Crappy Owner. Crappy Pizza. Papa John’s.

Are all pizza magnates rightwing assholes? Herman Cain (Godfather’s), Tom Monaghan (Domino’s) and now John Schnatter (Papa John’s) — all currently or formerly mass-produce shitty pizza and all are active in wingnut politics.

It’s almost as if defiling a wondrous culinary gift for profit erodes the brain’s empathy receptors or something. Schnatter, a big Romney bundler, is threatening to hike the price on his crappy pies if forced to comply with “Obamacare:”

On a conference call last week, CEO and founder John Schnatter (a Mitt Romney supporter and fundraiser) said the health care law’s changes — set to go into effect in 2014 — will result in higher costs for the company — which they vowed to pass onto consumers.

“Our best estimate is that the Obamacare will cost 11 to 14 cents per pizza, or 15 to 20 cents per order from a corporate basis,” Schnatter said…

“If Obamacare is in fact not repealed, we will find tactics to shallow out any Obamacare costs and core strategies to pass that cost onto consumers in order to protect our shareholders best interests,” Schnatter vowed.

Two things: If I were ever desperate enough to order one of Schnatter’s lousy pizza facsimiles, I’d be glad to pay an extra $0.20 if that meant the kid who delivered it and the folks who made it had access to basic healthcare. My guess is that most people who aren’t greedy, self-important pricks would be willing to pony up two additional dimes as well.

Secondly, note Schnatter’s vow to hike the price consumers pay for his crappy pizza so shareholders won’t be inconvenienced by any obligations to their underpaid workforce. I hope that blows up in his face like an expired can of anchovies. These people are both clueless and shameless.

[X-posted at Rumproast]

120 replies
  1. 1
    nevsky42 says:

    Seriously, he can’t pay a quarter so his employees have decent health care, what kind of Scrooge McDuck bs is that?

    And I wonder how much his political lobbying and contributions work out to per pizza…

  2. 2
    dr. bloor says:

    Secondly, note Schnatter’s vow to hike the price consumers pay for his crappy pizza so shareholders won’t be inconvenienced by any obligations to their underpaid workforce.

    Yeah, I noticed that-another unintentional moment of honesty by a corporate greedhead.

    We’ll be seeing a lot of these stories, and I think they’re mostly nothing burgers in terms of changing minds. Mostly a convenient way to identify everyone I don’t want to give my money to.

  3. 3
    EconWatcher says:

    On the other hand, Little Caesars owner Mike Ilitch and his family seem like decent folk. Don’t know what their politics are, but they seem to be very public-spirited. Ilitch has really tried to help Detroit, and believe me, you don’t do that for the glory. But he sells some really bad pizza.

  4. 4
    SenyorDave says:

    I live in Maryland, and good pizza is hard to come by. Unfortunately Papa Johns is often the pizza of choice if I go to ameeting at work during lunch. IMO, it is hard to determine where the pizza starts and the cardboard box ends. It is truly inedible, and lately if I suspect that PJ’s pizza will be served, I take a lunch.

  5. 5
    ottercliff says:

    Twenty cents is more than Papa John’s crappy pizza is worth.

  6. 6
    PeakVT says:

    …to pass that cost onto consumers in order to protect our shareholders best interests,” Schnatter vowed.

    Does he actually think he’s saying something interesting here? All businesses pass on their costs if they can. Are his fellow wingnutty cardboard slingers planning on eating their Obamacare costs? No, so PJ’s shouldn’t have a problem passing the costs along.

    What a whiner.

  7. 7
    Kirbster says:

    Twenty cents. That’s some potent threat right there.

    To eliminate those costs, perhaps Mr. Schnatter should support a single-payer healthcare system that would relieve employers of the burden of providing HC insurance to their employees once and for all.

  8. 8
    Kathy in St. Louis says:

    Does the guy realize just how cheap and miserable he sounds? In order to give health care to his employees we’ll all have to pay another 20 cents for a pizza? No one would even have to know about why they were raising their prices and they could actually help people who really could use the help. Instead, it’s poitical agenda time at the crap pizza factory.

  9. 9
    beth says:

    The Papa John’s in my neighborhood seem to be staffed completely by high school/college students (who are probably on their parent’s policies) or part time workers (who I thought weren’t part of the ACA coverage). Are there really that many full-time pizza workers? This guy makes it seem like all his employees would be eligible. I don’t know all the particulars of the ACA but didn’t I hear the Fox people complaining about how we’d all become part-time workers because of it?

  10. 10
    Cassidy says:

    @EconWatcher: It may not be amazing, but they have found their niche: busy families who can eat something edible and not horrible tasting for under $20 and still have some leftovers. I appreciate LC’s business model. We don’t get them very often, but when we do, the convenience is worth the sacrifice in flavor.

    On that note, if you’re in Jacksonville or St. Augustine and haven’t tried your local Five Star pizza, you are missing out on one of the best cheese pizzas ever made.

  11. 11
    El Cid says:





  12. 12
    Steve says:

    This is an argument in favor of the law, not one against it. Seriously, if we can’t win the argument that it’s worth paying an extra 15-20 cents a pizza to get uninsured people some health care, there’s just no hope for this country.

  13. 13
    gumbo957 says:

    As a small business owner, I gotta say, this kind of thing kills me. We pay 70% of health insurance costs for our full time employees (30 hrs a week or more). Now, I only have a handful of full time employees, unlike Papa Jerk; but I’m guessing all those extra employees he’s griping about having to cover generate a boatload more profit for his greedy self than my handful.

