Exclusive: Papa John’s founder’s first interview since stepping down

Exclusive: Papa John’s founder’s first interview since stepping down


MORNING, BIG TWO HOURS AND OUR TOP STORY THIS HOUR, THE STATE OF PAPA JOHNS, PIZZA GIANT GOING THROUGH LEADERSHIP CHANGES AS COMPANY’S FOUNDER STEPPED DOWN AS CEO 2 YEARS AGO, JOINING US PAPA JOHNS FOUNDER JOHN SCHNATTER, THANK YOU VERY MUCH VERY JOINING US. YOU WERE FORCED TO STEP DOWN, THE COMPANY THAT YOU BUILT AND THAT YOU FOUNDED, TELL US FIRST WHAT HAPPENED?>>I WAS NOT FORCE TODAY STEP DOWN, WE HAD A SUCCESSIVE PLAN IN PLACE AND I WAS READY TO RETIRE, WE HAD A FANTASTIC 9-YEAR RUN, WE TOOK STOCK 640 A SHARE TO 80 BUCKS, SO GOOD RUN, GOOD TIME, WE WERE READY TO GO. MARIA: IN OTHER WORDS, WHAT YOU’RE SAYING YOU ENRICHED A LOT OF PEOPLE BY CREATING THIS BUSINESS, MAKING A PROFITABLE BUSINESS AND THEN MAKING THE STOCK GO UP, CAUSING A VERY GOOD SITUATION FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE INVOLVED. YOU WERE READY TO RETIRE BUT YOU HAD A PROBLEM OBVIOUSLY AND YOU WERE ON A CONFERENCE CALL AND RACIAL SLUR WAS USED, CAN YOU TELL US WHAT WAS BEHIND OF ALL OF THAT?>>IF YOU LOOK AT CHRONOLOGICAL EVENTS, THERE WAS NOTHING RACIAL ABOUT THAT. THEY TURNED INTO KNEELING BUT NOTHING SAID ABOUT KNEELING, THE CALL YOU’RE REFERRING TO WAS JULY — MAY 22ND THAT AIRED JULY THE 12TH, YES. MARIA: OKAY, LET’S GO BACK TO NFL CALL, TELL ME ABOUT THE NFL AND YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE NFL AND COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL.>>RIGHT, VERY GOOD, PAPA JOHNS WAS THE MOST ASSOCIATED BRAND WITH THE NFL, MOST RECOGNIZABLE BRAND WITH THE NFL, ABOUT A THIRD OF OUR BUDGET WAS SPENT ON THE NFL AND THEY WERE HAVING ISSUE WITH KNEELING AND I KIND OF GOT ON GOODELL HERE TO FIX THE PROBLEM HERE, LET’S SATISFY THE PLAYERS AND THE OWNERS BUT THERE WAS NOTHING IN THERE ABOUT THE PLAYERS KNEELING OR ANYTHING THAT WAS ANY WAY RACIAL. MARIA: SO WHAT WAS MOST UPSETTING ABOUT THAT CALL?>>THE WAY IT WAS MISCONSTRUED, THE COMMENTS WERE BENIGN AND THE WAY IT WAS TWISTED AND THE COMPANY’S LACK OF EFFORT TO CORRECT THE RECORD, THAT WAS PROBABLY THE MOST FRUSTRATING THING. MARIA: YOU’RE SAYING YOU WOULD HAVE LIKED ROGER GOODELL TO COME TO YOUR DEFENSE.>>I HAVE LIKED ROGER GOODELL TO FIX THE PROBLEM, REMEMBER, THIRD OF THE BUDGET WAS THE NFL, SO WHEN THE RATINGS WENT DOWN FROM 20%, SO IT WAS HURTING OUR BUSINESS, IT WAS HURTING OUR FRANCHISEES, IT WAS HURTING OUR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS. MARIA: DO YOU THINK HE WAS BEHIND FORCING YOU TO GIVE UP THE CHAIRMAN’S TITLE?>>I DON’T KNOW IF HE WAS BEHIND IT, I THINK HE WAS A LITTLE BIT FRUSTRATED WITH MY COMMENTS, HE’S NOT USED TO BEING CHALLENGED AND THE NFL IS VERY POWERFUL AND I WAS STERN, WE NEED TO FIX THE PROBLEM, YOU’RE THE LEADER, BE ACCOUNTABLE. MARIA: THEN WHAT HAPPENED?>>I RETIRED END OF ’17 AND WE — WE STARTED TO DETERIORATE A LITTLE BIT WITH THE PERFORMANCE AND THEN AS I WAS COMING BACK IN THE PICTURE WE HAD A DIVERSITY TRAINING SESSION IN NEW YORK WITH SERVICE AND FALLING SHORT OF IT IS THEY PAID, WHICH IS FINE, I WISH THEY WOULD HAVE TOLD ME WHO WAS ON THE CALL AND THEY WERE TAPING IT. THAT GOT TWISTED. MARIA: ON THAT CALL YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT SOMEBODY ELSE AND YOU MADE A COMMENT THAT WAS A RACIAL SLUR?>>NO, THERE WAS NEVER BEEN ANY RACIAL SLURS, THERE’S NEVER BEEN ANY USE OF THE WORD, THAT’S PROBABLY WHAT’S MOST FRUSTRATED, THAT’S NOT TRUE AT ALL. WHAT THE CALL WAS 52 MINUTES AND TOTALLY ANTIRACIST,I SIMPLY STATED WHAT ANOTHER FOUNDER SAID AND THE WAY HE WENT ABOUT USING THE WORD, COLONEL SANDERS CALLS PEOPLE THE N WORD, I WOULD NEVER CALL A BLACK PERSON THE N WORD. MARIA: YOU WERE SAYING WHAT COLONEL SANDERS SAID?>>YES, PARAPHRASING.