If you were to ask someone who owns Papa John’s, most people would probably answer Papa John himself, that guy from the cheesy commercials during football games. However, in reality, Papa John’s is a publicly-traded company of which only a small percentage is owned by the founder. Furthermore, following several very public controversies, he is no longer involved in any of the management of the business. Instead, the company is helmed by the new Papa John’s CEO, Rob Lynch.
Prior to joining the Papa John’s team, Lynch was president of Arby’s. He was selected in 2019 to replace Steve Ritchie, the handpicked successor to the founder. Lynch’s tenure so far has been characterized by rebounding sales figures and new highs for the stock price.
How Will Rob Lynch Make Changes for the Better?
Perhaps the most significant changes that Rob Lynch has been making have been to Papa John’s management. By changing the executive management of the company, Lynch has helped to both turn over a new leaf from the controversial recent history of the brand and to introduce a new, more innovative and forward-thinking culture. The results to far have been excellent.
Another significant change has been introducing new products. For example, the Papadia, a half-sandwich-half-pizza concoction, has helped to attract new types of customers. Additionally, the brand has focused on providing food options for people who can’t eat traditional pizza due to dietary restrictions.
For many years, the founder of the business was also its spokesperson. He repeatedly appeared in commercials, particularly high-profile ones during football games. To introduce a more positive face for the brand, a Shaq Papa John’s partnership was inked in 2019. This both brought the NBA legend into the management of the company as a director on the board and had him act as spokesperson. With Shaq appearing in commercials and other media, Papa John’s has had a more beloved face for its brand.
In 2021, the business moved its headquarters from Kentucky to Atlanta, Georgia. This change was planned by Lynch and his management team to tap into the significant talent pool offered by Atlanta. There are many other quick-serve restaurants headquartered in the city, meaning that there are also many talented professionals there.
Why Would Rob Lynch Take on This Job?
Without question, taking on the job of CEO of Papa John’s was always going to be a big undertaking. The brand’s sales had slumped starting in late 2017 and the controversies caused by the founder only deepened the problems. However, this situation also presented a chance for the new CEO to achieve a significant turnaround. Rob Lynch likely took the job because it would give him a chance to rebuild a struggling brand and make it stronger than ever.
Learn More About Papa John’s Reinvention Strategy
Discover more about Papa John’s and its strategy to reinvent itself. The business is still in the early days of this transformation. However, the signs currently point to a promising future with many new locations being opened and improving financials. The next few years will likely be very bright for Papa John’s.