According to their website ir.papajohns.com, Part of pizza franchise Papa John’s corporate philosophy is summed up with the acronym P.A.P.A (People Are Priority Always). Recently, company CEO Steve Ritchie visited Papa John’s franchises across the country on what he dubbed a “listening tour”. Steve took the helm of the pizza parlor chain at the beginning of this year.
Papa John’s is in a period of transition and to facilitate that transition Steve Ritchie paid visits to franchises in major cities on the East and West Coasts and in the Mid and South West. Steve wanted to hear the thoughts and concerns of franchisees and their employees. During the listening tour, Steve indirectly got the input of customers as employees related stories of encounters with patrons who shared their thoughts on Papa John’s.
The knowledge that its workforce is the backbone of the company is not lost on its new CEO. “Without them (employees), Papa John’s doesn’t exist.” , declared Steve Ritchie. During his interactions with members of the Papa John’s team, Steve learned that through involvement with schools and charities franchises are community boosters.
The idea that franchise owners regard their staff as an extended family was a leitmotif at the restaurants Steve visited.
Steve Ritchie Papa Johns has resolved to keep listening to the input of restaurant owners, team members, and customers regardless of what they have to say. He further pledged that Papa John’s will move towards the future with an even greater commitment to quality and the company’s mission statement.
Twenty-two years before he became CEO of a company that is 120,000 franchises strong Steve Ritchie waited on Papa John’s customers as a customer service representative. Ten years after starting out at $6.00 an hour he was a franchise owner. Steve became an executive at Papa John’s when he was promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO) in 2014. He held that job for one year before being elevated to President of the company. Richie wrote his second apology letter which you can read here.