Papa Johnís CEO Ė Who is it?

05/12/2018 18:00 | Franchise CEO

papa johns ceo

Papa Johnís is a pizza franchise with a focus on quality. No cheap or processed ingredients are used to create the signature Papa Johnís sauce, toppings, or original fresh dough. Thatís because the best ingredients produce the finest quality pizzas.

This pizza franchise has grown from very humble beginnings. The very first Papa John's pizza was made in 1984 in a broom cupboard in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Now, with more than 5,000 locations in 45 countries and territories all over the globe, it's the world's third-largest pizza delivery company.

Who is the CEO of Papa Johnís?

Steve Richie was promoted to Papa Johnís CEO with effect from January 1st 2018.

Ritchie started his career with Papa John's back in 1996 as a customer service representative. Just ten years later, he became a Papa John's franchisee and began taking on more senior leadership roles until he was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2014. Ritchie was then named as company President in 2015.

Richieís impressive career path from a customer service rep, to a delivery driver, store general manager, director of operations, franchisee and then COO and President is a testament to his ambition, drive and focus. All of which made him a perfect addition to the Papa Johnís succession plan as the next potential CEO of the company.

However, Ritchieís promotion to CEO happened sooner than expected when Papa Johnís CEO at the time, John Schnatter stepped down. This decision followed comments he made criticising the National Football Leagueís lack of action regarding footballers protesting by kneeling or standing while the national anthem played. Schnatter claimed that as Ďofficial pizza sponsorí of the NFL, Papa Johnís sales were being impacted as a result of leadership not resolving the issue.

This was a disappointing end to Schnatterís role as CEO of the company that he founded back in his hometown over 30 years previously.

Read more: Papa Johnís Franchise: Get a Slice of the Action

About John Schnatter

Selling his car to purchase equipment to start a pizza business in a broom cupboard in the back of his fatherís tavern demonstrates the determination that 23-year-old Schnatter had to become a success. Schnatter's pizza company became so popular within a year that heíd raised enough funds to move into a business unit next door to the tavern where it all started.

In 1993, Schnatter decided to franchise his business. A year later there were 500 Papa Johnís pizza restaurants, and now there are 5,000 locations. The majority of its franchisees worked through the ranks with Papa John's and then became business owners when they had built up knowledge of the business. In fact, 98% were previously delivery drivers, customer service team members or shift managers within the company.

Following the NFL incident, Schnatter stood down as Papa Johnís CEO to make way for Steve Ritchie. However, Schnatter remained with the company in the role of Chairman. This enabled him to continue to champion the core principles that led to recognition as the industry leader in product quality and customer satisfaction.

Unfortunately, another scandal was to follow soon. Ironically, during a call that was set up to help take Schnatter deal with racially sensitive situations through role-play ended up backfiring. Not only did Schnatter use the Ďn-wordí but also went on to describe a scene of violence against African Americans, which heíd encountered growing up in Indiana.

Despite apologising, reiterating that racism has no place in our society, Schnatter resigned as Chairman of the board on July 11th 2018. Since his resignation, Schnatter has made a number of allegations against current Papa Johnís CEO, Steve Ritchie, blaming him for the poor performance of the pizza brand.

In response to Schnatterís comments, a Papa Johnís spokesperson claimed that his statements were merely an attempt to distract from the impact that his actions have had on the brand reputation.

Read more: Papa Johnís Franchise - 5 Ways to Open your Own Pizza Papa Johnís

Papa Johnís franchise opportunity

Papa Johnís will undoubtedly recover from recent events. Ritchie has stated that heís determined not to let the words and actions of one person damage the brand and so $50 million is to be spent to remove Schnatter from all marketing and deal with the costs associated with the scandal.

So, if youíre interested in becoming a franchisee with one of the most recognisable pizza takeaway companies in the world, the brand still offers a great opportunity. Youíll get to join 350 other UK-based franchisees that are currently running successful and profitable businesses.

Depending on the location and size of your business premises, a Papa Johnís franchise requires an investment of between £170,000 and £225,000 (excluding freehold and VAT) of which £100,000 should be in liquid funds.

In return for your investment, you'll attend a comprehensive six-week training programme thatís a combination of practical experience in a Papa John's restaurant and classroom-based learning. The support that youíll receive doesnít stop when you complete your initial training. Youíll also receive guidance to select and fit out your premises as well as advice on essential business activities such as marketing, recruitment and staff management.

As a Papa Johnís franchisee, itís essential that you enjoy working with people; whether thatís dealing with customers or leading a team. Youíll also need excellent communication skills, have a positive attitude and be dedicated and passionate about providing customers with the best service possible.

You donít need any previous experience in the fast-food or restaurant industry but you will require an entrepreneurial mind-set. Determination to make the most of the opportunity, which can be professionally, financially and personally rewarding, is a must.

Ambition is also an essential quality for Papa Johnís franchisees. This is because during the term of the 10-year franchise agreement thereís a requirement to open a minimum number of restaurants in a period of three to seven years. To achieve this, you must be driven, have significant net worth and be able to access cash when needed.

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