    Of course I actually know my employees, know that they are actual people with actual families, and I don’t want to see them lose their houses or suffer and die because they can’t afford the cost of healthcare in America.

    How do these people look at themselves in the mirror every day? How did we raise an entire generation of business leaders (at least of large corporations) to be sociopathic?

  14. 14
    Craig says:

    Notice whose best interests he doesn’t have anything to say about. Shareholders, they matter (of course). Consumers matter, because they provide the money to keep the thing afloat. Employees? Nothing but a necessary evil in corporate America in 2012, an afterthought of an afterthought. Short-sighted quarterly profits over long-term thinking about how to keep American consumer society strong and vibrant (by providing them decent wages and access to basic necessities like health care) so that they can still afford to indulge in your shitty pizza 20 years from now.

  15. 15
    EconWatcher says:


    By the way, I looked it up–the Ilitch family are Dems. Mike has mostly contributed to D candidates (with a few unfortunate lapses). Their daughter Denise was at one point discussed as a possible D candidate for Governor of Michigan.

    So there you have it: If you want some crappy pizza, but don’t want to contribute to wingnut causes, Little Caesars is your best bet.

  16. 16
    Steve says:

    @EconWatcher: Ilitch gives a lot to both Rs and Ds although I’m pretty sure he is personally more R. But he is very civic-minded and has done as much as anyone to invest in the hoped-for revitalization of Detroit, so that’s something worth supporting in itself. Plus, have you seen that contract Prince Fielder got? Do it for the Tigers.

  17. 17
    Hoodie says:

    Like pizza consumers aren’t paying already for a fucked up health care system in their insurance rates and taxes? This is simply shifting the cost where it belongs, on to Walmart-like cost externalizers like this asshole. Fuck him if he can’t compete on a level playing field. His pizza is crappy, the only reason it sells is millions in advertising, not because it is some great value. There are few barriers to entry in this business, some other chain will will sell the same or better pizza for less and/or smaller mom and pop pizza joints will get more business and their employees will be able to buy health insurance on the exchanges with a subsidy. Consumers do not lose here. On the contrary, it’s ending a subsidy to shitty business models like these pizza chains.

  18. 18
    JMS says:

    I think I read somewhere that Papa Johns already provides health insurance for its employees, including part timers. If true, unless there is some other population of Papa Johns employees that is not covered, what difference would the law make to Papa Johns? Makes me wonder if we need to be on the lookout for people raising their prices “on account of Obamacare” who aren’t actually negatively impacted by Obamacare, but just trying to get the twofor of charging more and having it negatively impact the president/Democrats.

  19. 19
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Wingnuts have seized on repealing RomneyCare, uh, ObamaCare as a means of turning out the base on November 4. It’s all Obama war, all the time. They certainly aren’t energized by Mittbot’s magnetic personality.

    If they really wanted to improve morale, they would find something, anything that they like Mitt Romney. Hating beautiful black families in 2012 ain’t gonna cut it.

  20. 20
    Percysowner says:

    The kicker is they already provide health insurance to some of their restaurant employees
    Salaried employees i.e. managers and Part-time team members (shift leaders, drivers & team members) are eligible to participate. Maybe the extra cost will come in because of the minimum requirements for the insurance package or maybe he has to cover I don’t know who else. But it isn’t like they aren’t already covering people.

  21. 21
    greennotGreen says:

    My old department at my university used to buy a lot of Papa John’s pizza exactly to avoid giving any money to Tom Monaghan. Now that Schnatter has shown his colors, looks like they may be forced to ply the students with healthier food.

  22. 22
    Maxwel says:

    I told my daughter “No more Papa Johns”!

  23. 23

    The franchising business model makes wingnuts, much like the car dealership business model creates an overwhelming dominance of Republicans among its ownership class.

    The franchise model of Papa Johns and any other mass-produced pizza place relies on very low wages, low skilled workers, cheap gasoline, low property tax costs and very low human capital. There is minimal reason for the owners to invest in their work force because they know they only offer crap jobs so any return on investment in training/benefits has to be made within months if not weeks.

    Most franchise food places are very low margin businesses, and society selects for people who are terrified at one of their cost centers increasing by 2% as that destroys their margin. Add in the American Calvinistic narcissism that “anyone can franchise and be as successful as me, so everyone less successful than me is either destined to Hell or is a moocher…”

  24. 24
    Kay says:

    I love how this argument is accepted without question. It’s ludicrous. Low wage employees occasionally require medical care. Who is supposed to pay for that? Sometimes the employees can pay: they’re sued and their wages are garnished. But what about when they can’t pay? The debt doesn’t just disappear, even if they have a lot of medical debt and they discharge it in bankruptcy (which I think they should do). The medical provider has to pick it up somewhere. It’s gone. They already provided the medical care.

    So what’s the conservative position? NO ONE should pay? We should pretend people never get/need medical care?

    If the federal government is picking up the cost of low wage employers’ health insurance by subsidizing purchase on an insurance exchange, why shouldn’t large employers contribute 2,000 towards that cost?

    They have a choice. Offer decent insurance or the federal government will subsidize YOUR employees to enter an exchange. We should just all chip in for that subsidy to protect Papa John’s shareholders? That’s nuts. Why would we do that? Why is it the whole country’s duty to cover employee costs for low wage employers?

