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Papa John's, Applebee's And Others Pay Huge Price For Anti-Obamacare Politicking

It turns out that being a good corporate citizen is as important to selling pizzas as the thinness of the crust or the quality of the cheese.

If you don’t believe it, just ask Papa John CEO, John Schnatter.

As covered—and criticized—in this column in great detail, Mr. Schnatter decided to mix his politics with his pepperoni when suggesting that he would be cutting the work hours for Papa John employees in order to bring them below the 30 hour per week threshold that would require Schnatter to provide his employees with healthcare benefits.

It turns out, the pizza eating public did not approve.

Indeed, so serious was the reaction that Schnatter was forced to publish an op-ed piece where he sought to convince us that he never really intended to cut back worker hours but had simply been speculating on what he might do in response to the legislation.

According to YouGov BrandIndex, a leading marketing survey that measures brand perception in the marketplace (called “Buzz”), Papa John’s had good reason for concern as the pizza chain’s brand identity has plummeted from a high of 32 on election day, to a remarkably low score of 4 among adults who have eaten at causal dining restaurants during the past month.

Papa John is not alone in his anti-Obamacare misery.

Fast food server, Applebee’s, possessed a healthy Buzz score of 35 before Zane Terkel, CEO of one of the company’s largest franchisees, appeared on television to complain about the law and to announce that he would not be building more restaurants or hiring any more workers in response to his objections to Obamacare.

Applebee’s “pre-Terkel” Buzz score of 20 now sits at a pathetic 5.

I don’t imagine Mr. Terkel will be getting many Christmas cards this year from other Applebee’s franchise owners.

While these corporate complainers have sought to explain away the hit they are experiencing at the hands of the public’s perception, one such company is facing the music straight on. Darden Restaurants, Inc.— owner of Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse—has lowered its profit projections for the quarter ending November 25th, acknowledging that its bad numbers are the result of poorly performing promotions, Superstorm Sandy and…wait for it…the poor publicity it engendered by its decision to test out a plan to cut back on healthcare costs by putting more workers on part-time schedules.

Hopefully, other businesses seeking to avoid their responsibilities under the healthcare law—such as Walmart who intends to cut back employee hours in the effort to push workers onto Medicaid rolls rather than take responsibility for their employees’ health care—will get the message.

by Anonymousreply 7312/11/2012


by Anonymousreply 112/05/2012

That's Chris Matthews, R1.

Nelson is "Ha-Ha."

by Anonymousreply 212/05/2012

Where do I sign the petition to cast out all of the above from my wallet??

by Anonymousreply 312/05/2012

As far as I know, if you can work, you can't get medicaid so it's just more people without insurance.

by Anonymousreply 412/05/2012

"HA!" could also be Ms. Krabappel.

by Anonymousreply 512/05/2012

The company I worked for did something very similiar 4 years ago. Pretty much made it impossible for most employees to buy health insurance from the company.

by Anonymousreply 612/05/2012

While I admire the sentiment, I have a hard time believing that enough of the American public is tuned in enough or cares enough to make its dining out decisions based on the political views of a restaurant's operator.

Also, the article calls Applebee's a "fast food server," which it is most assuredly not. So you have to wonder about the accuracy of the rest of the information.

by Anonymousreply 712/05/2012

Corporations can no longer get away with what they used to specifically because within seconds, people can find out the truth.

When we know that a jackass like Schnatter -who has countless commercials and can afford to offer a couple million free pizzas in some NFL giveaway- would only have to increase the price of his shit pizzas by 11-14 cents, but he'd rather take money out of the pockets of employees, then the public has had enough.

There's a limit to how much greed most can tolerate.

by Anonymousreply 812/05/2012

Love. It.

by Anonymousreply 912/05/2012

I love it when these uppity motherfuckers get caught in their own arrogance and have to think up a pack of not so good lies to try and get themselves out of it.


by Anonymousreply 1012/05/2012

Forbes is the bible of the 1%, R7. They're certainly biased, but they can't get away with being inaccurate.

That said, I don't consider Applebee's a fast food restaurant either.

by Anonymousreply 1112/05/2012

Of course in America the fact that that dumbshit's pizza is inedible and Applebee's is kiddie-swill would never affect scores, ratings or popularity of the businesses.

by Anonymousreply 1212/05/2012

Applebee's is definitely prole food but it's not fast food. It's in the same category as Red Lobster and Olive Garden.

by Anonymousreply 1312/05/2012

These idiots need to remember that the people who buy their shitty food are the same people they're trying to crush under their boot heels. I seriously doubt their 1% buddies rush out to buy Papa John's and Applebee's.

by Anonymousreply 1412/05/2012

What a pisher's version of "going Galt."

by Anonymousreply 1512/05/2012

So NOW how much has Papa John's lost per pizza? :)

by Anonymousreply 1612/05/2012

Did Papa John forget that his customers may be the same people who are in need of healthcare? Whoopsie daisy!

by Anonymousreply 1712/05/2012


by Anonymousreply 1812/05/2012

That's exactly what it is, r17. The half of the country that wants/needs health care and knows what it is like to go without are the same people who show up to eat at Applebee's and Olive Garden. I never felt anything positive or negative to Papa John's until this election season, and that sealed the deal that I would not be ordering from them anytime soon.

