Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) on Friday announced a new assistance program for its franchisees in the United States and Canada. This program has the full support of the Company’s Franchise Advisory Council (FAC) and the Papa John’s Franchise Association (PJFA), and follows conversations with representatives from the FAC and PJFA to help address the sales and operating challenges following comments made by the Company’s founder.
“People are at the heart of our business, and this program is one of many actions we are taking to prioritize our team, address the recent challenges and move Papa John’s forward,” said Steve Ritchie, President and CEO of Papa John’s. “I appreciate the open conversation that we have had with our franchisees and the support they have extended, both on this agreement and on the broader operating initiatives we are pursuing to improve performance and build a better future for our company and our stakeholders.”
Bill Green, Chairman of the Papa John’s FAC, said, “We applaud the actions taken by the Company to define the future for the Papa John’s brand. The full FAC supports this collaborative agreement as well as other new marketing, technology and operational initiatives the Company is taking to move the brand forward.”
Vaughn Frey, President of PJFA, said, “We believe it is time for the founder to move on. Steve is pursuing the right initiatives to reinvigorate growth and recognizes the importance of working together to move forward successfully. We appreciate the assistance being extended to our franchisees and believe the assistance program will help mitigate the impact that the founder’s inexcusable words and actions have had on franchisees.”
The assistance program for domestic franchisees includes certain reductions in royalties, food-service pricing and online fees through 2018. In addition, funds will be provided to support new marketing and re-imaging initiatives consistent with the Company’s new brand direction. Total costs for the assistance program are consistent with the Company’s previously provided outlook as announced on August 7, 2018.