  25. 25
    Chet says:

    I gotta say, I agree that Papa John’s kind of sucks, but I can’t taste much difference compared to the rest of the national chains, and when you move somewhere new, it’s a bit of a roll of the dice. Do you take a risk with a local place that might charge you $20 for a pie that’s all crust and Provel – or might be the best goddamn slice you’ve ever had – or go with the safe, convenient national chain with online menus and ordering?

    Actually, the online ordering settles it for me every time. I’d rather eat a mediocre pizza if I can avoid talking to a human being over the phone. Hell, I’d settle for a phone tree (“press 1 to order a large pepperoni!”) as long as I didn’t have to speak to someone.

  26. 26
    PaulW says:

    I actually like Papa John’s. And yes, I actually like Godfather’s (the actual restaurant places – which are very rare around here – not the mini-pizzas stuck in the gas stations), because of the Chicago style they use (layers and layers of cheese on top). Then again, I’m pretty much a fan of pizza as a whole.

    I do avoid Domino’s because that owner tends to scare me more than the others combined with how prevalent that chain is around where I live. I’d like to think that the Papa John’s owner is being more of a dick than a scary Dominionist, but for the sake of telling the owner off I will boycott the chain until sanity prevails.

    In the meantime… is Pizza Hut okay? How about Hungry Howie’s…?

  27. 27
    aimai says:

    Man, the ads just write themselves:

    Scene: Nice, fat, suburban family of Republicans pulls up at the pizza drive through window and they are bitching about Obamacare. In the backseat grandma pipes up “Well, I’m happy with the money its saving me!” Little kid in the middle seat “I’m happy with my free well baby checkups and no copays for mommy’s health care” In the front seat Dad is ranting and raving about how he’s not going to pay “20 cents extra” to get health care for Pizza workers.

    Cut to the kitchen where the workers are shown sneezing onto the pizzas and dripping various bodily fluids because Obamacare hasn’t kicked in yet and they don’t have coverage or sick days.


  28. 28
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Maybe if “Papa John” lowered some executive salaries, he wouldn’t have to pass on that cost to consumers? I know. Radical I am.

  29. 29
    Walker says:

    There is another angle overlooked here. He assumes that he can actually raise prices (successfully). There is this little thing called “pricing power”. In a competitive field like delivery pizza, it is not clear he has it.

  30. 30
    Punchy says:

    Our best estimate is that the Obamacare will cost 11 to 14 cents per pizza

    Cents. CENTS. 14 FUCKING CEEEEEEEEEEEEENNNNNNNNNNTTTTTSS! Oh noez! Who’s going to order ‘za that costs a few couch cushion coins extra? Actually, hopefully nobody.

  31. 31
    NCSteve says:

    Fortunately for Schnatter he has a total monopoly on the delivery pizza business and is thus free to change his prices at will without regard to competitive forces.

    The other thing that stuns me about supposed economic genius wingnuts is their inability to even conisder the possibility that getting more people insured will positively affect demand for things like delivery pizza.

    More people employed in healthcare, people already paying for individual coverage having more money in their pockets when the rate pool gets normalized, people no longer having to get primary care from the ER, more money generally getting into the bottom 90%’s hands. Yeah, no way that could improve his business.

  32. 32
    aimai says:

    Trader Joe’s is supposed to sell a decent frozen pizza which you can add your own toppings to, from say a saladbar, and make it to your liking. It has to be at least as convenient in terms of cost and time as ordering a pizza. In our area we have Ottos (very good) and Stone Hearth (very good) but they don’t deliver so pizza is actually a bigger deal and more rare for us than for many.


  33. 33
    ericblair says:

    @Kathy in St. Louis:

    Does the guy realize just how cheap and miserable he sounds? In order to give health care to his employees we’ll all have to pay another 20 cents for a pizza?

    Not only that, everyone knows that you can get 2-for-1, free coke, discount toppings, and all sorts of coupons for these pizzas constantly that add up to multiple dollars an order and the pizza company’s obviously cool with that. So 20 cents is now doom?

  34. 34
    El Cid says:


    Low wage employees occasionally require medical care.

    Yes, but if they were responsible low wage employees, they’d wait to need medical care until they had saved up enough money to pay for it out of pocket.

  35. 35
    Dork says:

    Lemmie understand this: he’s bragging about raising prices, as if this is going to force Congress to repeal the bill? Harry Reid is going to see a 14 cent increase in cardboard pizza and decide, “Dayum. Gotta get rid of the ACA before college kids starve to death over a 14 cents price hike”?


  36. 36

    Or maybe his pizza won’t go up by $.20 and he is full of shit.

    Assuming he is right, if we consider that putting everyone in the pool will help insurance costs across the board, i’d say a more expensive pizza is worth it.

    So what if it will raise his pizza $.20. Maybe some of his competitiors already find value is having health care for their workers and will now have more competitive prices versus Papa Johns. It’s a free market asshole.

  37. 37
    Earl says:

    @gumbo957:“How do these people look at themselves in the mirror every day? How did we raise an entire generation of business leaders (at least of large corporations) to be sociopathic?”

    I don’t have an answer to that, but I do have an earworm going once I read that…

    Ain’t That America

  38. 38
    arguingwithsignposts says:


    Fortunately for Schnatter he has a total monopoly on the delivery pizza business and is thus free to change his prices at will without regard to competitive forces.

    monopoly? maybe where you live.