If they changed the rules that companies have to offer insurance to anyone who works longer than six hours per week, then this "part time/temp, sorry no benefits for you" shit would end. Of course, that will never happen.

by Anonymousreply 1912/05/2012

I haven't ordered one of their pizza's since his remarks but I haven't called to tell them why.

by Anonymousreply 2012/05/2012

Pizzas. Sorry for the apostrophe.

by Anonymousreply 2112/05/2012

Your apostro-SHE is H8RAPE, R21.

by Anonymousreply 2212/05/2012

When the hell are these assholes going to accept the fact that THEY LOST THE ELECTION!

They can dig in and refuse to support Obama's healthcare plan, but it's here to stay and if their business is hurting, it isn't because of Obama.

It's more likely because they are treating their workers like shit, and anyone who ever had to work, or is working a fast food job knows it's hard work on your feet all day.

So maybe the people aren't just deserting them because of Obama. Maybe they are just disgusted with the way Papa John conducts business, the way he treats his workers and his shit personality.

by Anonymousreply 2312/05/2012

Do people who eat at places like these care about this stuff?

by Anonymousreply 2412/05/2012

Add the Dead Lobster and The olive garden compost. They haven't paid enough of a price. Boycott them all.

by Anonymousreply 2512/06/2012

R25 nailed it.

The health of your employees isn't worth 14 cents per pizza, Papa John? Fuck you and your gaudy mansion and your nasty, sugary pizza.

by Anonymousreply 2612/06/2012

I think you're wrong, R7. I think social media mobilising people and opinion. I makes sense too. Of course progressives are going to support Obamacare. And how many of the 2% do you think eat at Papa John's or Applebee's? Who knows how often the middle class people who support the 2% and are willing to take tax rises from the GOP in support of it, eat out? And where?

by Anonymousreply 2712/06/2012

I wish those Wall Street protesters who wear tuxedos and evening gowns would do a publicity stunt where they go to dine at Applebees or pick up a pizza from Pappa John's. It would be a funny visual.

by Anonymousreply 2812/06/2012

Yeah fight the power maaaaaaaan Shut theses thee fuckers down maaaaaaaan Lets put ALL their employees out of work maaaaaaaan You guys are just brilliant Just brilliant

by Anonymousreply 2912/06/2012

R29 - you do realise that whatever these "successful businessmen" did, they did it to themselves with their terrible "Fuck you all" publicity.

by Anonymousreply 3012/06/2012

My, my, what a high price is paid by white men when their only motivations are racism and greed.

Congratulations fellas!

by Anonymousreply 3112/06/2012

I wish we could have little .14 cents stickers made that look like the "I voted today" stickers and paste them on the windows at Papa John's.

I wonder if any of these assholes think things thru. I worked in healthcare. Here's what happens. People with no health insurance wait until they are REALLY sick. They use hospital emergency rooms as primary care physicians.

If they're admitted, they'll need more treatment for a longer time because they are sicker. Whether they're admitted or not, there is a cost involved for treatment.

If they're indigent or don't pay, the hospital eats the cost, and it's passed on to insurers and other patients. There's also funding sett aside for indigent care in the state budget. Tax payer dollars that subsidize hospitals for indigent care.

So the moral is, someone always pays. All this crap about not wanting to pay? It's a phoney argument. Someone always pays. And you can apply that dictum to every single complaint about any entitlement program the GOP is targeting.

They can claim they are cutting programs, but they aren't. That's complete bullshit. Just remember. All they are really doing is shifting the costs around. Someon will always pay.

by Anonymousreply 3212/06/2012

It's too bad people who need health care also depend on jobs at places like this. Of course, owners like Papa Asshole know there's a never-ending supply of people who need jobs.

by Anonymousreply 3312/06/2012

[quote] I haven't ordered one of their pizza's since his remarks but I haven't called to tell them why.

Same here. I'm usually not EXTREMELY hard core when it comes to boycotts, but this Papa John bullshit really pissed me off.

ESPECIALLY because he really does have an expensive, gaudy mansion, and the nerve to stiff his employees of health care.

Honestly, I used to patronize Papa John's for all my pizza needs, because I actually thought his pizza was good, but now I say FUCK HIM.

