John Schnatter, the former CEO and founder of Papa John's, recently reflected on how the company provided "better pizza" and "better ingredients."During an August 4 interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Schnatter shared memories of his time at Papa John's before he resigned in 2018 following backlash over using a racial epithet, reported HuffPost.
Despite the company's pies once ranking as one of the best among pizza chains, he claims it is now "down with Little Caesars."According to Schnatter, Papa John's success was due to quality, service, culture, and one more particular ingredient.
"We built the whole company on conservative values. Conservative ideology has two of the most critical attributes: truth and God," he said."If you run your life on principle... you're going to win."
Schnatter called the public outrage against him "a crucifixion," in a November 2021 interview with Bloomberg. "It was unethical. It was immoral. It was evil." He attributed his downfall to deceitful Papa John's executives, scheming ad agency reps, public relations incompetence, and the "progressive elite left."
"The Papa John's story totally debunks the left's ideology," he said. "This is America. You can live the American dream."
Schnatter claimed Jason Stein, CEO of the company's then-ad agency Laundry Services, manipulated a conference call by asking him racially themed questions. According to Bloomberg, Schnatter felt Stein was trying to bait him into saying something embarrassing.
The restaurant mogul voiced his frustration over the controversy, saying, "What bothers me is Colonel Sanders called Blacks' [epithet],'" Schnatter said. "I'm like, I've never used that word."
A couple of months later, on July 11, Forbes reported Schnatter's use of the slur. Although the article mentioned he had attributed the epithet to Sanders, it didn't recount the conversation in detail. That same day, Schnatter resigned as chairman. He apologized two days later in an interview with a local radio station. "I can't talk like that, even if it's confidential and it's behind closed doors, and they're trying to make sure that I don't do exactly what I did," he said. "I did it, and I own it, and I'm sorry. I'm sick about it, frankly."
According to Schnatter, he wants an apology and an admission from Papa John's that he was mistreated. "They know what they did," he says. "There's a whole lot of shredding and computers getting thrown away right now at Papa John's to make sure that if I do get back in, they don't leave a paper trail."
During a "Back to the 1970s" segment at CPAC on Thursday, Schnatter made a cryptic claim about "five entities" controlling the media, academia, and "everything else." He did not reveal the names of the five entities