"Papa John" Schnatter is experiencing a major public relations backlash this week after it was revealed that he used the "n-word" during a conference call with a PR firm. The controversy forced Schnatter to step down as Chairman of the company that made him famous. This latest development comes a year and a half after he was forced to step down as CEO after making controversial comments about the NFL kneeling/anthem situation. And these latest incidents follow the time in 2012 when Schnatter caused an uproar after announcing that he was forced to raise the price of pizza by 14 cents because President Obama was re-elected. At the time Shnatter believed ObamaCare would have cost his pizza franchise owners an extra $8 million per year. Regardless of your political views, if there's one thing you do not mess with in America, it's the price of our fast food. Furthermore, even if Papa John was so worried about ObamaCare hurting his business, he never needed to make such a big public stink. In reaction to the 2012 controversy, hundreds of websites and thousands of people across the nation called for a Papa Johns boycott. Certainly people were upset that he was passing these costs on to customers while also sporting a $700 million net worth. Not trying to take political sides with this article, I just don't think anyone would have noticed the 14 cent price increase, so he should have kept quiet and continued making cheesy pizza and super cheesy commercials.
Papa John Schnatter's House
When Papa John Schnatter hosted a fundraiser for Mitt Romney at his house in Kentucky several years back, the Republican candidate began his remarks by saying:
"Who would've imagined pizza could build this? This is really something. Don't you love this country? What a home this is, what grounds these are, the pool, the golf course…. This is a real tribute to America, to entrepreneurship."
If your house impresses Mitt Romney, the ultimate one percenter, you know it must be pretty awesome.
To start, John Schnatter's 40,000 square foot castle is located in a wealthy country club suburb of Louisville, Kentucky. The property is spread out over a 16 acre estate and as Romney mentioned, features several swimming pools, a private lake and a golf course. The guest house alone is 6000 square feet and is valued at over $7 million! In total his whole property is likely worth north of $20 million.
Another interesting feature of the mansion is the 22 car multi-level underground garage which has its very own "valet office", car wash and a gigantic motorized turn table-driveway to help park stretch limousines. You can see the entrance to the underground garage in the lower left of this photo:
Papa John Schnatter's House from another Angle:
As of July 12, 2018, John is no longer actively involved in the management of Papa John's pizza and that the company had begun the process of removing Schnatter's face from all marketing materials. Awkwardly, he is still the largest individual shareholder, owning 30% of the company's outstanding stock. He achieved billionaire status (on paper) in January 2017 when the company's stock price hit an all-time high of $84. Unfortunately the NFL controversies caused the company's sales and stock price to slide. By the time he stepped down in July 2018, Papa John's stock had slid down to $50 a share. After being removed from the company, shares rocketed up more than 10%, only to fall right back down.
On July 13, the University of Louisville announced it was removing Papa John's from its stadium name and taking John Schnatter's name off the business school. John also stepped down from the school's Board of Trustees. Since Schnatter PERSONALLY owned the stadium naming rights (as opposed to the company), he had to agree to allow the school to remove his name. It was supposed to remain named after him until 2040.