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Posts Tagged ‘Papa John’s’

‘Like’ This Post and We’ll Donate Money to Charity!

Just kidding; we would never condescend to you like that. But quite a few brands would and do–and it seems to work on some level. Here, for example, is an update posted on the Papa John’s timeline yesterday:

Everyone agrees that charity is a good thing and that no child in a developed nation like the United States should face the prospect of going to bed hungry. Also: We understand that this post fits within the “social media best practices” guidelines by featuring a positive message, an aggressive call to action and an emotionally manipulative stock photograph. But it won’t win Papa John’s any “responsible citizen” awards.

And as you can see from the thousands of comments on the post, many users see it as an act of shameless self-promotion. Quite a bit of the thread consists of bickering over the health care controversy sparked by CEO John Schnatter‘s earlier comments.

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Papa John’s Firm Pressures Bloggers Over Reporting on CEO’s ‘Obamacare’ Comments

Papa John's CEO A few weeks ago we included Papa John’s on a list of food-and-beverage brands suffering bad PR thanks to statements by CEOs and managers about threats supposedly posed to their businesses by the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

Founder/CEO John Schnatter aggressively fought the “inaccurate” reports by writing a blog post for HuffPo at his PR firm’s suggestion and insisting that he never said anything about closing stores, firing employees or raising prices on his company’s incredibly delicious pizzas due to regulations imposed by the law.

Now he’s gone even more “proactive”, using crisis communications firm Sitrick and Co. to make sure everybody gets the story straight; representatives have been contacting various sites to insist that they correct related stories.

OK. So what did he say, and what did they say he said? Let’s review:

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Execs’ Anti-Obama Rants Hurt Restaurant Brands

Papa John's CEO Several men who work as managers and CEOs of chain restaurants don’t much care for President Obama’s signature health insurance law—and they haven’t been shy about letting everyone know it via their respective media megaphones.

Their outrage may have something to do with the fact that chain restaurants, despite employing millions of Americans, very often do not provide health insurance for their workers. While these men have every right to voice their outrage, a recent YouGov BrandIndex report implies that their opinions may be hurting their brands.

Examples from the past month:

  • An owner of several Applebee’s branches claimed that “…we won’t build more restaurants. We won’t hire more people” due to the additional costs of insuring employees via “Obamacare.”
  • A south Florida man who runs several Denny’s and Dairy Queen locations discussed his plans to add a 5% surcharge to all orders in order to cover the anticipated cost of the legislation, telling customers that “if they really feel so inclined, they can reduce the amount of tip they give to the server, who is the primary beneficiary of Obamacare.”
  • After reports led some to believe that Obamacare would force him to close stores, fire workers and raise prices, Papa John’s CEO (and major Mitt Romney fundraiser) John Schnatter recently took to The Huffington Post to clarify his statements on the matter, writing that everybody just needs to calm down because all of his restaurants plan to “honor the law.”

There’s little doubt that these statements paint the men who made them as jackasses, yet the YouGov brand report hints that the damage runs deeper: these execs’ anti-Obamacare rants have led the public to lose respect for their brands.

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Papa John’s and The Cowboys Do ‘White Guys Rapping’

Today in Didn’t That Joke Get Old at Least Ten Years Ago News: The latest ad campaign for Papa John’s features Dallas Cowboys General Manager Jerry Jones rapping about pizza, and it’s every bit as bad as you’d expect. Our question: How does this spot benefit either the Cowboys brand or the Papa John’s brand? It seems like a clear case of the audience “laughing at you, not with you.” We could be wrong, but we’d rather not consider that possibility.

Papa John’s Fires Employee for Slur, Needs to Do More

A teenage cashier lost her job at Papa John’s over the weekend for using a racial slur to identify a customer who’d come into one of the chain’s Harlem restaurants. The customer, Minhee Cho, comms director at ProPublica, posted a photo of the receipt on Twitter with the message, “Hey @PapaJohns just FYI my name isn’t ‘lady chinky eyes.’”

Papa John’s took immediate action, going to its social media pages to apologize and express concern. But the assistant manager of the franchise restaurant, only identified on Gothamist as Jerome, speaks to what sounds like a larger problem.

“You know, we do stuff like that sometimes. We’ll write ‘the lady with the blue eyes’ or ‘the guy in the green shirt,’” he says, equating an offensive racial remark to a description of someone’s clothing. He adds that the attention being brought to the incident is disrupting business and that the dismissed employee probably doesn’t fully understand why she’s been fired.

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