“Many in the media reported that I said Papa John’s is going to close stores and cut jobs because of Obamacare. I never said that. The fact is we are going to open over hundreds of stores this year and next and increase employment by over 5,000 jobs worldwide. And, we have no plans to cut team hours as a result of the Affordable Care Act.”
~John Schnatter, CEO and founder of Papa John’s
John Schnatter has donated to the Republican party and has even held a fundraiser at his huge home for Mitt Romney (source). It has been more than 10 days and there has already been significant blowback to the Papa John’s brand. Millions of people are viewing Papa John’s in a different way and are considering not supporting a company where the CEO has said it’s “common sense” to cut workers hours to below 30. We wrote about that HERE. Now Mr. Schnatter says he never said what he was reported to say. He says his comments were all taken out of context and that Papa John’s is still going to build more stores, hire more employees and “has no plans to cut team hours as a result of the Affordable Care Act.” Well – that’s good news.
My take on this is very simple – boycotts really work and even threats of boycotts really work. It doesn’t make any sense for a company to get all of the bad publicity it is receiving over something that will cost them $8 to $12 million extra a year. We saw this play out with Denny’s over the past week as one of it’s franchisees decided to go all Galt and say immediately hours for workers were being cut and that he would add an Obama surcharge to customer’s bills. That franchisee has since had to apologize although he hasn’t said he would stop cutting worker’s hours and the CEO of Denny’s is doing major damage control (source). Back to Papa John’s – all of this was over $12 million a year at max in terms of the costs to employees. For Papa John’s that is no big deal; in fact – they got a hell of a good deal.
You can read John Schnatter’s op-ed in the Huffington Post HERE; an excerpt:
Clearly there was some misunderstanding somewhere. The remarks that generated the headlines were made during an entrepreneur class I was asked to speak to at a Florida college. I was asked to share my experience as an entrepreneur and to provide the students with real-life small business situations. Unbeknownst to me, until she identified herself, a reporter was there.
You should read his entire piece to see if you think his version of events is the truth or not. It is absolutely true that Papa John’s is made up of a bunch of franchisees and most of these decisions would fall under the purview of the franchisees. I do not know for the life of me how this CEO didn’t respond more urgently. If his comments were truly taken out of context or distorted the truth … then why didn’t he require a correction or clear the air the next day? It took him 10 days after the damage kept building and building and building. Every day he waits to clear up this “misunderstanding” is a loss of trust that what he is saying is the pure, 100% truth. Everyone should decide for themselves.