>>COLONEL SANDERS FAMILY CAME OUT AND SAID HE’S A LIAR, COLONEL SANDERS WOULD NEVER SPEAK LIKE THAT, HE NEVER SAID THAT, I DON’T KNOW WHAT JOHN SCHNATTER WAS TALKING ABOUT?>>I HAVEN’T HEARD THAT. MARIA: FAMILY CAME OUT AND SAID IT’S NOT TRUE.>>THAT COLONEL SANDERS DID NOT USE THAT LANGUAGE?>>COLONEL SANDERS — [LAUGHTER] MARIA: I’M JUST SAYING BUT YOU REPEATED SOMETHING THAT YOU SAY COLONEL SANDERS SAID?>>IT WAS COMMON KNOWLEDGE THAT COLONEL SANDERS TALKED ABOUT BUT LET’S NOT TALK ABOUT THE COLONEL. MARIA: OKAY, LET ME ASK YOU THIS, CAN YOU GIVE US THE SENSE OF THE CULTURE AS YOU KNOW IT AT PAPA JOHNS AT THAT TIME, WAS IT COMMON PLACE FOR PEOPLE TO THROW AROUND WORDS LIKE THAT, DID YOU FEEL THAT IT WAS NO BIG DEAL THAT YOU WERE REPEATING SOMETHING THAT SOMEBODY ELSE SAID, TELL ME ABOUT THE CULTURE AND WHETHER OR NOT THESE KINDS — THIS KIND OF LANGUAGE WAS ACCEPTABLE AT THE TIME?>>OH, PAPA JOHNS WAS VOTED THE BEST PLACE TO WORK 5 YEARS IN A ROW, I WOULD NOT TOLERATE THAT FOR ONE SECOND. THE BOARD MEMBERS THAT HAD BEEN ON THE BOARD FOR AVERAGE OF 10 YEARS, 20, 25 YEARS, NO WAY THAT CONDUCT WOULD HAVE BEEN PERMISSIBLE, NO WAY. WHATMARIA: WHAT HAPPENED AFTER T WHATMARIA: WHAT HAPPENED AFTER E CALL AFTER YOU REPEATED SOMETHING YOU KNEW AND REFERRING TO HIM WHEN YOU SAID THE WORD?>>FIRST THING I FOUND OUT THAT THEY TAPED IT AND THEN SERVICE WAS LET GO AND THEY ATTEMPTED TO EXTORT MONEY, OTHERWISE THEY WERE GOING TO HURT THE COMPANY AND HURT ME. MARIA: IN WHAT WAY?>>THE OWNER WHO OWNS SERVICE, BASICALLY SAID IF YOU DON’T PAY ME MILLIONS OF DOLLARS I WILL BURY THE FOUNDER AND THAT’S WHEN I SAID, OH, MY GOSH, WE HAVE A PROBLEM. MARIA: THEN WHAT HAPPENED, WHEN DID YOU FIRST REALIZE THIS WAS GOING VIRAL, THIS WAS GOING TO BE A PUBLIC SITUATION?>>THE REPORTER AT FORBES, HE WROTE ARTICLE ON THE 11TH THAT WENT VIRAL ON JULY THE 12TH. MARIA: YEAH, THE INSIDE STORY OF PAPA JOHN’S TOXIC CULTURE, THE FORBES STORY WAS THAT A SECOND STORY?>>FIRST — SECOND STORY?>>I BELIEVE LAUNDRY SERVICE OR SOMEBODY ELSE MISCOMMUNICATED OR MISCHARACTERIZED WHAT WAS ON THE TAPE. MARIA: WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU KNOWING THAT THEY HAVE THE STORY, THAT YOU USED THIS WORD, THIS LANGUAGE EVEN IF YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE SAYING IT, WHAT DO YOU WANT THE PUBLIC TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT YOU?>>WELL, TO PUT IT IN CONTEXT THE MOST UNFATHOMABLE, UNBELIEVABLE THING ABOUT THIS WHOLE SITUATION IS THAT THE OLD BOARD AND THE OLD EXECUTIVE TEAM UNDER RICHIE USED THE BLACK COMMUNITY IN THE MEDIA, STEAL THE COMPANY, THE STORY OF THE COMPANY, HURT THE COMPANY VERY BADLY. MARIA: IN WHAT WAY, HOW?>>WELL, STOCK WAS 88, DOWN TO 40. MARIA: VERY QUICKLY.>>88 AND 16, 40 AS OF 2 MONTHS AGO, IT’S UP TO 50, SO JEFF SMITH AND NEW BOARD HAVE GOT THE STOCK UP, WALL STREET IS FINE, 40 BUCKS, 50 BUCKS, GOOD MOMENTUM BUT WHAT CONCERNS ME IS MAIN STREET, HOW BUSINESS IS NOT HEALTHY RIGHT NOW THAT NEEDS TO BE RECTIFIED RATHER QUICKLY. MARIA: I I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THAT AND TRY TO FIX THE SITUATION, YOUR LIFE WAS COMPLETELY CHANGED, YOUR MADE THIS REMARK ON A PHONE CALL, YOUR LIFE CHANGES, CORRECT?>>NO. MY LIFE — MARIA: THERE’S SO MANY STORIES ABOUT YOU AND THIS PHONE CALL, THAT’S WHAT I’M SAYING, I’M SAYING THE PERCEPTION, WHAT PEOPLE WERE TALKING ABOUT WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO THEM.>>WELL, I DON’T LIKE ANY OF THIS AND IT’S NOT TRUE, IT’S A FARCE, BUT IN THE 14 MONTHS THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON I’VE NEVER HAD A NEGATIVE COMMENT IN PUBLIC, NOW WHAT I’M WORRIED ABOUT IS MY EMPLOYEES AND MY FRANCHISEES, THE SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS THAT WAKE UP EVERY DAY AND MAKE PAPA JOHNS GREAT, THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT KEEP ME UP AT NIGHT

