CEO Steve Ritchie came on board at Papa John’s at the right time when the company needed major interventions to help it maintain its vast presence and huge customer-base. He started by putting in place some remedies including writing a letter of apology to customers about the remarks of the company’s founder which tainted its reputation. He distanced himself, his office and the company at large from the remarks saying that they are not in any way a representation of the values and views of the company. He issued an outright apology.
Steve Ritchie said that the company is not an individual and it has more than 120,000 corporate and franchise team members across the world. These are individuals from all walks of life hailing from the communities of their customers. They are always striving to provide customers with better services and better pizza. They make up the customers’ local owners as well as operators who are pillars of their community. To show that the letter was not mere public relations words, he highlighted some of the steps the company would take to improve its practices going forward.
The senior executive said that outside experts would be brought in to audit their company’s culture, inclusion and inclusion practices and the audit would be used to set more clear goals. Additionally, the senior management team members would go around the company’s locations listening to the feedback of employees and franchisees on the path forward. Transparency is important to Steve Ritchie because he wants their customers to hold them accountable.
Steve Ritchie said that he would personally lead the efforts to earn the trust and respect of their customers again. He recognizes it will take some time but he is confident they will get there. The letter was very compelling and it finished by thanking their customers for their loyalty. Papa John’s recognizes that they are in business because of its customers. According to Steve Ritchie, they hope that they will continue to have the honor of serving the customers. Needless to say, the letter is direct to the point and the apology is pretty clear. It is a positive step toward the right direction.