Five reasons why Papa John's should raise the dough for employee health care
Papa John's CEO John Schnatter has been outspoken about cutting employee hours to less than thirty hours per week so that he doesn't have to pay their health insurance costs -- as mandated Affordable Health Care Act -- or Obamacare; he has cited concerns over the estimated $5 to 8 million dollar annual cost to the company.
Is Schnatter an oppressed business owner being crushed under the boot of government regulation or is he just a douchepickle who doesn't give a fuck about his employees and now has a convenient excuse to blame someone else for it? Here's our list of five reasons why Papa John's should raise the dough for employee health care -- no delivery charge.
See also: - Peyton Manning wants a slice of the pie -- Papa John's, that is - Medical marijuana: Papa John's delivery driver calls cops on legal patient over weed - Papa John's gets a pizza the DNC action
5. Because giving employees health coverage is more generous than giving away free pizzas
There is a fine line between appearing to be magnanimous, and actually being generous. Schnatter is constantly on the tube giving away free pizzas to the dining public like an affluent lord of the manor spreading largesse to his humble serfs. He's given away millions of pies for the NFL season, the Super Bowl, for customer rewards programs, contests, store openings and even for fellow
douchemobile Camaro owners, who got free pizzas just for owning Camaros. So, here's a simple solution on how to pay for employee health care benefits: Stop giving away so many damn pizzas. Use the revenue freed up from cutting the marketing budget back so sick employees can go to the doctor instead of dripping mucus into the mozzarella.
4. Because employees have long memories
In this still-slow economy, many employers -- especially the low-wage ones like Papa John's -- have employees by the curlies because a shitty job is still better than no job. And while his employees are worrying about paying for milk, gas and rent -- while working exactly 29 hours per week -- Schnatter is kicking it in a 40,000 square-foot mansion, swimming in one of his several pools, putting around on his private golf course or choosing which of his cars to drive. We're not saying that his hard work and business acumen shouldn't be rewarded, but he didn't "build that" all by his lonesome. There are CEOs who have taken pay cuts rather than dick over their employees, so when the economy picks up, Schnatter's decent, hardworking employees -- the ones who helped pad his purse -- may hit the pavement and land at competing companies that will pay for their health insurance.
3. Because customers have long memories Customers who want pizza have options, and Papa John's is still in third place among the top-selling pizza chains, behind Pizza Hut and Domino's. And since there are people out there who make political decision when ordering food -- voting with their wallets and all -- maybe being the loudest voice in the media negating affordable health care for employees isn't doing your business any favors. Perhaps adding a few cents, or even a dollar, to the price of each pizza in order to give employees access to preventative care, medicine and treatment for illnesses and injuries won't seem like an unfair trade-off to everyone. Since when does not being an asshole hurt public perception?
2. Because slowing international growth and/or hiking pie prices are feasible solutions
According to a recent article in Zack's Equity Research, "In the next six years, the company expects to open approximately 1,500 restaurants, including 300 in North America and 1,200 in the international market." Papa John's isn't expanding for survival -- companies don't generally focus on expansion unless they have some nickels and dimes to spare, in their corporate couch cushions. So perhaps putting the international stores on hold for now, or scaling back on overseas expansion would free up the cash to pay for affordable health care. In another recent article, this one in Forbes, broke down the math on how much Papa John's would have to raise prices to make up the difference in employee health care. "For the sake of argument, let's say that Papa John's sells exactly half medium/half large specialty pizzas," the article says. "Averaging the ranges for both sizes, then averaging that product yields a .86% price increase -- well outside the range of what Schnatter says Obamacare will cost him. So how much would prices go up, under these 50/50 conditions, if they were to fairly reflect the increased cost of doing business onset by Obamacare? Roughly 3.4 to 4.6 cents a pie." So much for the A-pizza-lypse talk that Schnatter is spewing.
1. Because sour-grapey Romney supporters need to move on
Does this vehement clamoring for corporate justice have anything to do with the fact that Romney supporters just got lobbed in the jimmies? Well, shockitty-shock-shock, John Schnatter was a Mitt Romney supporter, even throwing a private fund-raiser for the candidate at his mansion. According to the Los Angeles Times, Romney was given a tour of the grounds and he declared, "Who would've imagined pizza could build this. This is really something. Don't you love this country? What a home this is, what grounds these are, the pool, the golf course...This is a real tribute to America, to entrepreneurship." But, ike many other rich Republicans, Schnatter got President Obama instead of President Romney, and those wasted campaign contributions could very well give some bitterman vibes. But fucking over your own employees to make a statement about Obamacare seems a little much. Time to move on, John.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Denver dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.