100 Replies to “Exclusive: Papa John’s founder’s first interview since stepping down

  1. pizza-gate alefontes and gemma, the back of the neck stabber in sons of ANTI-CHRIST on FX. no LUV x 256K reap what you have sown. IAMCC

  2. Buy PaPa John's. Shun the NFL. If you want to see people taking a knee, to to church Sunday morning and pray for our country

  3. The word is ni**er. We have to asterisk it otherwise YT will block suspend or even ban you. 🙄 You can say any other racial term for other people that's offensive but white liberals amplified the hysteria of the N word. 🙄 Black people act like they own a word. Ridiculous. You can't make certain sounds only we can. 🙄 You give in to their ridiculousness when you don't say the word. Calling someone a ni**er is different.

  4. Papa John didn’t wanna pay their workers insurance because it would boost the cost of our pizzas by cents… I would gladly pay an extra quarter for someone to be covered by insurance. And this guy said racial comments. That’s what did him in it’s his own fault.

  5. I just love that business model chart! The SJW‘s ousted Papa John’s from his own Company… And then look at the stock drop… it literally plummeted. I think this is a very telling lesson for America that if you get woke you WILL go broke!

  6. With a $200 million, 15 acre mansion, private golf course, garages under his private lakes, he is set for the next 100 years

  7. His concern for his employees speaks volumes… he doesn't have to do this, he could retire and never have to worry about a thing for the rest of his life. Good for Mr. Schnatter, very respectful for him to step up!

  8. I still support papa johns! They have the best pizza ever made. I believe papa johns was wrongfully. Accused! I stand with them.

  9. Yet liberals can be as racist they want to our faces and everyone laughs. I'll say what I want. There are not sounds that I can't utter out of my mouth because of my skin color. Wanna call me a racist? OK now what?

  10. John Schnatter is a stand up guy .
    I`ll never spend a Dime at Papa John`s after how the Snowflakes in HIS COMPANY staged the coup against him .