  39. 39
    different-church-lady says:

    I’d be glad to pay an extra $0.20 if that meant the kid who delivered it and the folks who made it had access to basic healthcare.

    You’re missing the point: if the cost of the pizza goes up 20 cents, the company is obligated to raise the price of the pizza by $2.00. I’m pretty sure it’s in one of the corporate executive decision codes of conduct rulebooks.

  40. 40
    Walker says:

    Also, who is he kidding? There is no way he is going to do a price hike that will cause his product to and in anything other than .99. He will cut back on ingredients first.

  41. 41
    different-church-lady says:


    How do these people look at themselves in the mirror every day? How did we raise an entire generation of business leaders (at least of large corporations) to be sociopathic?

    Obviously you don’t have an MBA.

  42. 42
    r€nato says:

    so instead of charging $9.99 for a pizza, he’s going to charge $10.14 or $10.19?

    Yeah, right. I think Mr. Schattner listens to too much Rush Limbaugh and watches too much Fox News Channel.

  43. 43
    The Red Pen says:

    I would like to see a comparison of this effect on pizza prices versus the price effect of the 2012 drought. I think $0.20 will be noise.

  44. 44
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Chet: I love pizza so much that I’d eat a frozen Red Baron if there were no alternative. Luckily, I can usually make my own.

    But for me, your chain vs. indie dilemma is easy to solve: If I’m not making my own pie, I check out the local reviews for the mom-and-pop shops (you can do this online without talking to a human being!) and then take a calculated risk with an indie.

    If you stick with the chains, you KNOW you’ll get a substandard pie. With an indie, you at least have a shot at greatness.

    Regarding your willingness to settle for pizza mediocrity rather than talk to a human being, I don’t understand that, but my husband is the same way, so you’re not alone. He just makes me do all the ordering, so it’s not a problem for him.

    I wonder how widespread this phenomenon is? Maybe there’s a business opportunity there for people who are willing to hold live conversations with retailers. Would you pay 20 cents for such a service per pie? It could fund healthcare! ;-)

  45. 45

    I just never bought his pizzas because his ads have always been so repellant. Good to know I accidentally did the right thing.

    Maybe the food gods and goddesses on the site could post some creative recipes for great homemade pizzas?

  46. 46
    chopper says:

    holy shit! 11 cents on a 10 dollar pie? that’s like, about 1%!

  47. 47


    So what’s the conservative position? NO ONE should pay?

    The conservative position is that if your have no money you should just die. This is not meant to be snark, this is really their position.

  48. 48
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    I doubt you can get an anchovy pizza at Papa John’s. At least here in the upper Heartland (the brains are elsewhere), where folks aren’t too crazy about them, generally speaking. Me, I love anchovies. One night at a restaurant ordered an anchovy pizza. One of my fellow diners exclaimed “Anchovy pizza!?” like it was the strangest thing she’d ever heard. When I ordered it, the waitress had the same reaction. A few minutes later, I heard the cook say, loud enough to be heard from the kitchen, “Anchovy pizza!?”

  49. 49
    chopper says:


    “well, every underpaid shmuck who works for us will have healthcare, but it means we have to raise the price of a pizza one percent. it’s just like hitler!”

  50. 50
    Chyron HR says:

    @The Red Pen:

    Also, too, there’s that hyperinflation that Republicans assure me is going on as we speak. Who could possibly notice a $0.20 price increase when pizzas are now fifteen grand each thanks to Barack Mugabe?

  51. 51
    red dog says:

    Trader Joes has great pizza dough. Just roll it out put your own good stuff on it and 20 min later you’re muchin’ a topnotch pie.

  52. 52
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? (formerly MarkJ) says:

    @Walker: That’s exactly what I thought. The crappy chain pizza market is one based on competing almost entirely on price. They sure aren’t competing for the folks who are willing to pay a little more for real pizza. He can raise his prices, but if Domino’s, Little Ceasar’s etc don’t, he’ll just lose market share. That’s how the free market works – you’d think a Galtian overlord like him would comprehend that basic economic principle but apparently not.

  53. 53
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Howlin Wolfe: You may be right. When I was a teenager, I worked at Domino’s, and they did stock anchovies, even though I don’t think one person ever ordered them the entire time I was there. However, they were used in new employee initiations.

  54. 54
    Applejinx says:

    A nickel and a dime? That’s the difference between us and fucking civilization? If I get seriously injured or sick I’m gonna die over a nickel and a dime per pizza? Seriously?

  55. 55
    JGabriel says:

    “If Obamacare is in fact not repealed, we will find tactics to shallow out any Obamacare costs and core strategies to pass that cost onto consumers in order to protect our shareholders best interests,” Schnatter vowed.

    Wow. It’s almost like Schnatter thinks he has no competition — that no other company makes pizza, or can do so at a cheaper price.

    I wonder if Schnatter’s shareholders will be thrilled with the prospect of customers abandoning their product on the sound logical basis of, “Hey, not only does this pizza suck, but now they wanna charge more than the homemade pizza guy down the road? Fuck that noise, I’m buyin’ local!”

    It always amazes me how frequently our self-described capitalists forget how capitalism works and behave like autocrats. It’s almost like they don’t really live in a democratic capitalist society, but some sort of dictatorial plutarchy instead.

    But that’s unpossible.


