Papa John’s Founder Ate 40 Pizzas In 30 Days, Claims It’s ‘Not The Same’

by : Tim Horner on : 30 Nov 2019 11:44
Papa John's Founder Ate 40 Pizzas In 30 Days, Claims It's 'Not The Same'PA

You know what it’s like.

You’ve been on a trip or something where you’re surrounded by people. Can’t get a minute to yourself. You get home. Finally some peace and quiet. You lock the door and close the curtains. Ah the relief. You go again. And again and again. But 12 hours later and your wrists turned to dust, you’re empty. You’re beat. The FIFA marathon comes to a grinding halt. It’s not the same.


Another chap to realise crushing defeat in a more public way is John Schnatter, the Papa John’s founder and former CEO, who left the company in 2018 surrounded by controversy after admitting to using the N-word in a company conference call that year.

Papa John's Founder Ate 40 Pizzas In 30 Days, Claims It's 'Not The Same'WDRB News

Schnatter had stepped down as CEO in 2017 following backlash for his criticism of NFL player kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality.

Now in an interview with WDRB News, Schnatter has spoken out about his ousting from the company and alleges he was set up.


He claims the conference call that started it all was made up.

Schnatter admitted he used the N-word during an internal conference call, but did it to convey his hatred of racism and was quoting another famous founder.

Papa John's Founder Ate 40 Pizzas In 30 Days, Claims It's 'Not The Same'Tim Horner

He said:


This is all a farce. Nothing sells like the truth, and the truth, sooner or later, all comes out.

I just didn’t know it would happen from people on the inside doing this. I thought it would come from the outside.

After naming Steve Ritchie and Olivia Kirtley, Schnatter said, ‘the board of directors all used the black community and race as a way to steal the company.’

Schnatter handpicked Ritchie as his replacement, but after years of friendship, they are now estranged. Kirtley is a Papa John’s board member.

He directed criticism at the company’s new leadership as well as his former protege after Ritchie stepped down as CEO this year.

Papa John's Founder Ate 40 Pizzas In 30 Days, Claims It's 'Not The Same'Imeguides/Flickr

Schnatter said:

[New CEO Rob Lynch] has never been a CEO. He has no pizza experience. He has never been in the pizza category. He doesn’t really know quality. Probably most important, he doesn’t have a passion for people.

They’ve hurt people that wake up every day and make this company great. I mean, it’s a miserable place over there … They’re losing all of their good people. The key to this business is good people.

He added:


I’ve had over 40 pizzas in the last 30 days, and it’s not the same pizza. It’s not the same product. It just doesn’t taste as good.

The way they’re making the pizza is just not fundamental to what makes a Papa John’s pizza.


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Tim Horner

Tim Horner is a senior sub-editor at UNILAD and not just because he was born in the 1980s. He graduated from University College Falmouth with a BA Journalism degree when the internet still consisted of Ceefax and Teletext and telephones were connected to the land.

Topics: Food, Business, Fast food, Pizza


  1. WDRB News

    As Papa John's moves on without its founder, John Schnatter vows for a 'day of reckoning'