In Papa John’s first advertisement campaign of the year, the company posted a video to social media the following message for customers: “You expected better from Papa John’s. So did we.” The campaign also included comments from customers expressing their disappointment in the Papa John’s brand. CEO Steve Ritchie also issued an open letter to Papa John’s employees, franchisees, and customers in which he outlines some of efforts the company has taken thus far. Steve Ritchie also said in the letter that the Papa John’s leadership team had recently underwent “unconscious bias training” and that there are plans to implement the program on a nationwide basis. In addition, the long promised independent cultural audit and probe of its diversity and inclusion practices is currently in progress with actionable recommendations to ensue.
Steve Ritchie recently completed a listening tour which saw the CEO and other Papa John’s leaders visit the cities of Atlanta, Los Angeles, Dallas, Detroit, and Chicago to obtain feedback from team members and franchisees on how the company can perform better. CEO Steve Ritchie also intends to assemble a special advisory group of nationally respected experts in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion to shepherd the brand in these respects. Steve Ritchie also express a personal commitment to adding more females and minorities to the leadership team of Papa John’s. Papa John’s will also be launching two long-term initiatives as well. The first initiative involve the expansion and development of a minority-owned franchise program. The second initiative will establish a new foundation for the express purpose of making a positive impact in the communities in which employees reside and work. Steve Ritchie said that the company “will support causes that bring people together.” CEO Steve Ritchie also said that “Papa John’s is 120,000 corporate and franchise team members around the world. We stand for equity, fairness, respect and opportunity.”