Papa John's Blames Obamacare for Raising Prices on Pizza

papa johnsAre you a Papa John's pizza fan? Get ready to shell out about 11-14 cents extra per pizza. CEO John Schnatter says thanks to Obamacare he now has to actually provide his employees with health coverage (durr!), which means he'll have to charge you, middle-class customer, more money for those pizzas.

Bah! Obamacare! Dagnabit you wreck everything!

Yeah, just playing my part. That's presumably what we're all supposed to say. But really, this is just Schnatter being a faithful Romney fundraiser. Oh, you didn't know that? Oh yeah, Schnatter has just politicized pizza. First Chick-fil-A and now this. Say goodbye to the good old days when you could just buy junk food and only worry about your waistline. Now you have to worry about your politics, too.

Here's the thing: Papa John's does not have to pass the health care costs on to its customers. It's a publicly-held company, which means it could just send slightly less profit to its already-wealthy shareholders. Or Schnatter could be a big hero and take a pay cut as an already-overpaid CEO. Bwa ha ha! I was just joking about that one. That's a crazy idea.

Nope, instead he's passing the costs onto his customers. And he's making a big, whiny stink about it -- as a favor to his good buddy Romney. What if franchise owners have to cut jobs?!? (Like a kid threatening to take away all his toys if you don't play his way.) What's all the fuss about when Schnatter also says, "But our business model and unit economics are about as ideal as you can get for a food company to absorb Obamacare."

You didn't hear a peep out of Schnatter when he added a $2.00 delivery fee back in 2003. He added that fee because gas prices were in fluctuation as a direct result of the volatility in the Middle East due to the War in Iraq (coughcough BUSH cough cough). By the way, not a dime of that $2.00 went to the drivers.

But hey, if you like your pizza and chicken sandwiches with a side-order of political bitterness, welcome to our future. It gives me sour stomach. We all know business owners make big campaign donations and most of the time we're happy if that flies under the radar. That's their business ... I guess. But when business owners bring politics literally to the dinner table -- yuck. No thank you.

What do you think about Papa John's passing its new health care costs on to customers?


Image via mrsdkrebs/Flickr

chain restaurants, eating out, fast food, in the news


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Kimbyann Kimbyann

Meh, w/e. I never go out for pizza. $4 for hannafords brand and no delivery fee

nonmember avatar Erica

Delivery pizza is expensive as it is. We rarely get it anyways. I suppose this is one pizza chain I can count out on those rare occasions.

miche... micheledo

I'm sure they aren't the only ones passing the cost on to customers.  In fact, I would bet that 90% of businesses will be doing the same.  They're just admitting it.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

11c extra any time I order pizza seems like a reasonable price to pay so that the minimum wage flunkies can see a dr when they're sick instead of sucking it up and just coughing their germs all over my dinner.

Problem is, it won't be 11c per pizza. It will be rounded up so we're paying 50c a topping or they'll stop issuing decent coupons and we will be paying $2 more for a pizza. This isn't about obamacare, it's an excuse to hike prices and line folksy John's pockets.

zandh... zandhmom2

I think we are going to see a lot more of this happening with other companies as well.

And again, why so nasty RhondaVeggie? You do know that a lot of high school and college kids work at fast food joints right? I wouldn't call them flunkies, at least they are out there in the work force trying to pay their own way instead of living off the government as so many other people are willing to do.

right... rightside

If anyone is under the impression that the cost of Obamacare isn't going to result in higher prices AND fewer jobs, you're deluded.  It's not rocket science.  Papa John's isn't a non-profit company - they're in business to make money for investors, so investors will continue to invest and the company can continue to grow.  

To slam the 'overpaid' CEO is just the same pathetic, Left-wing boo-hoo-ing about somebody working harder/smarter/better than you and having a salary to show for it.  Uow do you know he's overpaid?  Have you ever been the CEO of a company that operates almost 4,000 restaurants?  I bet he's got a lot of responsibility and stress, and is worth every penny of his salary - otherwise they'd fire him.  I mean, surely it can't compare with the burden of poking away at a keyboard as a blogger, but you probably get what I'm saying....

chigi... chigirl1228

Probably good that papa johns tastes gross to me. I hate chain restaurants anyway.

Jespren Jespren

Exactly Rightside, anyone who doesn't *except* for-profit companies to pass on costs to their customers is worse than naive, it's willfully ignorant (or possibly just moronic, but I'll give them the benefit of willful ignorance). All those poor, uninsured people (who had lots of options before Obamacare) *might* now be eligible for 'free' insurance, more likily they'll pay out the nose for their mandated 'right', but they will now pay more for every slice of pizza, bag of apples, cut of meat, dvd, etc, etc, etc. Businesses pass on costs, that's how they make money. Nothing is free, someone pays for it, consumers. So now, as opposed to only not being able to afford my insurance co-pays I can not afford food as well! But don't worry, the government will be right there ready to provide 'free' food via food stamps.

Jespren Jespren

*sigh* I hate typing on my cell: "except" in first line should be "expect"

Stacey. Stacey.

SUPPORT LOCAL PIZZERIAS! I am no longer buying from Papa Johns, they are complaining that they have to provide insurance? They make hundreds of millions a year! Plus, they have $$ to support Romney. I think people deserve equal treatment, not just what they can afford....

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