I'll just go to Pizza Hut.

by Anonymousreply 3412/06/2012

Well, just avoid Domino's too. They are seriously Uber-Catholic, ultra Right Wing Conservatives. Extreme religious ones. To the Right of Rick Santorum.

by Anonymousreply 3512/06/2012

[quote] As far as I know, if you can work, you can't get medicaid so it's just more people without insurance.

Not true. Ask people that work for Walmart.

by Anonymousreply 3612/06/2012

Papa John's pizza sucks. Domino's pizza sucks. No one should be buying their pizzas anyway - people should buy from small, mom-and-pop pizzerias. Not only are would you be supporting your neighbors, but you'll most certainly get a better pizza.

by Anonymousreply 3712/06/2012

Hey, Papa John, how do you like the invisible hand of the free market now, huh?

by Anonymousreply 3812/06/2012

[quote] Hey, Papa John, how do you like the invisible hand of the free market now, huh?

How do I like it? I feel like I'm getting FISTED by it! Fuckers!!

by Anonymousreply 3912/06/2012

All the Right Wing, racist, conservative Tea Party people will rush to support Papa John. They will eat a lot of pizza. They will all have heart attacks and die!

by Anonymousreply 4012/06/2012

Great. Their food sucks, their treatment of their employees is horrible, and they are profiting on the backs of taxpayers who subsidize their lack of benefits. More corporate socialist tit babies.

by Anonymousreply 4112/06/2012

I am sure these CEOs thought they would get a reaction like Chick-Fil-A's anti-gay stance. They probably envisioned being lionized as bastions of free market freedom fighters as thousands of tea-baggers turned out to support them.

Unfortunately for them, announcing that you are going to treat your employees like shit is just not a great rallying cry. Even for tea-baggers.

Not to mention that many people probably thought, "their service is going to suck, I better go somewhere else".

by Anonymousreply 4212/06/2012

"All the Right Wing, racist, conservative Tea Party people will rush to support Papa John. They will eat a lot of pizza. They will all have heart attacks and die! "

Nah. They'll just kill off younger, fitter people and grab their hearts.

by Anonymousreply 4312/06/2012

"No one should be buying their pizzas anyway - people should buy from small, mom-and-pop pizzerias."

Completely agree, but you'd be surprised to know how many places there are where Papa Johns, Dominos, etc. are all there is for pizzas, particularly if you're talking take-out and delivery.

by Anonymousreply 4412/06/2012

So he doesn't want to pay for insurance, which will perpetuate the ER scenario described above. Since those ER visits are paid for by public taxes and higher individual insurance premiums -- how is this not socialized medicine? If he wants to avoid that, shouldn't he be paying for private insurance gladly?

Oh right, I keep forgetting, the problem with socialized anything is that everyone pays, and he wants it to only be everyone other than himself.

by Anonymousreply 4512/06/2012

His pizza's not even that good.

by Anonymousreply 4612/06/2012

Even in cities where there is good Mom and Pop pizza people order this shit. I had to lecture my Italian mother in Syracuse of all places where there are a ton of Mom and Pop Italian/Pizza restaurants.

by Anonymousreply 4712/06/2012

R29? You really are very dumb.

Let me give you an example of GOOD publicity. Do you recall the the pizzeria owner in FL who gave the president a bear hug? Well that guy is a Republican, but shockingly, he accepts that President Obama is the president and he supports his president because he comprehends that some delusional and hysterical portrayal of the president put out by the rightwing (who appear to believe in party before country) is...well, delusional and hysterical.

He got a lot of shit and fake orders from rightwingers, but he also got TONS more business because this SMALL BUSINESS OWNER exudes positivity and the people love it.

Do you think he has anywhere near the amount of money of the other guys? Do you think he has $200M+ like "Papa John"? People heard a man worth a couple hundred million and who can afford to be an NFL sponsor which includes millions in free pizzas, say that he cared more about increasing the price by 11 cents than the health of the employees who makes him his money.

This is what unchecked greed has produced.

by Anonymousreply 4812/06/2012

And Chik-Fil-A posts record business.

by Anonymousreply 4912/06/2012

People who inhabit the right-wing bubble think their fringe ideas have public support. Surprise!

by Anonymousreply 5012/06/2012

R49, because Chik-Fil-A's stance was based in "religion," not money. The customers were supporting their right to be CFA's definition of "Christian."

Besides, most of their restaurants are in "those" parts of the country, so I'm not surprised.

by Anonymousreply 5112/06/2012

r49: link, please.

by Anonymousreply 5212/06/2012

What's scary R50 is that I've heard them say they need to rally because they were not conservative enough in this election. They really do think that the population wants Roe vs. Wade overturned, religion established and day workers run out of town on a rail.

by Anonymousreply 5312/06/2012

They also think that, the USA should be changed to Christian States of America enforcing their warped religious views on the nation.

by Anonymousreply 5412/06/2012

My Dear John letter, sent today:

Dear John:

I have enjoyed your pizza for several years; I am a member of your rewards program.