  56. 56
    iLarynx says:

    GET THE NUMBERS STRAIGHT! They claim (their best “estimate”) is “11¢-14¢ per pizza,” not even 20¢ – that’s the amount they “estimate” per order (assuming w/sugar water or a side of chicken-flavored lard sticks).

    Keep in mind, as others have pointed out, that this Schatter guy is both a Republican and Rmoney supporter which puts the likelihood that he’s a lying sack of shit somewhere north of 98%, by my best estimate. He’s motivated to push big numbers to make his wing-nut case and all he can come up with is less than three nickels per pizza?

    The other points made, even 20¢ is worth it, the Caca John’s board are cheesy cheapskates who treat their workers like crap, are right on the money.

    REMEMBER: Many fast-food places like Caca John’s who don’t provide decent health benefits for their workers are also pushing them to work when sick. Did your Papa John’s pizza preparer with the flu cough on your pie while spreading the sauce, or maybe he sneezed and that’s not just cheese on the top of your Papa John’s pizza? Yummy. Glad I saved $0.11.

  57. 57
    cmm says:

    Do expired anchovy cans really blow up? “Dear Mythbusters, I have one for you…”

  58. 58
    Jose Padilla says:

    Mr. Shnatter must’ve failed microeconomics 101. If he could’ve raised prices by 20 cents and not lost business (meaning demand for his pizza is price inelastic) he should’ve already done so. He’s been losing money by not pricing his product at the profit maximizing price.

  59. 59
    JGabriel says:

    @El Cid:

    Yes, but if they were responsible low wage employees, they’d wait to need medical care until they had saved up enough money to pay for it out of pocket.

    If they were responsible low wage employees, they would put the company ahead of their health and quietly die when they could no longer contribute to shareholder profits.


  60. 60
    Elizabelle says:

    Have to laugh at how Chik Fil A, Domino’s and Papa John’s are working hand in glove with Michelle Obama to get America off of crappy, corporate fast food.

    Well done, gentlemen.

  61. 61
    iLarynx says:

    Maybe it’s time for some PIZZA RECIPES!

    We take the crust and sauce elements of Alton Brown’s Good Eats home-made grilled pizza and made it our own.

    Crust (Pre-fab or bake your own)
    Sauce – Grilled tomato slices spread on the crust with basil.
    Toppings – Minced Garlic, Fresh Cilantro, Onions, Peppers (multi-color), Olives, Fresh Mozzarella and Feta cheeses, Smoked Salmon or Lox.

    Put it on a pizza stone and toss onto the grill for a few minutes.

    Obviously, the options are endless (adjust any and all to taste) but this is one of the best pizzas we’ve ever eaten. It’s fun to make to – the kids have a great time helping with this.

  62. 62
    lankyloo says:


    My first reaction was also “What about Mike Illitch?” The family seems to skew Democrat, and nothing too wingnutty about the Republicans in the family, based on this information.

  63. 63
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Stopped eating at Papa John’s once I found out about his politics, so he won’t be passing on anything to me.

  64. 64
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Elizabelle: Ha!

  65. 65
    elmo says:

    Jesus. I can’t – I mean, I just – how – ::head splodes::

    Twenty cents. Twenty fucking cents.

    If I ordered pizza every single day, it would cost me six bucks a month.

    To give health insurance to low-wage employees.

    IS THAT ALL IT COSTS? And the Chamber of Commerce and all of our Galtian overlords are screaming that Obamacare will end in bankruptcy and ruin?

    Why in the everloving merciful FUCK haven’t they already been providing health insurance, if that’s all it fucking costs?

  66. 66
    JGabriel says:


    GET THE NUMBERS STRAIGHT! They claim (their best “estimate”) is “11¢-14¢ per pizza,” not even 20¢ …


    “Our best estimate is that the Obamacare will cost 11 to 14 cents per pizza, or 15 to 20 cents per order from a corporate basis,” Schnatter said…

    “… from a corporate basis.”

    That extra 4 to 6 cents is the 40% profit they intend to make off of charging extra pennies per pie to cover for PPACA.

    Yep, that’s right. Papa John’s will not only add the imagined cost of PPACA to your pie, but add 35%-40% to that for profit. Schnatter is complaining about something he intends to profit on anyway.


  67. 67
    Groucho48 says:

    We have tons of good local pizza places, here in Buffalo. But, not that long ago, a Papa John’s opened near me and I gave them a try. It wasn’t awful but it wasn’t very good. Their chicken wings were awful. I will say their specials are good deals. So, I have ordered them a few times when I’ve been in a pizza mood and the exchequer is low.

    Not any more, though. I knew the Domino’s guy was a right winger but hadn’t realized that Papa John was.

  68. 68
    Tom65 says:

    Nah, I just think Schnatter saw how many rubes lined up for chicken sandwiches and waffle fries when the evil libruls tried to impose Homo Sharia. He wants a piece of that action, so he tells people that Obama’s horrible socialist medicine is raising the price of his fake pizza.

  69. 69
    Bulworth says:

    “If Obamacare is in fact not repealed, we will find tactics to shallow out any Obamacare costs and core strategies to pass that cost onto consumers in order to protect our shareholders best interests,” Schnatter vowed.

    “shallow out” and “core strategies”? WThell?

    I can’t even make sense of that. No mind. You can have your crappy pizza, Papa.

  70. 70
    JGabriel says:


    Why in the everloving merciful FUCK haven’t they already been providing health insurance, if that’s all it fucking costs?

