papajohnendammerung
July 11, 2018 9:52 PM   Subscribe

Papa John has fallen. John Schnatter, aka Papa John, aka Great AllFather John, aka Pepperoni Paterfamilias, has been brought low by a racial slur and graphic descriptions of violence against minorities during a conference call. In his resignation he has sloppily slid away from his pizza empire, like cheese from an ill-baked slice, leaving only the failure-doused crust of what had once been. Schnatter and his corporation have had a long and storied history of pointless antagonism, horrific racism, consistently terrible politics, and not paying delivery drivers minimum wage.

Today we mourn our Pizza Patriarch and wait for some other asshole to claim the crown.
posted by Rust Moranis (138 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
 
We've come not to praise Little Caesar, but bury him?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:56 PM on July 11 [183 favorites]


Protip: consider adopting someone other than Col. Sanders as your archetype of racial relations leadership.
posted by thelonius at 9:57 PM on July 11 [19 favorites]


Glad to see there's still lines we don't cross.
posted by mhoye at 10:04 PM on July 11


The Little Caesar's guy (Mike Ilitch) was actually a praiseworthy peach - he paid Rosa Parks's rent for years.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:05 PM on July 11 [201 favorites]


This news put a little pepperoni in my step today.
posted by arcticseal at 10:35 PM on July 11 [14 favorites]


Today we mourn our Pizza Patriarch and wait for some other asshole to claim the crown.

In some sprawling mansion on the outskirts of Atlanta, Herman Cain sits up in his easy chair with a start, as if hearing his name called by the wind.
posted by ejs at 10:36 PM on July 11 [58 favorites]


Fuck this guy and his concern trolling over the NFL anthem protests. He didn't seem to be bothered with any other
scandal in the league (including his poster boy being outed as another "enhanced" athlete too big to suspend and a prick), but the moment someone protested something bigger than him and the league and sport, hell broke loose.

I bet there's someone who heard him say some shit like "we can't have a slave uprising in the league".
posted by lmfsilva at 10:46 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


He also sold shitty pizza.
posted by lkc at 10:55 PM on July 11 [35 favorites]


papajohnendammerung

Poor papajohnarus his racist wings flew too close to the Sun.

papajohnyun and babe the blue dog ox.

papajohn john binks.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:01 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


fucking finally. I have to admit that I relied on his Pizza for a while working in Maine (away from eastern Mass, where even the smallest towns have two good local pizza places) but I eventually had to stop as he started railing against the ACA. So petty, and he's just gotten nastier over the years. This was a long time coming.
posted by es_de_bah at 11:03 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


The publication reported the objectionable behavior took place on a conference call intended as a role-playing exercise for Schnatter on avoiding racially charged mishaps in the future.

With an extra topping of delicious irony.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 11:10 PM on July 11 [27 favorites]




I knew someone who used to deliver for them, back in the day. He was the only driver who wasn't also dealing drugs. The drugs probably would have been better.
posted by Violet Hour at 11:35 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Color me 100% unsurprised.
posted by praemunire at 1:09 AM on July 12


In his resignation he has sloppily slid away from his pizza empire, like cheese from an ill-baked slice, leaving only the failure-doused crust of what had once been.

Oh, bravo.
posted by zardoz at 2:25 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


You know those posts where you expect it to be an obituary and are relieved when it’s not?

This is not one of those.
posted by uncleozzy at 3:16 AM on July 12 [24 favorites]


I saw him at an opening of one of his vomitous stores. I was assisting a crew of audio/camera people at that grand affair. He was a total dick ass to everyone when the cameras were't rolling. Really shitty guy. So nasty, and he thought he could hide it. Nope, it just oozed off him. {shiver}
posted by james33 at 3:22 AM on July 12 [10 favorites]


Fuck you John Schnatter. I hope against hope you and all your ilk suffer the same fate (emphasis on the suffering, despite how petty I know that is).