But I will not be ordering from you anymore because of your intentions to deny your employees health care benefits in response to President Obama's re-election and the implementation of his health care programs by cutting their hours in order to circumvent your responsibilities.

Employer-supported health care benefits is the system that has developed over time and it sickens me to see you try to dismantle it over this issue.

Your hard-working employees deserve better -- and maybe a better boss as well.

Take care. And good-bye.


by Anonymousreply 5512/11/2012

Nice letter, R55.

by Anonymousreply 5612/11/2012

And yet chick fil a'hole is making a fortune off their bigotry.

by Anonymousreply 5712/11/2012

Never had Papa Johns pizzas but I did want to try it. Damn them for this.

by Anonymousreply 5812/11/2012

While the letter is nice on earth did you ever eat that shit?

The sauce is so sweet it is like tomato frosting. Worst pizza ever.

by Anonymousreply 5912/11/2012

Chick kill gay is floundering in some locations.

by Anonymousreply 6012/11/2012

I got food poisoning from an underbaked Papa John's pizza this weekend.

by Anonymousreply 6112/11/2012

Boycott Papa John's and other such asshole scum and read this, please:

by Anonymousreply 6212/11/2012

Haha r61

by Anonymousreply 6312/11/2012

And yet we still have a fucking blowhard on Faux news (was shown on MoJoe) saying now that the election is over, Obama should "man up" and compromise on taxing the rich. These fuckholes still don't get that they LOST. Why would he MAN UP by COMPROMISING with these ASSHOLES?

I didn't think I could hate them more than when Bush/Cheney were in office, but I hate them more with each passing day.

This country will continue to go nowhere over the next four years if Obama backs down. He needs to go right over the fucking cliff so we can start from scratch. Once the market tanks the Rethugs will be begging for a deal.

I really think this is what Clinton would do.

by Anonymousreply 6412/11/2012

Part of why people noticed the Papa John's ploy is that Johnny-O insisted on placing himself front and center in so many ads and commercials. Everyone knows who he is -- puts a face on the decision and makes it personal.

I have worked at some big firms where CEOs like to parade around and have seen it backfire.

by Anonymousreply 6512/11/2012

I can only hope that there is sales downturn affecting Peyton Manning's franchises. He has how many? Over 30?

by Anonymousreply 6612/11/2012

That's true r65. If he wanted fame, he's going to have to deal with the ugly side.

by Anonymousreply 6712/11/2012

[quote] Chik-Fil-A's stance was based in "religion," not money. The customers were supporting their right to be CFA's definition of "Christian."

Chik-fil-a is a damn good chicken sandwich. papa john's is shit

by Anonymousreply 6812/11/2012

[quote] This country will continue to go nowhere over the next four years if Obama backs down. He needs to go right over the fucking cliff so we can start from scratch. Once the market tanks the Rethugs will be begging for a deal.

[quote] I really think this is what Clinton would do.

President Obama should do what reagan did when the democrats were refusing to raise the debt ceiling. He told them if they blocked it, he would NEVER, EVER sign another bill/legislation they sent to him again. He said he'd veto every single one they sent him

by Anonymousreply 6912/11/2012


It's much worse than that.

When the indigent can't pay, the provider gets a tax write-off for the inflated cost of the care.

Say my hospital makes $10 million in actual profits, but bills another $10 million for say 200,000 aspirins for the indigent.

The $10 million in aspirin is a "bad debt deduction" which offsets the $10 million in actual earnigns. Presto! No taxes!

What we really need is nationalized healthcare, and I'm a staunch fiscal conservative who says this. If you're going to socialize medicine, you might as well do it right.

by Anonymousreply 7012/11/2012


You got it all figured out, I see.

Just one more thing...what do "we" do about that annoying little debt-ceiling? Shouldn't we just abolish that legislative frivolity of having to increase it once and for all?

It's not like we'll ever have to pay the money back...

by Anonymousreply 7112/11/2012


Same shit, different party.

Everyone in Washington has these great ideas that require an infinite credit-card to implement.

by Anonymousreply 7212/11/2012

[quote]Just one more thing...what do "we" do about that annoying little debt-ceiling? Shouldn't we just abolish that legislative frivolity of having to increase it once and for all?

Yes, we definitely should. The money has been spent and the whole thing is an exercise in silliness, an embarrassing spectacle that no other major industrialized nation has to go through.

by Anonymousreply 7312/11/2012
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