  11. Witches love a good with hunt – that’s why they are so good at it — to catch a witch you have to be one 🧙🏿‍♀️

  12. He told Roger G to go down there and make those SOBs stand & respect the flag hyped up by Trump Rhetoric. Not Col S but him! He forgot that he’s only an Honorary YT. NFL securing Jay-Z deal = kneeling isn’t an issue and by extension neither is police brutality. I believe Jay-Z said “we’re past that now”
    So now PJ is clear to take the role of the victim. This is America. 🇺🇸DOS

  13. He must be stupid. If he said racist words or repeated racist words… stupid. I never liked the Papa John’s pizza anyway.

  14. The FBI Deap State Blue Lodge Freemasons stated very clearly that General George Washington wanted a black man as the Grand Worshiful Master of the Masons of the United States an that the white mans time was over with!!! However like Adam Schiff we are not to see this document for National Security Reasons at this time !!!! So sayeth the Untouchable FBI who knows when someone is about to commit suicide !!!!

  15. Look at his body language; this guy is telling the truth(even though he’s obviously nervous). This was a leftist opportunistic hit-job.

  16. He had reason to confront the NFL. He was their client and their policy or lack of policy was effecting his company's bottom line. I will definitely continue to eat at Papa Johns.

  17. It was a shakedown from the go. All intentional. The 'word' he said was just the catalyst to make it all comedown to be scooped up for peanuts.

  18. A man who still cares about his franchisees… that's a man I can support. Love Papa John's recipe but would never buy stock to line the pockets of the board members…

  19. A lot of these NFL and NBA PLayers make millions but refuse to fix their own communities and cry wolf and police brutality in the mean time.

  20. His stores in Baltimore Maryland is more than 50% Black when I lived there.
    I can’t believe he would make that kind of statement.

  21. OH NOooo!The WORD SALAD Police are making having a Conversation an Illegal ACT!WE Use to be able to Speak or Misspeak without FEAR of Reprisal!UP YOURS WORD SALAD POLICE!And YOU Can QUOTE ME on that!

  22. A LIE TRAVELS AROUND THE WORLD in SECONDS AND THE TRUTH HAS TO PLAY CATCH-UP… PAPA JOHNS IS GREAT PIZZA… GOD BLESS PAPA JOHN

  23. Maria is disgraceful in making false accusations. She entered the interview with preconceived notions that Papa John that were based on hearsay.

  24. Where do all the racist go to continue there attacks on people of different races they go to Fox news he need to be right where he's at cause when u disrespect people races r talk about black people u gonna get it so now Shaq is trying to bring them back but they know we want eat Papa John's r Pizza hut anybody contribute to the white David Duke in white house let's spend out money where they appreciate us and support black people he is a racist pig f him and fox news

  25. Haven't ate at Papa John's since. The "slur" wasn't even used as such but was twisted into "he's another white racist" liberal accusation. Tiring. I hate having to preface this statement with, "even as a biracial guy," but it wasn't offensive to anyone but race-baiters and crybabies.

  26. This dude denies everything lol it just makes him seem more of a liar all he has to say is yeah it hurt my life but it was taking out of context

  27. I have not watched football for 2 years and I'm still alive and well, can you believe it? Nobody spits on the flag & give the fan the finger like the NFL is doing.

  28. Papa John is so full of shht
    You know he said something edgy that triggered a snowflake.
    Im sure it was nowhere near as bad as they make it out to be, but I DEFINITELY dont believe Papa John when he's claiming "I was only repeating it".

    That's like a child repeating a curse word then saying that they only repeated what someone else said.
    Lame

  29. Always some idiots starting a bunch of Crap, hope you learned not to Trust anybody, no one, not even the Pope, especially him,

  30. In watching this interview it seems he is not being honest with his responses. I always thought it was BS what happened to him but not so sure after seeing this.

  31. These football players that have kneed on the sideline when the National Anthem is being played is not cool. These football players are a bunch of cry babies.

  32. John Schnatter Get a business going and I’m right there… let me know what and type I’ll Support your business company. Stand your ground USA AMERICANS ARE AWARE AND AWAKEN

  33. If you charged 10 cents more per pizza you could give healthcare to all your employees you said no.remember I sent you a message it stated great plan for an exit flawless?let's see the next chapter to make you more millions

  34. Oh by the way colonel Sanders did use the n word often wake up folks he was from that time period in the south when that was the word to refer to black people

  35. The nfl players was the ones commiting tje action of racism .
    The act of assuming sone else is racist that you act on is by defintion racism.
    Not one person has ever brought forth a single peice of evedience.

  36. I grew up watching colonal sanders use the nigra world open and freely as everyone did to descrbe afro americans.
    50 years from now afro american will be veiwed as racist labeling.

  37. Who knew accountability would make people shake in their boots. I hear the N word dozens of times a week, and that comes from garbage music blaring in vehicles next to me in traffic. Why does no one get triggered about that?

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