    Because they’re evil.

    And thus ends another episode of SATSQ.


  71. 71
    quannlace says:

    OT- Say Ms. Cracker. How are things in the hen house? Let’s have an update on those chickens.

  72. 72
    roc says:

    Do they not realize how miserly they look when they try to make a big stink out of a *quarter*?

    I realize that’s the difference between a certain type of rich person and the rest of us plebes. But ffs you’re trying to make a *pitch* to the plebes. Maybe don’t remind them of how fundamentally mis-wired you are, that you’d rather a pizza chef not have health insurance and wind up going to the ER, declaring medical bankruptcy and driving costs up for the rest of us, all over whether or not you have to raise prices *a quarter*.

  73. 73
    Elizabelle says:

    I would think that a healthy workforce is good for shareholders too.

    But what do I know?

    I’m not a pizza franchise magnate.

  74. 74
    Rommie says:

    I have to confess that I liked the local Papa Jerk’s pizza a lot. But between wanting to lose a few pounds and learning Johnny is a RomneyBot wanna-be, I’ve avoided them. I’ll get LC if I have a bout of weakness – the actual pizza is bleh, but I do like their crazy bread and I’m a Tigers fan so I don’t feel bad about supporting them.

    And someone made a great point above, that PJ has all kinds of specials and codes to get stuff way cheaper than regular price. If he’s serious about sticking it to the customers to prove how awful Obamacare is to his “small” business, he’d threaten to pull all of the discounts. That’s a much larger increase than those job-killing two dimes.

  75. 75
    Elizabelle says:


    those job-killing two dimes

    That’s the real takeaway here.

  76. 76
    Fluke bucket says:

    @Applejinx: “for want of the price of tea and a slice the old man died”. Such has it ever been.

  77. 77
    Jay C says:

    @The Red Pen:

    BZZZT! We have a winner!

    It’s not exactly unpredictable news that the recent drought is going to affect food supplies, and hence, food prices, quite negatively over the next year or so: and of course, the biggest users (like, say, pizza chains) are going to have their rising cost magnified by scale. I would expect, actually, that Papa John’s (like all the others’) bean-counters are vigorously generating cost/profit projections as we post: and given the predictions out there, I’m guessing that they’re looking at a jump in their raw-materials cost well above the .014% “Obamacare premium”. And given, as has been pointed out, the demand structure of the industry, the hit is going to have to come from somewhere: either smaller product, lower labor costs, lower margins, higher costs or some combination thereof.
    And we know those profit margins are sacred….

    That said, John Schnatter is still making himself look like a complete dick by trying to politicize the whole affair: especially as he’s put a 14-cent “price tag” on it: which mainly serves to make look like a cheap and miserly dick as well. Good job, man…

  78. 78
    James says:

    He has an obligation to the shareholders, not the consumers. Do you even know how business works??

  79. 79
    Brian says:

    The food industry is going to lose with me everytime. I am willing to pay a few extra cents to make sure that the person serving my food isn’t coughing and sneezing some virulent flu strain onto my pizza box… though I’d never order Papa Johns the thought still stands.

  80. 80
    Elizabelle says:

    @Jay C:

    I wonder if Schnatter and other fabulists are going to try to tack on drought-related cost increases as more “sins of Obama.”

    Win all around, unless you live in the sane world.

  81. 81
    bjacques says:

    @JGabriel: I was wondering when someone would spot Papa Doc’s “fuck you Obama” tax on top of their estimated PPACA costs.

    I hope this blows up in Schnatter’s face like a 52-year old can of artist’s shit.

  82. 82
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Papa John’s pizza is fucking terrible, and that’s coming from somebody who has plowed through more than his share of Dominos and Pizza Hut and therefore clearly has a high tolerance for lousy pizza.

  83. 83
    NCSteve says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Christamighty, what the fuck is wrong with the subtle snark detection circuitry in this place lately?

  84. 84
    kc says:

    I wouldn’t eat Schnatter’s crappy pizza if HE paid ME.

  85. 85
    Zifnab says:

    Can we get a “Really good independent pizza shops near you” Open Thread in protest, maybe? I’ve got three or four really amazing pie shops that I could name, just on the west side of Houston.

    Dolce Vita has the kind of pizza you’d order on a hot date with a girl you’re trying to impress. Friends Pizza is this little shop run by a Brazilian guy that makes hands-down some of the best order-out I’ve ever eaten. There’s a Grimbaldi’s in Sugar Land, that is really nice. And New York Pizzaria is great too.

    Why anyone would order Papa John’s in H-town is beyond me.

  86. 86
    Elizabelle says:


    Seconded re the independent pizza house thread.

  87. 87
    Betty Cracker says:

    @quannlace: Long story short: We’re up to our ears in eggs!

    @James: Of course not. They just send me the welfare checks.

    @Zifnab: That’s a fine idea.

  88. 88
    dead existentialist says:

    @James: That, my friend, was some tasty snark.

  89. 89
    GregB says:

    Hopefully these right wing fat food moguls will keep up their political campaigns long enough to cause a dinosaur like die off of their moronic customers.

    Eat your politics!

  90. 90
    Kathy in St. Louis says:

    @Steve: Well said, Steve, well said. I’m tired of the bone-selfishness that this shows dressed up as a good business decision.

