By Ebony Grimsley (excerpt)
NewsOne for Black America, November 16, 2012
Now for the general public who sees that Schnatter was a huge donor and supporter of the Republican Presidential Candidate, Governor Mitt Romney, they can equate the use of his term of Obamacare and his personal support to mean an attack on policies and lack of consideration to employees. However, I do not believe this is where John went wrong. Stick with me, I’ll show you where his words started to bite him.
After the shareholders meeting, Papa John’s announced its NFL promotion to giveaway 2 million pizzas.
• Schnatter says that franchises will more than likely reduce employee hours. This news reignited the public spurring a boycott of Papa John’s.
I do not believe that it is the concern of people who support the healthcare act or not, that is really driving the criticism, it’s the simple math of it all. ... Instead of clarifying the company’s position, he left individuals to ask the question,
What really draws my interest as a media professional to his original statement to the shareholders, is that if he had used words to not draw an emotional response to government policy, increasing the price of the pizza would have been forgotten after it was implemented. ...
John Schnatter really has only one thing left to do at this point in his crisis, slice up and eat some humble pie. Here is what I recommend:
• John needs to make one final and clarifying statement on the topic of how his company will handle healthcare as it concerns his employees.
• His final statement should be either pro-customer or pro-employee. If he has paid attention to the comments, he would realize that none have been highlighted as saying, the public will not pay the extra cents so others can have health insurance. Either way, he needs to make one final statement and stop discussing it from various angles. The inconsistency is not sitting well with customers.
• The company needs to focus on publicly highlighting their mission to their employees and to the customers. Ensuring to the public, a business that started off small, can still relate to the working class (his demographic).
• Until this is completed, the emphasis on giving away 2 million pizzas needs to simmer in the oven before serving it back to the public. (Pun intended.)
• This should all be done before the boycott gets legs and runs away too far for him to fix.
What do you think? How has the Papa John’s discussion played out among your family members, friends or business associates? Above all, please walk away with this reminder to not incorporate political emotions into your company’s public stance.