Steve Ritchie began his career with Papa John’s over twenty years ago in 1996, and though he started in a humble position, he moved quickly up the corporate ladder. Upon being promoted to CEO in January of 2018, one of his first acts was to an issue a letter of apology to Papa John’s customers for any hurt, anger, or resentment they might have felt for the company over the last several months.
In an open letter to customers, Steve Ritchie began by ensuring customers that Papa John’s would in no way tolerate racism or insensitive language from its company employees. He then went on to express that Papa John’s was not an individual. “Papa John’s is a pizza company with 120,000 corporate and franchise team members around the world,” Richie says in his letter, further reminding customers that these people are from all backgrounds and ethnicity and that they come from the customers’ very own neighborhoods. “These are your local owners and operators who do so much in your community,” Ritchie continued.
Steve Ritchie went on to say that he knows actions speak louder than words, and he laid out a plan of action that Papa John’s intends to undertake in order to show Papa John’s customers that he means what he says. There were three key points in this plan. They included bringing in “outside experts” to help audit the company’s diversity practices – both its strengths and its weaknesses; sending the senior management team on the road to speak to its employees in franchises across the nation; and a policy of 100% transparency to its customers, as mentioned in a post published on Biz Journals.
Steve Ritchie Papa Johns ensures customers that he will be leading these efforts himself and ended the letter by thanking Papa John’s customers for their loyalty and expressing a wish to continue to serve these communities. Ritchie showed empathy for his customers and apologized for any previous actions on behalf of any Papa John employee who might have upset customers. It was a good move, and it is step in the right direction for the company. Connect with Papa John’s on Facebook.