Recently Papa John’s CEO, Steve Ritchie, sent out a public letter of apology for the second time on behalf of the company. This second letter, as opposed to the first, shows emotional intelligence, vulnerability, and most importantly a clear apology for their founder, John Schnatter’s, recent indiscretions. Steve Richie’s letter to the customers made it clear that Papa John’s is a company made up of over 120,000 hard working employees distancing it’s views from the views of 1. The fore mentioned indiscretions came in the form of John Schnatter’s use of a racial slur on a conference call also blaming national anthem protest against the NFL for declining Papa John’s sales.
CEO Steve Ritchie Papa Johns‘ empathetic and compassionate letter seems to be a smart step towards regaining the trust of customers as Papa John’s cannot afford another misstep with the NFL dropping them as their official Pizza, a Louisville baseball stadiums removal of Schnatter’s name, as well as the company themselves removing its founders name and image from all marketing devices and pizza boxes. In a published article at qsrmagazine.com, specific actions the company will take, listed clearly in the letter of apology, include bringing experts in to set clear goals, evaluate the company’s strengths as well as their weaknesses, and help increase diversity and inclusion throughout the company as well as Senior Management teams traveling to get feedback from franchises and employees to move the company forward. Steve Ritchie is personally leading the effort to make the company more transparent, therefore more accountable, and stated that he and the company do not share the views of John Schnatter and have zero tolerance for racism. Though the company’s problems are self-induced this letter, with its clear apology and list of specific actions the company and CEO will take, is a good start towards moving in the right direction.