Really hoping for every corporation to collapse, and somehow having the country revert to a really woke yeoperson farmer/fully automated luxury gay space communism.
posted by talking leaf at 3:59 AM on July 12 [13 favorites]


I see a lot of "his pizza wasn't good" comments on posts like these. I just want to take one moment to stress: That is not his pizza. That pizza is the product of thousands of employees who are not John and do not share his opinions. I live a near PJ's HQ, and it's a business that absolutely affects our local economy. The best thing they can start with is to take him off their advertising. Until then, remember that he's just some prick who's out of the company. Bandwagon hating a thing he used to be associated with does not help and is no better and in fact more hurtful than the man who slings racial slurs.
posted by phlyingpenguin at 5:05 AM on July 12 [37 favorites]


Now if the chain would completely collapse we'll be getting somewhere.

Next stop: Jimmy Johns
posted by SystematicAbuse at 5:15 AM on July 12 [14 favorites]


What if this horrible timeline we're on is essentially a Mister Mxyzptlk issue of Superman, and we just need to trick all the villains into saying the N word on tape?
posted by condour75 at 5:18 AM on July 12 [20 favorites]


The original Papa John retired twenty years ago and is living like a king in Patagonia.
posted by JohnFromGR at 5:20 AM on July 12 [33 favorites]


You know what would be cool? The workers of PJ’s seizing the means of production.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 5:20 AM on July 12 [62 favorites]


You have nothing to lose but your restaurant chains!
posted by zamboni at 5:26 AM on July 12 [46 favorites]


Bandwagon hating a thing he used to be associated with does not help and is no better and in fact more hurtful than the man who slings racial slurs.

This is interesting to think about, actually. There's a really good chance that nearly every small business I buy from around here (hi, Long Island) is owned by a flaming asshole who would be proud to have said and done the things that Slattery says and does. Buying from them supports (mostly) them and their (probably) asshole families (I'm thinking mostly of family-run pizza places, I guess, who don't really have employees as such).

Buying from megacorps employs lots of (possibly) non-assholes along the way, but also lines the pockets of the capitalists at the top, who mostly use that money to grind us under their bootheels.

I'm still betting on the small assholes being able to do less harm, but ... capitalism is a land of shitty contrasts.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:28 AM on July 12 [28 favorites]


I love how every time some rich old racist says something racist their publicist releases a statement to the effect of "his words do not reflect his real feelings."

Uhhh... Then what, exactly, DO his words reflect? Is he a ventriloquist's dummy?
posted by SystematicAbuse at 5:31 AM on July 12 [43 favorites]


I've always laughed when I see the "better ingredients, better pizza" tagline. I worked for Papa John's in their early days, and every single thing on the pizza, including the dough, was delivered to the store either frozen or canned.

The secret spice is sugar, but you probably already new that.
posted by COD at 5:38 AM on July 12 [15 favorites]


The secret spice is sugar, but you probably already new that.

Pretty sure the secret spice is hate.
posted by Fizz at 5:43 AM on July 12 [9 favorites]


Bandwagon hating a thing he used to be associated with does not help and is no better and in fact more hurtful than the man who slings racial slurs.

Yeah, sorry, but most of the "bandwagon hating" I've been apart of concerning Papa John's, which was more pizza opinion sharing and "hey, did you know this guy did these things", was directly because of the man who slings racial slurs. The freaking CEO of this company putting his foot in it about the NFL protests and eventually saying "nigger" and talking about lynching stories AT WORK, ON A CONFERENCE CALL is absolutely more hurtful than us boycotting and spreading word of mouth about not buying and consuming the product he represents -- because WE (most of my family and social circle) ARE BLACK.

This isn't our problem, or the problem of non-black people who are disturbed by it. It's corporate's problem. It's a PR problem. So all those local businesses can run their displeasure up the chain instead of blaming the public for, you know, reacting to the multiple problems reported by the media with the former CEO.
posted by Freeze Peach at 5:59 AM on July 12 [110 favorites]


The secret spice is sugar
Like actual sugar sugar? Or HFCS?
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 6:01 AM on July 12


Sorry, I forgot to add that he's just known as the founder since, obviously, resigned as CEO after the first time he screwed this up back in December. But this guy is linked to his brand, period, and it's up to the company on how to sort this out because stepping down as CEO isn't preventing Papa John's from showing up in the news with John Schnatter's stupid comments attached.
posted by Freeze Peach at 6:04 AM on July 12 [6 favorites]


@COD I see that you first revealed the Papa John's "secret spice" back in this 2011 AskMeFi question I posted: How do major chains make pizza? :) That was an interesting thread. I wonder how the pizza making process has changed (if at all) at the major chains since that 2011 post.
posted by jca at 6:06 AM on July 12 [4 favorites]


Bandwagon hating a thing he used to be associated with does not help and is no better and in fact more hurtful than the man who slings racial slurs.