  91. 91
    lol says:

    Here’s how we know this is bullshit. If the market could support him raising the price of the pizza by $.20, he already would’ve raised it. Like honey badger, the market don’t give a shit what your costs are.

    A movie theater pulled this stunt several years back to protest a local tax increase that had been passed by the city council, miserly adding a few cents to the cost of the ticket. All it did was drive people to the nearby theaters that *didn’t* raise ticket prices.

    Within a week, they were back to the previous price.

  92. 92
    spiffy says:

    Someone said up above that Papa John’s provides health insurance for their part-time workers. I wonder if that is based on hours, because several places – including Target – say workers working 20 hours can get health insurance. Then, the managers are told not to schedule any part-timers over 19 hours so they can’t get health care.

    So, I doubt very few people are getting health care coverage working at Papa John’s.

    I have never had Papa John’s pizza before, and I will be glad to never have to.

    Yeah Little Caesar’s is crappy, but is also cheap and the owners aren’t total atrocities.

    But I agree that small, independent pizza shops are the best way to go.

  93. 93

    I’m guessing he and his family have great medical coverage.

    Too bad about those slugs he employs, though.

    They sure don’t deserve coverage.

    What wealth did they create?

    What jobs did they create? Huh?

  94. 94
    Dexter's new approach says:

    This guy sounds like a punk. CEOs rarely rant like this when talking to analysts (I’m assuming this was during the quarterly 3Q12 earnings call). He knows they can’t just pass on the costs per se. If they could just raise the price by $0.20 to be better off earnings-wise, they would have already done it – it’s not like they are trying to be nice to their customers.

    Now if the law impacts the industry as a whole, or at least much of the competition, then you might see an industry-wide price increase. But this looks like a 1-2% increase, hardly noticeable to the consumer and below broader food inflation. Bottom line, he just projecting anti-Obama sentiment

  95. 95
    Ash Can says:

    And a note to pizza lovers for whom one or more of these crappy wingnut pizza chain dumps may be the only game in town: Making your own pizza can be very easy and quick (not to mention cheap), and the results beat the living crap out of the fake shit the chains crank out. There are loads of recipes available on line that call for ready-made crusts and bottled pizza sauce that are readily available at grocery stores, and you can call your own shots as to kind, quality, and quantity of toppings this way too. Buon appetito!

  96. 96
    KXB says:


    Free market is a bitch. The Papa John’s I’ve ordered from is OK, certainly not high-end. The kids who work there are really nice and polite. So, I’d hesitate to stick it to this jerk by punishing the kids.

  97. 97
    gypsy howell says:

    @Ash Can:

    Even making your own pizza dough is incredibly easy, if you can plan ahead a couple hours before you want to eat it (or the night before, in the fridge). And fresh dough is SO good. Plus, you can make it for literally pennies.

  98. 98
    LanceThruster says:

    I actually like Papa John’s (pizza is like sex, even when it’s bad it’s pretty good) but stopped patronizing them cold turkey when I heard they’re jerks. What’s the skinny on Pizza Hut?

  99. 99
    gypsy howell says:


    Owned by Yum! Brands, who also own KFC and Taco Bell.

  100. 100
    NotMax says:

    Red herring from Papa John’s.

    We’ve all been around the block enough times to know how this game is played.

    Instead of upping the price, he’ll use less dough (and consequently a little less topping), and sell 11-3/4 inch pies instead of twelve inch pies (same type of reduction for other sizes).

    And claim that 12 inches is the ‘pre-cooked’ size.

    But he can’t admit that selling smaller pies for the same price is what will be happening.

    The 18-inch pizzas that Costco sells are very yummy as well as substantial and economical ($9.99 here and can call ahead to order, so no waiting). They also sell ‘bake at home’ pre-made, pre-topped pizzas, but most home ovens don’t get hot enough to cook an 18-inch pizza properly.

  101. 101
    Ruckus says:

    Crappy pizza
    Crappy, wealthy, pizza business owners
    Crappy political views

    I seem to notice a theme here.

    I also have noticed that chain store pizza pretty much sucks by itself. It doesn’t need a crappy pizza business owner for that. In fact I’ve noticed that most chain restaurants suck no matter what they are serving.

  102. 102
    Ruckus says:

    @Ash Can:
    Lived in Columbus(hi Kay!) 7 years ago and there was a small bake it yourself pizza place about 3 blocks from me. Great crust, good toppings, all you had to do was cook it for what 10-15 minutes? They of course went out of business while the crap chains did well.

  103. 103
    Cain says:

    Make your own goddam pizza.. make the dough in bulk and stick it in freezer.

    The best pizza I ever had, was the one I made at home using a recipe from america’s test kitchen.. it was a fucking pain to make, baking the pie 3 times, but goddam waht a pay off.

  104. 104
    NotMax says:


    most chain restaurants suck no matter what they are serving.


    So old that can remember when IHOP was not only good, but it was a special treat to eat there until stuffed for next to nothing. Had an international choice of pancakes, too. They used to make Swedish pancakes that were excellent.

    Nowadays, if ever go at all will just order coffee, unless it is with a group going to dinner.

    In that case, I only order the liver and onions, which is still always on the menu (though I can’t imagine it is a popular seller).

    When it comes to upscale, hoity-toity chains, don’t diss Ruth’s Chris. Bring lots of moolah, but yummy.

  105. 105
    Elizabelle says:

    I’ve appreciated the tips on baking pizza at home.

