Papa John’s pizza extortion

Football-tossing Republican CEO: Repeal Obamacare or pay an extra quarter for bad pizza

Topics: Pizza, Papa John's, Obamacare, Healthcare Reform,

Papa John's pizza extortion This might cost ten cents more soon (Credit: Papa Cholesterol by Strupey / CC by -ND 2.0)

Sad news this week for all American Papa John’s fans, from those too exhausted by daily drudging for subsistence wages to attempt to find something better to stick in their mouths at the end of the day than a dirt-cheap sugar and starch-delivery mechanism to those who are simply drunk when one of the commercials comes on: Unless we repeal Obamacare, Papa John’s founder and mascot John “Papa John” Schnatter is going to raise the price of his wares.

He said as much in a conference call last week: “Our best estimate is that the Obamacare will cost 11 to 14 cents per pizza, or 15 to 20 cents per order from a corporate basis,” Schnatter said, while robotically tossing a football and sort of cringing in an odd approximation of a casual smile.

Eventually, once the law is actually in place. Papa John’s franchises with 50 or more full-time employees will be expected to offer affordable plans for their employees, or face a penalty. The point of this policy is to keep large employers from outsourcing the cost of insuring their full-time employees to  taxpayers. The point is also to raise the price of pizza, in order to “bend the cost curve.” (If Papa John doesn’t like this he and his restaurant industry friends should probably lobby for single-payer, in order to break the employer-provided healthcare model that doesn’t work for the sort of people unlucky enough to have to work for a squinty miser like John Schnatter.)

Actually he’s not really sweating it:



“We’re not supportive of Obamacare, like most businesses in our industry. But our business model and unit economics are about as ideal as you can get for a food company to absorb Obamacare,” he said.

“If Obamacare is in fact not repealed, we will find tactics to shallow out any Obamacare costs and core strategies to pass that cost onto consumers in order to protect our shareholders best interests,” Schnatter vowed.

Papa John’s: The official pizza of the NBA D-league and also of “shallowing out” costs to the consumers in order to “protect our shareholders best interests.” (But what if your shareholders are also pizza consumers, John?)

Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Api Étoile

    Like little stars.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Calville Blanc

    World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chenango Strawberry

    So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chestnut Crab

    My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    D'Arcy Spice

    High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Esopus Spitzenberg

    Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Granite Beauty

    New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hewes Crab

    Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hidden Rose

    Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Knobbed Russet

    Freak city.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Newtown Pippin

    Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Pitmaston Pineapple

    Really does taste like pineapple.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>