Yeah, not liking shitty pizza with an inexplicably dessert-like flavor profile, and refusing to give your hard earned cash to a person who treats everyone who's not a rich white guy like shit, is totally worse than slinging racial slurs. On no planet, at no time, ever.
posted by katyggls at 6:08 AM on July 12 [34 favorites]


According to Forbes Schnatter's comments about Colonel Sanders were in response to a question about how he would distance himself from online racist groups. So he was asking the age old question, for racists, why can't I use the n-word but for some reason he just skipped right past the rappers use it all the time complaint.
posted by rdr at 6:08 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


Here in Louisville, everyone knows someone who's had to deal with John Schnatter at some level. I've never heard a positive story. The best is, "everyone who succeeds in business is an asshole at some level."
posted by DigDoug at 6:18 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


There's a really good chance that nearly every small business I buy from around here (hi, Long Island) is owned by a flaming asshole who would be proud to have said and done the things that Slattery says and does.

There is a local pizza place in my hometown that I didn't really grow up eating at, because I moved away when I was a young child, but friends of the family did, and for them that was their idea of pizza. When I lived there as an adult, I didn't particularly care for the way that they did pizza, but what really got me was when I went there with some relatives who had grown up with it, and their menu was liberally salted with comments from the owner that basically amounted to every complaint he'd ever gotten from customers, with his answer always being a variation of "well, that's how we do it, and if you don't like it, go eat somewhere else." And then the man himself stopped by our table, because he knew my relatives, and started bragging about how he'd fired a waitress the other day and was going to lie about how it was for cause so she couldn't collect unemployment. Classy guy.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:31 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]




I've always laughed when I see the "better ingredients, better pizza" tagline. I worked for Papa John's in their early days, and every single thing on the pizza, including the dough, was delivered to the store either frozen or canned

Morpheus voice: What if i told you... frozen or canned vegetables aren't always worse especially when taking into account the crapshot of distribution and storage within individual kitchens.
posted by Damienmce at 6:43 AM on July 12 [20 favorites]


Really hoping for every corporation to collapse, and somehow having the country revert to a really woke yeoperson farmer/fully automated luxury gay space communism.
ah yes...the good old days #MAGA
posted by es_de_bah at 6:45 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Racial Slur Costs Pizza Clown His Pizza Crown
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 6:50 AM on July 12 [31 favorites]


FTA:
He also reflected on his childhood in Indiana, saying people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died, according to Forbes.

I reflect on my childhood of playing with GI Joes and watching cartoons. Different strokes for different folks I guess.
posted by The_Vegetables at 6:50 AM on July 12 [22 favorites]


I liked that massive commercial campaign about how he had to sell his Ferrari to start his first shop. Relatable!
posted by Think_Long at 6:51 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


I remember when Papa John was a musician who liked to get stoned a lot and make people happy.

Sigh.
posted by ubiquity at 6:54 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


It wasn't a Ferrari, it was a bitchin' Camaro.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:55 AM on July 12 [12 favorites]


Once again, the question of separating art from the artist arrives for debate.
posted by rhizome at 7:04 AM on July 12 [11 favorites]


I knew someone who used to deliver for them, back in the day. He was the only driver who wasn't also dealing drugs. The drugs probably would have been better.

Funny thing. When I delivered for a competing chain, of the eight or ten regular drivers we had, I think only two or three of us (counting myself) didn't smoke up on the clock, but as far as I know we had only one who actively dealt. When that one driver left, it was to take a management position at the Papa John's across the street.
posted by solotoro at 7:12 AM on July 12 [7 favorites]


He also reflected on his childhood in Indiana, saying people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died, according to Forbes.

