Papa John’s CEO Vows to Reduce Employee Hours Because of Obama Re-Election

John Schnatter the CEO of chain pizza store, Papa John’s has never been silent on his feelings about “Obamacare” aka the Affordable Healthcare Act. Back in August he came under fire for his claim that Obamacare would force him to increase the per pie cost by somewhere between .11 and .14 cents, an amount seen as minuscule by most. To make matters even worse, as part of a National Football League promotion, Papa John’s is giving away 2 million pizzas during this NFL season.

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Last year, Papa John’s International captured $1.218 billion in revenue. Total operating expenses were $1.131 billion. So if Schnatter’s math is accurate (Obamacare will cost his company $5-8 million more annually), then new regulation translates into a .4% to .7% (yes, fractions of a percent) expense increase. It’s difficult to set that ratio against the proposed pie increase, given size and topping differentials, but many of their large specialty pizzas run for $16. Remarkably, a 10-14 cent increase on a $16 pizza falls in a comparable range: .6% to.9%. But the cost transference becomes less equitable if you’re looking at medium pizzas, which run closer to $12, meaning a .8% to 1.15% price increase.

For the sake of argument, let’s say that Papa John’s sells exactly half medium/half large specialty pizzas. Averaging the ranges for both sizes, then averaging that product yields a .86% price increase — well outside the range of what Schnatter says Obamacare will cost him.

So how much would prices go up, under these 50/50 conditions, if they were to fairly reflect the increased cost of doing business onset by Obamacare? Roughly 3.4 to 4.6 cents a pie.

In September, the company announced that it would be giving away 2 million free pizzas. That was, of course, a promotion designed to increase brand awareness and to invite consumers to try the brand — with the ultimate goal of selling more pizzas. Those giveaways can’t really be cataloged alongside sales that would have been made otherwise. But just in case you’re curious, that would be the equivalent of $24 million to $32 million in pizza revenue.

So where do you stand on Papa John’s vs Obamacare? Would you be willing to pay .11 to .14 cents more per pie if it means that Papa John employees would gain health insurance?



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