Papa John's restaurants of Britain

Papa John's restaurants history

How the restaurant PAPA JOHN'S was created

The history of PAPA JOHN'S; chains starts in 1984, when John Schnatter, the founder, has cleaned an old closet in his dad's tavern and started baking pizzas for the customers. To achieve that he had to sell a car and use the gained money for buying used cooking equipment. Did he know that his tavern would soon become one of the most popular restaurants of Britain? Who knows.
But the fact is, his original pizza recipe became so popular, that a year after the first try he had to get adjoining space. One of the keys to success was, no doubt, the dipping. Carefully designed and collected, it became extremely popular among the customers, especially when it came to eating the crust. 
In 1994, the next year after the company became public, it opened more that 450 restaurants, and in two years after that the total amount has risen to more that 1500 public places.
2016 became the year when "PAPA JOHN'S" was mentioned as the third largest chain in the USA, having the delivery service. A lot of companies indeed had bigger chains, but no delivery. However, PAPA JOHN'S founders were the first having added the option of online ordering in the USA. Of course, the others did the same, but the idea itself originally belongs to PAPA JOHN'S.
It was also announced that a new option will be rolled out -  a possibility to use a small fee and jumt to the top of the ordering list. So, let's live and see. 
John Schnatter was born in Jeffersonville, Indiana in 1961

His mother, a real estate agent, was an example for her son and set high standards for school grades and performance. And the father is a judge and entrepreneur, whose attempts to run a business were unsuccessful: electricity and water regularly disappeared in the house due to unpaid bills.


Schnatter saw what failure leads to, but was inspired by it.

Schnatter began earning money early: at the age of 15, he got a job as a dishwasher at the local Rocky’s pizzeria. When there were many visitors, he was transferred to the kitchen to help the cooks, where he kneaded dough and prepared tomato sauce. Schnatter fell in love with this activity: he began to come up with recipes for the perfect pizza and hide them in his room.


At Rocky’s he received lessons that he would apply later. For example, the amount of yeast in the dough was dependent on the weather. If it was cold outside, more yeast was added, if the heat was reduced: thus in winter the dough became more rich and satisfying, warming the customers better.


Schnatter noted that only foreign companies that operated on a franchise were involved in pizza delivery in the city. They bought with speed, not quality, and local pizzerias, on the contrary, did tasty and good, but did not deliver pizzas to your home. Schnatter wanted to combine quality and delivery and open his own pizzeria.


After graduating from university, Schnatter returned home to start his own business, and found that his father's only profitable business, the Mick's Lounge, was on the verge of bankruptcy. He took out a loan and a loan from the bank, but there was not enough money - he had to sell his favorite Chevrolet Camaro.


Schnatter bought out half of the bar, bought a wood-fired pizza oven, installed it in the closet, and started making pizza under the Mick's Lounge brand. The cost of pizza was $ 2, and most pizzerias sold it for $ 10. Schnatter was selling pizza for $ 5 and beer for 50 cents.

The initial goal of $ 50,000 a year was reached quickly: they received $ 9,000 per week, while the locals collected only $ 6,000.


In 1984, Schnatter opened the first Papa John’s restaurant in the neighboring state of Kentucky, Louisville. Further distribution took place in a franchise format, like other restaurant brands - KFC, Long John Silver.

The main ideology of Schnatter's business is products. The company's motto "Best Ingredients, Best Pizza" became popular, consumer confidence grew, and competitors were furious. For example, Pizza Hut filed a lawsuit for the incorrect slogan: "Since Schnatter's pizza is the best, is everyone else worse?", But lost in court.


The main reason for its popularity is in the strict approach to products. For example, the dough is never frozen, the finished pizza is served from the oven, and the recipes used to prepare the pizza practically do not change.


Papa John's is successful thanks to Schnatter's high standards, but some former colleagues feel that he sometimes goes too far. Marketer Jack Trout, for example, told Schnatter that other employees are afraid of him when he walks through the halls like a big creeping cat.


Some point to the high turnover of executives, but Schnatter believes he has matured over time, and executives have been with the company for about 12 years on average.


Business grew and developed throughout the United States, restaurant critics gave top marks, and John Schnatter was named the youngest successful entrepreneur in the United States - in 1998 he was Ernst & Young's National Entrepreneur of the Year.


Expanding the business was difficult for Schnatter: he had to become the face of the company, to speak in public, but Schnatter was not ready for this. He was scared to death of public speaking, which is why he had to work with a coach to overcome his fear.


States of Papa John's restaurants

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