Well if that's the reference point for bad behavior and racism, then we're pretty much all saints, aren't we?

What is he even saying here?
posted by theorique at 7:13 AM on July 12 [8 favorites]


This isn't our problem, or the problem of non-black people who are disturbed by it. It's corporate's problem. It's a PR problem. So all those local businesses can run their displeasure up the chain instead of blaming the public for, you know, reacting to the multiple problems reported by the media with the former CEO.

But this is exactly my point. The bandwagon already won. What do you really want out of PR? Crucifying a group of people that excommunicated the problematic leader is strictly unnecessary unless we have some real evidence they are also horrible. My read on the matter is that they would have had him out ages ago, but getting rid of a man whose name is on the label isn't straightforward. Now it has finally happened. Now is time to accept that. Now is the time to SUPPORT companies getting rid of racist assholes, and now is the time to not boycott people that are just trying to make a wage. That's more than managers, pizza cooks, and delivery drivers. That's a large corporate structure, ingredient preparation, and ingredient delivery too.
posted by phlyingpenguin at 7:25 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


o/` Once he was the Papa John, now he eats humble pie. o/`
posted by I-Write-Essays at 7:36 AM on July 12 [4 favorites]


I'm always a little weirded out by people disliking Papa John's above other pizza chains- I love their crust since it's generally the driest, least greasy crust. Pizza Hut and Little Ceasar's crusts tend to be bread-sponges saturated in grease by comparison. Their cheeses and toppings seem no better or worse than other chains.

The Pizza Hut taco pizza is probably the best chain pizza that exists, however.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:37 AM on July 12 [8 favorites]


You can apparently buy the garlic sauce in one gallon jugs, in case you have a nuclear centrifuge that needs lubrication or something.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:40 AM on July 12 [8 favorites]


Morpheus voice:

What if I told you that:

Broccoli, cauliflower, corn, green beans, green peas, spinach, blueberries, and strawberries

...don't belong on pizza?

also: the preservation of vitamins is a tiny aspect of food
posted by pompomtom at 7:44 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


I bet they put all that shit on pizza in England, tho.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:46 AM on July 12


Hold up, hoss; broccoli and spinach are totally great pizza toppings.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:46 AM on July 12 [24 favorites]


My read on the matter is that they would have had him out ages ago, but getting rid of a man whose name is on the label isn't straightforward.

My read on this is that they chose to accept his historically shitty behavior because $, until eventually, predictably, he did something so egregious that their hand was forced. I mean, it's straightforward enough that they're able to get rid of him now, so why not before?

Now is time to accept that. Now is the time to SUPPORT companies getting rid of racist assholes, and now is the time to not boycott people that are just trying to make a wage.

Yes, every shitty corporation has people just trying to make a wage. But if we attempt to support the less/non-shitty ones, guess what they'll need? More workers, more support services.
posted by gennessee at 7:48 AM on July 12 [19 favorites]


Cortex: I've changed my mind. Coventry now, please.
posted by pompomtom at 7:48 AM on July 12


According to their most recent proxy Mr. Schnatter still owns over 30% of the company's equity. Vastly more than any other beneficial owner. And there have been no reported changes to his ownership holdings since March according to his insider filings. Their ticker is PZZA if you want to check it out on Edgar. It appears that he still has a strong economic beneficial interest in the company's performance and will do so until and unless he's fully divested. I don't see anything in the 8-K announcing his resignation indicating that he will be forced to sell his shares.

Maybe that will change but until then - if you don't want to put money in this jerk's pocket - buy someone else's pizza.
posted by rdnnyc at 7:50 AM on July 12 [33 favorites]


I actually like their pizza pretty well--not like it's the only pizza I ever liked, but I liked it just fine. I stopped ordering from them because when I was living in a lower-income higher-minority neighborhood, my local Papa John's stopped delivering to that neighborhood, but not to any other part of their delivery area, after dark. I'm not talking "late at night", even; it was flat impossible to get them to deliver to that neighborhood during dinner hours in the winter.

I might have been sympathetic to the argument that the neighborhood was too dangerous except like six other pizza places didn't have that problem. Just the Papa John's.
posted by Sequence at 7:51 AM on July 12 [8 favorites]


Now it has finally happened. Now is time to accept that. Now is the time to SUPPORT companies getting rid of racist assholes, and now is the time to not boycott people that are just trying to make a wage.

