Papa John’s CEO Steve Ritchie Apologizes, Outlines Diversity Initiatives Going Forward

Papa John’s CEO Steve Ritchie wrote a letter to customers apologizing on the behalf of the company. The letter was intended to show that both Ritchie’s and Papa John’s primary focus going forward would be on improving the company’s diversity initiatives. In the letter Ritchie said that “Racism and insensitive language – no matter the context—will not be tolerated at any level of our company. Period.”

Ritchie went on to say the company is not any one individual, but a company of over 120,000 employees from around the world. He said the company was full of people from all walks of life who are working hard to serve customers as well as owners and operators making a positive difference in their community. At the same time, he stressed that an apology alone is not enough. He wrote, “Still, you deserve actions, not just words.”

Steve Ritchie went on to outline the steps the company would be taking moving forward. The first action Ritchie said the company would take going forward is to bring in outside experts to audit the company’s corporate culture and diversity practices. Following the audit, the company would create goals to do better in the future.

The second action Ritchie outlined was a national listening tour that senior management would take. Senior management would meet with employees and franchise owners to get their feedback on what the company should be doing going forward.

Steve Ritchie promised to be transparent about the steps the company would take to address diversity issues going forward. He promised that he would personally be leading the diversity efforts because it was the most important issue Papa John’s needed to address as a company. The letter ended by thanking customers for their loyalty. Ritchie wrote, “The entire team at Papa John’s wants to thank you for your loyalty. We are only in business because of you. And it’s our sincere wish that we’ll continue to have the honor of serving you.”