Papa John’s pays price for anti-Obamacare politicking

I guess “Papa John” Schnatter’s anti-Obamacare rhetoric didn’t play well with consumers (or maybe people just realized how much his pizzas suck).

As covered—and criticized—in this column in great detail, Mr. Schnatter decided to mix his politics with his pepperoni when suggesting that he would be cutting the work hours for Papa John employees in order to bring them below the 30 hour per week threshold that would require Schnatter to provide his employees with healthcare benefits.

It turns out, the pizza eating public did not approve.

Indeed, so serious was the reaction that Schnatter was forced to publish an op-ed piece where he sought to convince us that he never really intended to cut back worker hours but had simply been speculating on what he might do in response to the legislation.

According to YouGov BrandIndex, a leading marketing survey that measures brand perception in the marketplace (called “Buzz”), Papa John’s had good reason for concern as the pizza chain’s brand identity has plummeted from a high of 32 on election day, to a remarkably low score of 4 among adults who have eaten at causal dining restaurants during the past month.


Papa John is not alone in his anti-Obamacare misery.

Fast food server, Applebee’s, possessed a healthy Buzz score of 35 before Zane Terkel, CEO of one of the company’s largest franchisees, appeared on television to complain about the law and to announce that he would not be building more restaurants or hiring any more workers in response to his objections to Obamacare.

Applebee’s “pre-Terkel” Buzz score of 35 now sits at a pathetic 5.


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4 thoughts on “Papa John’s pays price for anti-Obamacare politicking

  1. Although I’ve never eaten a Papa John’s pizza, my wife and I used to be frequent Applebee’s customers here in Wausau. Given their position on the ACA (and more recent events involving the beating of a gay employee of an Applebee’s in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, and the restaurant management’s deliberate indifference involving that incident), I can’t tell you the last time we’ve patronized one of their restaurants. In fact, I was just commenting on this the other night with my wife.

  2. The corporate CEO’s live in a world isolated from people who live on poverty wages today. At one time in history the CEO’s lived and were active members of local society where they had a social expectation pay a high standard of living wage and provide real charity in the community that was not for the sole purpose of a tax write off.

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