I only have so much money and time to funnel support into anything, and me and mine choosing not to buy Papa John's anymore isn't going to make a longterm dent in their profits. This happened in May, it broke today, and he'd already been ousted in December. Give it another year and several more quarters, and the brand will probably recover. Most people's attention span for this is very short, basically.

Like, I hear what you're saying, and broadly agree, but to generalize people having an issue with this as "bandwagon hating" and saying "and is no better and in fact more hurtful than the man who slings racial slurs" is offensive to me, personally. I don't agree with that at all. It was a logical decision for us, and the shit he said that led us to that decision is plainly, directly more hurtful than passing by Papa John's to go to another pizza joint. People are not going to go "oh good, they got rid of him as fast as they could!" and link back up overnight. You can't tell people when it's time to put their hard-earned money back into the company, whether you think their reasoning is harmful or sound or not. Some people probably never will, because he's still the founder and presumably has shares and other financial and social ties to the company, which is something my dad mentioned during the NFL controversy.

That's why I commented -- this isn't an abstract issue or purity test for some people that's ignoring the realities of thousands of people employed under a corporate franchise. I know how this works. It still sucks. There's limited, shitty choices under capitalism as to what to do, on both sides -- what can you do as a consumer to voice your displeasure without throwing the other twenty thousand people under the bus? What can you as an employee do when someone at the top says and does stupid things that affect your livelihood? What about all the companies whose executives have the good sense not to say this stuff in public, but still believe it? Like, yes, it's imperfect, but I don't think short term economic consequences somehow make people's hesitation or few minutes worth of jeering equivalent to what caused this in the first place.
posted by Freeze Peach at 7:55 AM on July 12 [40 favorites]


Hold up, hoss; broccoli and spinach are totally great pizza toppings.

Are you by any chance a resident of San Francisco?
posted by Fleebnork at 7:57 AM on July 12


What do you really want out of PR?

*Clearly, distinctly, and forcefully repudiate Schnatter
*Forcibly divest Schnatter, even though that means paying him off
*Change the name to illustrate the sincerity of their repudiation
*Publicly reverse some of his more egregious decisions, such as about health insurance
*Announce a significant program to increase franchise ownership among racial minorities
*Announce corporate-level controls over racist behavior from franchise owners
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:20 AM on July 12 [43 favorites]


My read on this is that they chose to accept his historically shitty behavior because $, until eventually, predictably, he did something so egregious that their hand was forced. I mean, it's straightforward enough that they're able to get rid of him now, so why not before?

It came in stages. He was CEO, Chairman, and has a ton of stock in the company. Much like any powerful person, he does a lot of local philanthropy to ensure he has good will. I looked at that as his way of buying favor with other local powers to ignore his horrible personality. That's an equation that means he's got staying power. He was forced to step down from being CEO first, and now he's out. Certainly, doing nothing is easier than doing something, but this doesn't say $ at all to me. This says raging political battle inside of the company. It says they needed something like this to get him out. I say this has been pretty straightforward and fast to take down the guy who literally has his name written on the box.
posted by phlyingpenguin at 8:20 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


Pizza Hut and Little Ceasar's crusts tend to be bread-sponges saturated in grease by comparison.

You must not have a Jet's Pizza franchise near you. It makes PH and LC look like dry flatbread.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:20 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Bandwagon hating a thing he used to be associated with does not help and is no better and in fact more hurtful than the man who slings racial slurs.

I wish I could take the time to expound for many hours on the badness of this, the hottest take, but I've decided to lay on the floor and wait for death instead.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:24 AM on July 12 [70 favorites]


He's been "out" for less than 24 hours, I don't think it's time to throw the company a parade for finally getting rid of him (as a figurehead and ad presence, as it's pointed out that his money is still good with them). And there's no way critiquing them is as bad as reminiscing about how that other guy got to say the n-word.

I hate the whole "this always sucked" thing too, but there are immensely better ways to discuss that then to pretend this is a both sides issue where the millionaire racist asshole is the one who comes out better than people cracking jokes about chain store pizza.

