Papa John’s current Chief Executive Officer, Steve Ritchie recently kicked off what was referred to as “the listening tour”, visiting Papa John’s restaurants throughout the United States and receiving feedback in order to course-correct the company. Ritchie became Chief Executive Officer in 2018, and made a personal statement in which he detailed the steps the company needs to make moving forward. His plan includes implicit bias training, starting a franchise development program designed for minority owners, and launching a foundation which will work with local communities in order to make a positive impact.
Steve Ritchie talked about the tour, and pointed out that he visited stores in Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, and Atlanta, and spoke with people who run the restaurants and with those who work in Papa John’s restaurants, as he believes that they are the center of the business, and that the company would not exist without them. He points out that he listened to people who work in their stores and had tough interactions with customers due to the loss of trust in the company. In addition, he listened to managers talk about the local charities and schools they are supporting in their communities. While he mentions that the conversations were difficult, he believes there is a shared optimism for a fresh start. News about the company’s new commercial can be read here.
Additionally, he states hearing that the company’s teams are more committed than ever to move the company forward. The people working for the company recognize that Papa John’s has always been a bigger entity than one person, and it is comprised of pizza makers, drivers, and store manager, people who are representative of the communities that they serve.
Steve Ritchie Papa John’s believes that it is important to acknowledge the need to continue listening and understanding the feedback they receive, and to take the necessary actions in order to build a better company for their team members and their customers. He notes that as Papa John’s continues to strive to become a better brand that is fully rooted in its purpose, the commitment and passion towards the quality of the products and the company will only grow.