Papa John's Pizza founder John Schnatter has angered a lot of people for saying that Obamacare will force him to raise pizza prices and lay off employees.
His comments are terrible on numerous levels:
1) He's blaming the government for (pre-emptively) hurting his business, which by definition contradicts his assumed do-it-yourself ethos;
2) He blames Obamacare for threatening to inflate his costs, when nonpartisan numbers suggest it will shrink national health care costs;
3) Can't he write off those expenses anyway? On his taxes, which is tantamount to a tax break?
4) He threatens an added cost of at least 14 cents per pizza, assuming that we won't happily pay it to ensure that the people making and delivering our pies have decent coverage.
5) Based on his generous promotions and lavish personal lifestyle, he can clearly afford it. A lot of huge companies make a big deal of "giving back," yet it doesn't occur to them to first give back to the people who make their company the prosperous empire that it is.
Still, one common response to this puzzles me and smacks of sour grapes:
"Papa John's sucks anyway."
Actually, I think it's the best among the big chains. In my experience, Papa John's lives up to its motto of "better ingredients, better pizza." Also, they're trans fat-free, which is a big deal to me. And unlike with some other places, I have never had a bad pizza from Papa John's.
So I'm going to vote with my (admittedly limited) dollars over Schnatter's comments, not over the lie that his product sucks.
By the way, I think that's the way to go. I once read an article written by a restaurateur who said that a dissatisfied customer carries more weight with an establishment if they promise to come back. After all, if you say you're never coming back, it's easier to write off your complaints. Likewise, if some disgruntled liberal says, "I won't support Papa John's because their politics suck but I hate their pizza anyway so I never buy it," that means very little. On the other hand, by saying, "I love Papa John's and have always looked there first for my pizza needs, but now I'm reconsidering," well, maybe Schnatter will reconsider those 14 cents.
It's possible, maybe even likely, that he won't. But we can hope he'll budge at least a little.
Mainly, I'm just tired of places like Papa John's and Chick-Fil-A being so awful while serving up such good stuff. Being principled can hurt so bad.
Oh well. Guess I'm off to pick some oranges in my backyard.