Also, 'they do good for the local economy and employ lots of people' is a thing I can say about Wal Mart. I tend to not say that because I understand the larger impact the company has. Lots of corporations help their local economies, that doesn't actually absolve them of anything.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 8:46 AM on July 12 [13 favorites]


Any time anyone brings up jobs as the reason to support something, it's always bad. Coal mines, prisons, Wal-Mart, etc. Just automatically bad.
posted by Slinga at 8:57 AM on July 12 [13 favorites]


I don't think I've ever seen a Papa John's, so personally deciding whether or not to avoid the company is something of a moot point. (Yes, I live in a bubble. But, it's pretty nice in here.)

Still, I'm pleased to hear that the thousands of dollars I spent at Little Ceasars are a kid went to a company run by someone who seems pretty okay.
posted by eotvos at 9:29 AM on July 12 [4 favorites]


The thing about the jobs explanation is that like... okay, let's say I don't order from Papa John's. I haven't given up pizza. I have never lived anywhere that I didn't have at least half a dozen different delivery options. If everybody in an area with six delivery pizza places drops off ordering from Papa John's over the next six months, then over the next six months those other five places suddenly pick up a bunch more kitchen staff and drivers. Aside from some areas and points in the last couple decades where the employment situation is just dismal generally--a problem that needs different solutions than just ordering pizza--people with food service experience tend to have problems with wages but not with unemployability.
posted by Sequence at 9:34 AM on July 12 [7 favorites]


broccoli and spinach are totally great pizza toppings

In my pizzaman days, we had a customer who wanted iceberg lettuce as a topping.
posted by thelonius at 9:44 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


Schnatter and his corporation have had a long and storied history of pointless antagonism, horrific racism, consistently terrible politics [...] not paying delivery drivers minimum wage, and shitty, shitty pizza.
posted by slogger at 9:56 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


broccoli and spinach are totally great pizza toppings

All of y'all whining that broccoli and spinach are, idk, too healthy to go on a pizza--judging from the comparisons to lettuce and blueberries--are foolish people. Broccoli and spinach are excellent additions to pizza because they are things that taste good. Slightly charred brassica is a great flavor for pizza and so is sauteed spinach, especially with extra cheese folded in among the pizzas.

(Iceberg lettuce is a shit pizza topping because it is full of water. You are supposed to sautee your veggies before they go on the pizza for this specific reason. Sauteeing lettuce just ruins it because the point of lettuce is crunch.)
posted by sciatrix at 10:00 AM on July 12 [10 favorites]


uncleozzy: "It wasn't a Ferrari, it was a bitchin' Camaro."

His parents drove it here from the Bahamas.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:04 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Actually cold salad on top of pizza is ... I don't want to say great, but at least interesting, and not entirely bad.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:11 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Actually cold salad on top of pizza is ... I don't want to say great, but at least interesting, and not entirely bad.

Raw arugula, bresaola, and shaved parmesan on unsauced, uncheesed pre-baked dough is the single acceptable use of raw vegetables on pizza and it's faaaaantastic
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:17 AM on July 12 [4 favorites]


broccoli is against the law now actually, sorry I don't make the rules.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:18 AM on July 12 [10 favorites]


Now is the time to SUPPORT companies getting rid of racist assholes, and now is the time to not boycott people that are just trying to make a wage.

It's the Rosanne problem. The issue is that they kept an obvious racist until they were forced to by them voicing their views too loudly in public.

Support companies that get rid of racists before they're forced to.
posted by Candleman at 10:21 AM on July 12 [10 favorites]


Iceberg lettuce is a shit pizza topping because it is full of water.

I know. I was a professional. My best theory is that this person was insane. Another customer wanted the pizza burnt. To a crisp. We delivered one once that seemed at least theoretically edible, and he was on the phone, bitterly complaining, at once.

