Steve Ritchie, the CEO of the Papa John’s franchise, has issued a public apology after a previous incident involving racial slurs and conflict due to declining sales blew up and created a lot of controversy. Two letters were written, the initial letter failing to provide empathy or much of an apology, and wasn’t well-received by the public as hoped. However, Ritchie was quick to make adjustments to this letter. He made sure to speak with more empathy, show a little bit of vulnerability, and provide a direct apology for what had happened. A version of this letter still remains on the opening page of the Papa John’s website. Ritchie wanted to make it clear to customers that the offensive words that were recited are in no way representative of his views or the views of the company and will not be tolerated in any way. He stated that the company was bigger than just one person, and one person cannot speak for an entire company.
Steve Ritchie Papa John’s continued his apology by stating that words weren’t enough, so they’re taking action to ensure things are being done about the issue. He wishes to remain transparent with the public and for the public to hold the company accountable for their actions. They will be bringing in experts from the outside to audit the culture inside of the company, looking at diversity and inclusion, and discussing strengths and weaknesses in order to set goals to improve. He said that aside from that, the company’s senior management team will be taking the time to visit franchisees and get feedback employees to help set a positive path for the future. Ritchie stated that his goal is to regain the trust of the public and that he will be personally leading this effort in order to do so.
“As the leader of Papa John’s, I’m sorry”, Ritchie announced.