    Checked out Trader Joe’s today — they’ve got 3 types of pizza dough: regular, whole wheat, and garlic and herb crust.

    Plus two types of pizza sauce, in plastic tubs or glass jars.

    Didn’t buy it for this week, but will definitely make one next week. Yum.

  106. 106
    Yutsano says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    We’re up to our ears in eggs!

    Do what my mom does: give them away to friends and watch them come crawling back for more. She’d make a great crack dealer. :)

  107. 107
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    Posting this story without a link where we can email bomb this jackass and his company is as cruel as making me eat his lame, tasteless pizza for a week.

    And by the way, just like Chick-Fil-A, aren’t Papa John’s outlets franchises owned locally?

    Oh, and just how many part-time drivers DO they provide health insurance for, anyway, hmmm?

    So, what he’s talking about is passing the health insurance cost on for his highest paid managerial and corporate staff, not the average poor schmuck–who, at least in my town, are not all teenagers, but include middle age and retired folk who are trying to make ends meet.

  108. 108
    Fort Geek says:

    @PaulW: Bob Cesca wrote about KFC/Pizza Hut/Taco Bell a few days ago.

    Based on his post, here’s what I’ve gathered so far:
    –A&W (formerly run by Yum! Brands)
    –Carl’s Jr. (includes Hardee’s)
    –Chick-fil-A (Dan Cathy, fundie, dominionist)
    –Domino’s Pizza (owned by Bain Capital; formerly run by Tom Monaghan)
    –Godfather’s (Herman Cain)
    –In & Out Burger
    –KFC (Yum! Brands) (Robert Russell, fundie)
    –Long John Silver’s (formerly run by Yum! Brands)
    –Papa John’s (John Schnatter, fundie)
    –Pizza Hut (Yum! Brands) (Robert Russell, fundie)
    –Taco Bell (Yum! Brands) (Robert Russell fundie)
    –Waffle House
    –White Castle

    The only Dominionist one I’m aware of (so far) is Chick-fil-A.

    Dog Emperor at Daily Kos might have some others on the Dominionist circuit–he’s written quite a lot on the subject in the last several years.

  109. 109
    kelrian says:

    @Fort Geek: Wow. Suddenly I’m incredibly depressed from looking at that list. Is pretty much every fast food company known to man run by dominionists and scumbags?

    (Seeing White Castle on there is extra depressing because those things are magical when you get them freshly made. My old man’s going to be depressed when I tell him who owns it now.)

  110. 110
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Jose Padilla: This.

  111. 111
    Rob says:

    I had no idea until very recently that PJ was a right wing nut job. Now that he has made it known, I will no longer order pizza from them. Does he realize that 50% of his customers are democrats?

  112. 112
    Rob says:

    I put this in the comment section at Pappa John’s. I even left my phone number. We’ll see if they respond.

    I have been a perfectly happy customer. But recently I have seen John Schnatter spouting his right wing non-sense. Does he realize that 50% of his customers are Democrats? I have ordered my last Pappa John’s pizza.

    Turn Pappa John’s back into a pizza company, not a political arm of the Republican party and I might be back.

  113. 113
    jefft452 says:

    “…and core strategies to pass that cost onto consumers…”

    Oh, Bull Shit

    Income = number of units sold x price per unit
    If they could increase price per unit by 20 cents without reducing the number of units sold to the point that the product of the 2 values was less then it current is, they would have done it already

  114. 114
    jefft452 says:

    @jefft452: that what I get for not reading all the comments 1st
    @lol: said it better then me

  115. 115
    Original Lee says:

    @NotMax: The one time I ate at the Ruth’s Chris in Cancun, the food was terrible. But other locations have been excellent.

  116. 116
    drdober says:

    @red dog: Re: making our own pizza – Not all of us want to heat our ovens, but still want a pizza during the summer.

  117. 117
    patrick says:

    The best pizza I ever had, was the one I made at home using a recipe from america’s test kitchen.. it was a fucking pain to make, baking the pie 3 times, but goddam waht a pay off.

    best pizza I made was following their recipie from this season’s america’s test kitchen…no baking 3 times, but you need to make the dough 24-48hrs in advance and lots of resting which requires planning, and isn’t something you could come home from work and slap together.

    only national chain we frequent is Papa Murphy’s. we typically go to west michigan local chains Mancino’s or Palermo’s for pizza. we had pizza hut a couple weeks ago because the kids got free pizza coupons from the library summer reading program, and OMG! that was THE WORST pizza I ever had. it made Red Baron taste good.

  118. 118
    ZengaTeee says:

    I truly despise corporate America. He lives in a 40k sf home with a 22 car garage while the schlepps that work for him cant afford to live in a 200 sf trailer. Pathetic. And as long as losers keep supporting corporate america by buying their products, it will enver change.

  119. 119

    @El Cid: Actually the cheese is “MADE FROM real MOZZARELLA cheese” Its not even real MOZZARELLA. They pay drivers 4.25/hr on the road which is most of the time. They pay 1.30 per delivery but are making drivers only take 1 to 2 deliveries at a time which can be 20 miles round trip. If you get bad tips all day you actually dont make money. On top of that, they make the driver claim those tips to offset the 4.25 to min wage. Tips are taxed at %45 from employees check. If driver puts zero tips (even if its true) the company sends a fax to the store with employees name on it showing how much emp was under min wage. Employee will get fired. CRAZY REPUBLICAN JOHN SHITTER

  120. 120

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