Actually cold salad on top of pizza is ... I don't want to say great, but at least interesting, and not entirely bad.
No, they wanted the lettuce put on the cheese, and run through the oven.
posted by thelonius at 10:23 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


Remember when Domino's Pizza owner Tom Monaghan was the rich conservative scumbag du jour?
And the Whole Foods guy?
And the Jimmy Johns guy?
And The Koch Brothers?
And the Waltons?
Maybe, and you may call me a communist (I am after all), but maybe the problem is the nature of capitalism that rewards scumbags for being awful humans that is the problem and all of this is just symptoms (I include shitty pizza as a symptom).
posted by evilDoug at 10:30 AM on July 12 [30 favorites]


I mean, personally I am still super down for the angry pitchforks and torches mob that drives the Koch Brothers off a dark and rainy mountain cliff in our demands for monstrous justice against the cruel figures in their cold tower.

Did we remember to schedule that? I'm hoping I just missed the memo there.
posted by sciatrix at 10:33 AM on July 12 [12 favorites]


It's almost as if having a so-far unreachable monster similar to this as President makes it necessary to go after and bring down all the lesser monsters of the same ilk that we can get our hands on.

Momentarily satisfying, but not what we really need -- though it is of itself a good, and has a delicious topping of the irony that many of the monsters must have expected that this President would help insulate them from consequences such as these.
posted by jamjam at 10:43 AM on July 12 [6 favorites]


How much of the company does John Schnatter still own?

Until he can derive no profit from the company and finds himself begging for used cups of garlic dipping sauce to eat, I think it's too early to celebrate the corporation trying to save itself from its links to its conservative, bigoted (but I repeat myself) founder.
posted by anem0ne at 10:47 AM on July 12 [9 favorites]


> Chrysostom:
"uncleozzy: "It wasn't a Ferrari, it was a bitchin' Camaro."

His parents drove it here from the Bahamas."


You're kidding
posted by chavenet at 10:48 AM on July 12 [6 favorites]


I worked a lot of late nights with Indian "on-shore" contractors, and let me you, you'll never complain about pizza toppings again after spending two nights a week eating deep dish, with no cheese, no sauce, and jalapeños.

Although, once I got my neighbor's Dominos order (and come to think of it, he was also Indian coincidentally), and it was thin crust, super well done to be almost black, no cheese, and buffalo wing sauce. I tried to eat it (not knowing it was really for my neighbor), and I had to throw it away. Definitely the exception of the rule for pizza/sex of: even when it's bad, it's still pretty good.

When I called up Dominos to complain, I found out my neighbor had already called to complain about his shit pizza with cheese and tomato sauce and pepperoni (lol), and that we both had already thrown away our respective pizzas and we couldn't just go down the hall and switch.

Anyway, my main point is: people all over the world have drastically different (and valid) opinions of what toppings are good for pizza.
posted by sideshow at 10:54 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


Y'all, I appreciate that we've embarked on a Dead Milkmen derail, but maybe we should switch songs because at least I give a shit about the stuff I eat.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 11:03 AM on July 12 [7 favorites]


deep dish, with no cheese, no sauce, and jalapeños

what. how. walk me through this. it's just bread and jalapenos? wh
posted by poffin boffin at 11:10 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


none pizza with left pepper
posted by poffin boffin at 11:10 AM on July 12 [22 favorites]


yeah, super sweet dough (it was Numero Uno if you are familiar), and jalapeños. Oh and pineapple. I forgot that. Bread, jalapeños, pineapple.
posted by sideshow at 11:25 AM on July 12


i am upset
posted by poffin boffin at 11:27 AM on July 12 [4 favorites]


These are getting pretty far afield

This is like saying my favorite pizza is tuna fish on whole wheat
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:28 AM on July 12 [10 favorites]


at what point could pizza be classified as soup, please show all work.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:31 AM on July 12 [12 favorites]


Stuart, do you know what Papa John is doing to our soil?!?
posted by riverlife at 11:34 AM on July 12 [10 favorites]


Definitely the exception of the rule for pizza/sex of: even when it's bad, it's still pretty good.

Dear men, please stop saying this. Think for like two seconds what is wrong with that and just cut it from your list of go-to phrases.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 12:01 PM on July 12 [25 favorites]


Poffin boffin: challenge accepted!

Extra Deep crust
triple the sauce
Rafts of mozzerella cheese slices with pepperoni passengers

A pizza soup, with a pizza crust bread bowl
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 12:11 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


How much of the company does John Schnatter still own?

