Papa John’s Pizza Founder Accuses Company of Poor Food Quality Due to a Loss of Conservative Values

Joel Eisenberg

The entity’s controversial founder and namesake, John Schnatter, is no longer working with the chain and he is speaking out.
Papa John’sShutterstock

Author’s Note

Disclaimer: This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports, and does not necessarily represent the views of the author of this article, or the NewsBreak platform.

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According to’s “John Schnatter: Papa Johns Pizza is Worse Without 'Conservative Values'” the founder of the perennial chain is unhappy with the company’s current direction.

As excerpted from the article: John Schnatter says Papa Johns pizza has gotten worse without his "conservative values." Schnatter suggested that "truth and God" made Papa John's great.

Schnatter left the company in 2018 after admitting to using a culturally insensitive, racist invective on a conference call.

The article goes on to quote the founder: During an interview with the Right Side Broadcasting Network at the the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, in Dallas, Schnatter said quality, service, and culture were what helped make Papa John's a hit. But now, he said, Papa Johns has "lost it way," that it's "losing money," and is "down with Little Caesar's."

"We built the whole company on conservative values. Conservative ideology has two of the most critical attributes: truth and God," Schnatter said. During his August 4 speech at CPAC, Schnatter also made a cryptic proclamation that "evil forces" were controlling the world…

Some reporters have questioned Schnatter‘s agenda, if any, while others have questioned his presence of mind.

Let us explore further.

Papa Johns

Wikipedia features a comprehensive overview of Papa John’s, which was founded in 1984: Papa John's International, Inc., d/b/a Papa Johns, is an American pizza restaurant chain. It is the fourth largest pizza delivery restaurant chain in the United States, with headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky and Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan areas. Papa John’s global presence has reached over 5,500 locations in 49 countries and territories.

It should be noted the location count as listed on the page is no longer valid and seems to have been last updated in 2020; the substantial drop-off of locations since is primarily based on the impact of Covid-19.

Indeed, lists the current numbers: There are 3,101 Papa John's locations in the United States as of August 01, 2022. The state with the most number of Papa John's locations in the US is Texas, with 296 locations, which is 9% of all Papa John's locations in America.

In terms of the entity’s founder, his words are not expected to further impact the company’s business, per analysts as a targeted Google search will verify. He is expected, however, to continue to speak out.

For a history of John Schnatter that includes controversies related to the Papa John’s chain, see here for his dedicated Wikipedia page, which contextualizes his ouster: Schnatter stepped down as CEO on January 1, 2018, after controversy around his comments that the National Football League (NFL), who had a business affiliation with Papa John's, had not done enough to stop National Anthem protests by NFL players, and that the protests had hurt his business. Before he stepped down, his comments had resulted in the NFL cancelling its association with Papa John's.

The page goes on to state: After stepping down as CEO, Schnatter remained chairman of the board of directors until July 2018, when it was revealed that, during an internal sensitivity-training May 2018 conference call, he claimed without evidence that Colonel Sanders had used (earlier referenced invective) without backlash. Schnatter resigned when the comment became public, but has since maintained that the board conspired against him and unfairly forced him out of his position.


Should Schnatter publicly make further comments or accusations about the chain, or if the company alters its recipes or company culture in any way, I will report those updates here, on NewsBreak.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

Northridge, CA

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