, headquarters.”

“The company has specifically requested that Mr. Schnatter cease all media appearances, and not make any further statements to the media regarding the company, its business or employees,” Papa John’s said in a press release.

Though John Schnatter and scores of other rich and privileged individuals have continuously bellyached over players getting into politics, Schnatter’s inability to shut his mouth and question his own business is a testament to how perhaps he should have heeded the advice that he and like-minded individuals previously levied against the players.