Thursday, May 14, 2009

John Schnatter


Today we honor John Schnatter, business man and founder of Papa John's Pizza. Like many of the people honored, Schnatter started a small business and through careful and innovative practices lead that business to become a national leader.

Schnatter began selling his first pizzas in 1984 when he gutted a broom closet in the back of Mick's Lounge, his father's tavern. The pizza was a success and in 1985 he opened the first company restaurant.

Under his leadership, Papa John's Pizza has expanded to include 3,330 restaurants in the US and 30 international markets. Schnatter's success in such a crowded market is remarkable. Papa John's is now the third largest take-out and delivery pizza chain in the United States. The company was the first pizza chain to offer online ordering and was also the first to offer dipping sauce with all of their pizzas (a personal favorite).

Papa John's logo, "Better ingredients. Better Pizza." has become a model that Schnatter strives to maintain in his business. He credits his dedication to this logo to his business's success. Schnatter is now the Chief Executive Officer of Papa John's and maintains an active role as the company's spokesman.

Like many of our other heroes, Schnatter also gives back heavily to his community in Louisville, Kentucky, supporting the university, helping to build bike trails, and supporting the zoo. What started as a small pizza place in a broom closet has become a national leader due to smart business practices and the self interested behavior of one Schnatter. Thanks to Schnatter for founding a company that delivers some of my favorite pizza for Saturday football games.

Sources:
Papa John's Pizza- History
Wikipedia: John Schnatter

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