Even though Papa John’s third-quarter earnings report leaves much to be desired, Papa John’s International Inc. CEO Ritchie took heart from the existence of several silver linings. First, the bruised company is on its way to winning back its customers’ trust. There are early indications that the remedial actions taken so far are working, sufficient to justify Steve Ritchie’s statement that he and his fellow executives are “optimistic about the opportunities ahead.” Steve Ritchie’s optimism stems from data collected by several research firms that suggests that there has been a shift in customers’ perception of Papa John’s (@PapaJohns). Negative perceptions have shifted to either neutral or even positive in the wake of the company’s launch of its “Voices” campaign back in September. Papa John’s “Voices” campaign seeks to rebrand the company in terms of focusing in on its employees. In spite of the progress made, Steve Ritchie Papa Johns acknowledges that challenges still exist and that there is a great deal more work that needs to be done. Second, total international sales of Papa John’s stores increased by 10 percent as a result of the opening of 300 new stores last year.
Third, Papa John’s restructuring of its executive suite has the benefit of helping the company to shift its focus back to its customers. This restructuring is led by the experienced Mike Nettles, who is serving as the company’s new executive vice president and chief operating and growth officer. One of the result of this restructuring is the creation of four new vice president positions centered around the following customer touchpoints or interaction points: customer experience, menu strategy, innovation and branding, and analytics and technology. Fourth, there is talk of an acquisition from at least four interested parties, the result of which has been several huge jumps in Papa John’s share prices. There are, indeed, quite a few reasons for CEO and President Steve Ritchie to be optimistic about the future of Papa John’s.