If you’ve been paying attention to Papa Johns over the last few years, you’ve probably noticed that the company was battling a fair bit of drama by the middle of 2019. Much of this drama revolved around insensitive statements made by the pizza company’s previous CEO, John Schnatter. Schnatter made insensitive racial comments that caused sales to drop and spurred a short downward spiral for the renowned pizza brand.
Fortunately, there is a new CEO of Papa Johns, and he’s taking the company in a better direction. Rob Lynch became the CEO of the pizza company in August of 2019, and he has been making drastic improvements ever since. For those who wonder, “What happened to Papa Johns CEO,” the answer is simple. He was removed from his position because he made racially charged comments and he was not taking the pizza company in a good direction. Employee morale was plunging and Papa Johns was not a good place to work.
Under the direction of Rob Lynch Papa Johns began to turn a corner in a big way. Lynch wasted no time enhancing the pizza company’s menu with highly popular Papadias (a unique version of a handheld pizza), as well as stuffed-crust pizza offerings. Both of these changes helped to increase revenue.
Other changes included the rollout of a more technology-friendly ordering system. This was essential to the pizza company’s success during the challenges of COVID-19. Many customers still take advantage of the digital ordering options available through the Papa Johns app and on the website. Partnering with Shaquille O’Neal further propelled the company toward improved sales and popularity.
Lynch also credits the $80 million financial support program offered to franchisees for the pizza chain’s success throughout the pandemic. The final period of the program ended in the third quarter of 2020. The company saw record same-store sales in this time period and ended quarter three very strong (with the best balance sheet it had seen in three years).
Rob Lynch Has a History of Success in Restaurants
Rob Lynch is no stranger to the challenges of running a successful restaurant. He previously worked with many different restaurants, including Arby’s, to improve sales and boost profitability. He recognizes that in order for Papa Johns to be successful as a whole, the individual franchisees must be successful as well. That’s why he focuses on offering as much support as possible to franchisees and helping them make their restaurants more profitable than they’ve ever been before.
From Arby’s to Papa Johns
After successfully improving Arby’s sales and profits, Lynch is excited to keep doing the same for Papa Johns. Though Papa Johns has fewer outlets than most of its primary competitors, it is still holding its own in a challenging market. In the future, the company plans to focus more on digital offerings and loyalty. Papa Johns has also partnered with restaurant delivery aggregators to make it easier for customers to experience seamless contactless dining experiences.
Along with Papa Johns customers, Lynch is excited to see where the future takes the Papa Johns brand. He is confident that sales will continue to increase as the company maintains a strong customer-focused approach to pizza delivery.