In a letter of apology to Papa John’s customers, Steve Ritchie–the Chief Executive Officer of Papa John’s—made an outright apology for an instance in which a racial slur was allegedly used by an individual closely associated with the Papa John’s brand. This instance of the use of a racial slur in question supposedly took place during a conference call. Aside from this instance in which a questionable conduct occurred, the individual in question also was said to have blamed a decline in sales at Papa John’s to the NFL’s lack of ability to prevent its players from protesting a supposed lack of equitable treatment of minorities in this country during the playing of the national anthem.
In this apologetic letter, Steve Ritchie expressed his intention to personally lead the efforts to win back the trust of Papa John’s customers. Steve Ritchie believes that, with hard work, in time, he will be able to do just exactly this. Steve Ritchie Papa John’s also stated those racial sentiments are solely the sentiments of one individual and they are not shared by the company as a whole, which is made up of 120,000 employees who are hard-working pillars of the community in which they reside. Steve Ritchie also wrote that such conduct will not be tolerated by any employee.
In an article posted on CNN, Steve Ritchie’s efforts to win back the trust of Papa John’s customers includes hiring outside auditors to perform an audit of the company regarding the company’s culture, diversity, and inclusiveness. It also includes sending out members of Papa John’s senior management team to listen to employees and franchises and to obtain their feedback concerning a path on which everyone can move forward. Throughout this entire process, Steve Ritchie promises transparency and asks Papa John’s customers to hold him accountable. Steve Ritchie concludes his letter of apology by thanking Papa John’s customer for being loyal to the company and the Papa John’s brand. Find out about Steve’s salary and bonus stock options here.