Papa John’s Steve Ritchie Levels Up Diversity Endeavor

Papa John’s is on fire lately as its sales started to decline in the during the first and the second quarter of the year. Because of this, CEO Steve Ritchie decided to strengthen the core value of the pizza chain by further highlighting its efforts for diversity. Steve Ritchie penned an open letter with is future plans for the company and it’s 120,000 team members.

According to Steve Ritchie’s letter, the company underwent an audit and investigation to their diversity and inclusion practices. Ritchie, along with other Papa John’s executives, visited chains in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, and Detroit to listen for the feedback of their team members and franchisees. This is to further know the pulse of the branches and to know what are the things needed to be done and improve.

Ritchie also stated in his letter that an “unconscious bias training” is slated to be done across the company. He also stated that he is committed to adding more diversity to the company, including the leadership team. This program includes special advisory with experts and nationally-respected members.

Before ending the letter, Steve Ritchie stated that there focus in long-term is to 1) Expansion of Papa John’s minority-owned franchises, and 2) Building a new foundation that will be focused on helping the people work together efficiently.

Papa John’s is expected to target the fourth quarter to use new marketing campaign and launching its new advertisements. Targetting more international markets, Papa John’s is expected to open 350 branches in and out of the country. The third quarter sales were released, with sales in North America decreasing up to 9.8%. However, international sales increased by 10%. It is also reported that the company finished the re-franchising of 31 restaurants in Minnesota.

Papa John’s has three consecutive negative comps for its last three quarters. 2017’s Q4 registered -3.9% while Q1 and Q2 of 2018 are -5.3% and -6.1% respectively. By its advertising efforts in the last quarter, and by giving focus to diversity and equity, the company is hoping to get the sales that they have lost in the recent months.