Papa John’s is home to tasty breadsticks, pizza, and more recently even new menu items such as the Papadia. The company has been well received by communities and the media in the last couple of years and that is no accident. Founder and former owner of Papa John’s moved out of leadership in a press flurry, giving way to the current CEO of Papa John’s Rob Lynch to lead the helm. Lynch purposefully and carefully steered the company out of danger and back into the hearts and stomachs of the nation.
Papa John’s New Steps Towards Diversity
Lynch set about to repair the culture within the company beginning in 2019. He and his team identified areas of concern and need amongst both corporate and franchise communities. Using employee feedback, as well as public polls, Lynch worked to address the deficits that were cited as damaging to public perception. Then, in late 2019, Papa John’s CEO Rob Lynch would compile this information and study it. The results moved him to create a pledge to resolve it. He presented and signed the “CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion” as the largest effort of its kind. Lynch’s commitment to his employees was made clear at the signing.
Understating Papa John’s New Employee Resource Groups
CEO of Papa John’s Rob Lynch is responsible for creating the Employee Research Groups or ERGs. The employee research groups were just one part of the diversity and inclusion initiative that Lynch and his team set in motion. The research groups were created to build partnerships within and throughout the communities where Papa John’s are located. The ERG leadership sets out to work with community leaders to build connections and to make sure that the perceptions that the community has of the company are accurate and well-founded. Currently, there are six employee resource focus groups including multigenerational, LGBT+, women, Hispanic, African American, and veterans.
The Papa John’s Foundation and a Shaq Attack!
Outside of the company culture-based work that CEO Lynch is creating within the walls of Papa John’s nationwide, The Papa John’s Foundation for Building Community is also working hard for the communities it serves. This good work includes a larger-than-life figure: Shaquille O’Neal, largely regarded as the owner of Papa John’s. Shaq is renowned for his work in basketball, sports, acting, and philanthropy. Shaq has a foundation of his own that often partners with The Papa John’s Foundation since he is a multi-share and multi-franchise owner. Most recently, Papa John’s raised over 3 million dollars with the “Shaq-a-Roni” pizza. The proceeds from this pizza will be distributed to the following organizations: World Central Kitchen, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, UNCF (United Negro College Fund), and Goodr.
There is no question that the initiatives set in motion by CEO Lynch and his collaborators are intensive and will require ongoing maintenance. His pledge to Diversity and Inclusion speaks volumes about his commitment to the direction the company is heading. As communities continue to work with Papa John’s and build with The Papa John’s foundation, business relationships become community connections with a vested interest. CEO Rob Lynch believes that good pizza tastes better when it’s from a good company and his mission is to make Papa John’s even better, so eat up.