You know “Papa John” from the famous “Better Ingredients, Better Pizza: Papa John’s” commercials? Well, John Schnatter, the CEO of Papa John’s Pizza, is about to have a similar, smaller scale version of the Chik-Fil-A situation. Schnatter recently stated that he would be raising the prices of his pizzas under the effects of Obamacare.
Schnatter was a firm supporter of Mitt Romney, both vocally and financially, and is buckling down about his pizza prices now that the election is done. With his math skills, Schnatter figured out that Obamacare will cost his company an additional $5-8 million each year.
Under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, companies with full-time employees (30 or more hours every week) and employee at least 50 people will be required to provide health insurance.
As a result, Schnatter will cut employee hours to avoid providing them with healthcare.
So how is this a potential PR issue for Schnatter?
People quickly boycotted Chik-Fil-A after the company’s president, Dan Cathy, publicized his stance on gay marriage, and Schnatter is beginning to feel the negative effects of voicing his opinion.
Schnatter’s comments and claims have already enraged people on the Internet and Facebook groups are beginning similar initiatives, which plan to boycott Papa John’s because he is not an Obama supporter. Additionally, stock shares for Papa John’s have tumbled downward since the announcement with a 4.2 percent drop.
The people who are creating these “anti-whatever fast food chain” groups on Facebook or online blogs continue to seem more and more sensitive to issues with CEOs and presidents of companies coming out with their feelings about controversial issues such as gay marriage and Obamacare.
With voters and media who are left-leaning, I can’t say I’m surprised. First, Chik-Fil-A and now Papa John’s? Personally, I find all of this hype ridiculous. America needs to get thicker skin and move on — not everyone finds Obama or Obamacare appealing. This country was founded on the principle of having the opportunity to work your way toward success, not having it handed to you along with a side of free birth control pills and some food stamps. It’s Schnatter’s business and in order for it to survive, this is what he has to do.
How will this affect the image of Papa John’s? Do you think Schnatter made a mistake by not endorsing the Affordable Care Act?