I was appointed the CEO of Papa John’s earlier this year. As the new CEO, I want to share the values that will drive the transformation of Papa John’s.

Listening Tour
Steve Ritchie talks with a team member at a store in Detroit as part of a nationwide listening tour.

I started my career in the pizza business 25 years ago because pizza brings people together. I found a home at Papa John’s where people from all backgrounds work side-by-side every day. Papa John’s is 120,000 corporate and franchise team members around the world. We stand for equity, fairness, respect and opportunity. Our most important ingredient is our people.

When I became CEO in January, diversity, equity and inclusion became one of my top priorities. What began as a committee of passionate team members has grown into a company-wide effort to realize our values. Here’s what we’ve done so far:

  • An independent cultural audit and investigation of our diversity and inclusion practices is underway, with actionable recommendations to follow.
  • I, along with other Papa John’s leaders, visited Atlanta, Los Angeles, Dallas, Detroit and Chicago as part of a listening tour to get feedback from team members and franchisees on how we can do better.
  • Recently, the Papa John’s leadership team completed unconscious bias training. We will be rolling out the program across the company.
  • I am personally committed to adding more diversity to the leadership team of Papa John’s.
  • We’re assembling a special advisory group comprised of nationally-respected diversity, equity and inclusion experts to help guide us.
  • We’re kicking off the development of two key long-term initiatives:
    • The Papa John’s minority-owned franchise expansion and development program; and
    • Formation of a new foundation that will be focused on making a positive impact in communities where our team members live and work. We will support causes that bring people together.

We are just getting started and we recognize this is only a beginning. On behalf of the 120,000 team members in the Papa John’s family, you have my commitment we will always strive for better.