It is extremely interesting to learn about the company and its founder. Its founder, John Schnatter, began making pizzas in high school at Rocky’s Sub Pub in Jeffersonville, Indiana. After graduating high school in 1980, he attended Ball State University in Muncie where he also put himself through school working as a pizza deliver driver for Greek’s Pizzeria. That is what I am talking about–as if college weren’t enough, this guy also worked in school!. John graduated from Ball State in 1984 and then began working for his father who co-owed Mick’s Lounge in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Later that year, John sold his 1971 Z28 Camaro, bought out his the other co-owner of Mick’s bar and began serving his great pizza there.
Originally, John kept the concept simply and concentrated on what he knew would work best–great quality pizza. In fact, they purposely kept crust and other food options limited to simply concentrate on making the world’s greatest pizza. Additionally, it also helped in house with inventory control and costs. During the 1990s, the restaurant followed the industry trend to have more food choices available. I think it was something necessary that they had to do. I also think that they still kept up with their high food standards of offering quality meals. They added such menu items as thin-crust, whole crust pizza, pan pizza as well as dishes, deserts and other items.
Today, Papa Johns is a publicly traded company through the genius of John Schnatter. I will give you an example of how he uses the public media to do a lot of his advertising for him and how he creates so much concern about him and his company. In 2008, their franchisee in Washington, D.C. handed out t-shirts mocking of the Cleveland Cavalier’s star player Lebron James when the Cavs were in Washington to place the Wizards. Photographs of the shirts quickly spread to Cleveland, Ohio which put a lot of heat on the corporate office. Later, John turned this bad publicity to good publicity where he offered 23 cent pizzas, (23 being the number of Lebron James’ jersey), throughout Cleveland and north Ohio. People waited in line to get their pizzas and all this did was bring millions of dollars worth of promotion for the company. The guy is a genius.
Enough about John and a few word on Papa Johns Pizza. They simply have the key for making best pizza available. “Better Ingredients. Better Pizza!“