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Who is Papa John and why is this pizza guy so controversial?

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Description: Many people ask, “Who is Papa John?” He’s a successful business man who makes a lot of people mad, but why?

Who is Papa John?

Who is Papa John
If you were wondering who is Papa John, he’s the guy on the right.

The quick answer is simple. His real name is John H. Schnatter. He was born November 23, 1961 in Jeffersonville, Indiana (a suburb of Louisville, KY). John Schnatter (a.k.a. Papa John) is the founder and current CEO of Papa John’s International. Papa Johns was founded on October 2, 1984. In addition to his role as CEO, John Schnatter is also spokesman for Papa John’s restaurants.

But when people ask “Who is Papa John?” they may also be wondering why is he so popular? Why is he so controversial? And why did 3,350,000 people search for the term “Who is Papa John?” on Google in October 2012? I was amazed to find that many searches for John Schnatter, CEO of Papa John’s Pizza.

The Obamacare Controversy

Papa John (Schnatter) has garnered a lot of publicity for his Papa John’s pizza chain recently. It first happened when he announced that if Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) was implemented, the cost of his pizzas would have to be increased about 11 to 14 cents per pizza. This rise in prices would be in order to cover the cost of being forced to offer health care benefits to all of his full-time workers, which Obamacare classifies as anyone working 30 hours or more.

John Schnatter was speaking about the costs that each of his franchisees (individual operators of his Papa John’s restaurants) would have to raise prices to cover Obamacare rules, regulations and extra taxes. Papa John’s may own some company stores, but a vast majority of them are individually owned franchises.

Not long after Barack Obama was re-elected with 51.4% of the vote compared to Mitt Romney’s 48.6% of the vote, the man affectionately known as Papa John said many of his stores (the franchisees) will be forced to cut employee hours below 30 hours a week in order for the stores to not be fined for not providing health insurance. The main problem for Papa John’s, as Papa John Schnatter sees it is this: Health care laws now call for employees to be covered if they are full-time workers with 40 hours a week constituting a full-time employee. The new health care law says that a worker is full-time at 30 hours a week. This will increase costs for small business owners and large business owners exponentially. Here is a list of many other businesses laying off employees or cutting hours due to the extra expense of the Affordable Care Act.

What are you going to do about Papa John?

I guess there are a few things you can do. You can boycott Papa John’s if you don’t exactly understand about all of the increasing costs small businesses have without the added cost of government mandated insurance. However, MSNBC host and Obama supporter Ed Schultz says a boycott would only hurt Papa John’s employees even more. He suggests a Tipcott where you buy the lowest price item and give the delivery drivers a 100% tip. Sounds good to me. I’m always lobbying for larger tips for delivery drivers.

You can also buy a lot more pizza from Papa John’s if you are a supporter of small businesses. Yes, each Papa John’s store is a small business since they are almost all independently owned.

You make your choice.

So there it is, if you had wondered “Who is Papa John?” you now have your answer. It will be interesting to see if “who is Papa John?” is still a trending search term on Google now that the election has passed. I guess it all depends on what Papa John Schnatter says next.

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