About 29 percent as of February. He will still be raking in obscene amounts of money and probably exercising a lot of control as a shareholder.
posted by Pfardentrott at 12:27 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Oh the Onion
posted by uncleozzy at 12:38 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


I delivered for PJ’s for several months back in 2000. For the record I did get paid minimum wage plus 75 cents-$1 per customer, plus tips. It was pretty good money for the hours, better than any retail job I ever had. As far as I know, none of the drivers were doing anything drug-related while on the clock, but the store manager stole tips from us and eventually quit one day without notice. Rumor had it that he absconded to Arizona with several thousand dollars of embezzled funds. (Shortly after that I transferred to a different location nearby.) And then several months later he apparently returned as store manager because thieves make great managers? Who knows.

After I quit that job (it was only a second job to make a few extra bucks), I ordered their pizza occasionally but really, a DiGiorno’s rising crust tastes better for less than half the price. After a few years Schnatter went on a tear about how he had to give employees health insurance and how that was taking a tiny but unacceptable fraction of his hundreds of millions of dollars. I haven’t ordered from there since.

These days, if I really want a delivery pizza, I’ll go with Domino’s pan pizza with pepperoni and mushroom.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:39 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


Stuart, do you know what Papa John is doing to our soil?!?

You know what, Stuart?
I like you.
You're not like the other people,
here in the pizza kitchen.`
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:40 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


I’ll go with Domino’s pan pizza with pepperoni and mushroom.

Domino's founder is a virulent anti-choicer. He's retired but I assume he still gets some of those profits and sends them on to his terrible causes.
posted by emjaybee at 12:46 PM on July 12 [7 favorites]


I approve of this thread going pizza/Dead Milkmen hybrid.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:38 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]




We went to the Philly Pizza Company
and ordered a plate of beans
the waitress said, well, no
we only have them underthought
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:41 PM on July 12 [10 favorites]


Wait, we've gotten this far into a topic having to do with fast food and hateful CEOs and NO ONE has mentioned Dan Cathy of Chick-fil-a? The one that funnels money to anti-LGBT organizations?

And I remember they actually doubled down on the whole thing by actually holding a "Chick-fil-a Appreciation Day" when folks were protesting them, so all the bigots and haters showed up at stores to get their chicken sandwiches. And the most revolting part is Dan Cathy is STILL CEO and they actually increased business during that time and are bigger than ever now, overtaking all other fast food joints to become #3 in the nation. WTF America!?

Hardly anyone defends PJ's pizza , but whenever someone mentions Chick-fil-a's nefarious doings, there's always someone piping up saying how much they love their chicken.
posted by FJT at 1:54 PM on July 12 [8 favorites]


*reminder that McDonald's southern-style chicken sandwich is basically a chikfila sandwich and just as good*
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 2:03 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


*reminder that McDonald's southern-style chicken sandwich is basically a chikfila sandwich and just as good*
I saw today that a KFC near me is advertising a pickle-fried chicken sandwich, which is likely a stab at capturing some of that market too.
posted by candyland at 2:09 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


First Papa Emeritus, now this, What's the world coming to?

I think i missed the previous brouhaha over Schnatter's antics, but I'll totally jump on the "Their pizza sucks anyway" bandwagon, and while I'm glad he got shitcanned, I'm still not about to go buying their pies now (TBF I only ever tried the one slice, but that was enough. Ew.).

Now that the conversation has turned to what does or does not belong on a pizza,though, things have gotten more interesting. I mean...
Actually cold salad on top of pizza is ... I don't want to say great, but at least interesting, and not entirely bad.
...what the Hell is wring with you people?!?
posted by Trinity-Gehenna at 2:23 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


I'm not gonna cape for chik-fil-a, fuck them, but also, they changed their entire ownership structure and charitable givings (from the company, not individuals). It shows this type of bigotry cannot stand the test of time. They'll get their big protest dollars, but they will have to back peddle to keep the money coming in.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 2:26 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of amazed that big-chain pizza is still a thing.

Between the facts that there are good local (or local-ish) pizza places almost everywhere, that many decent-sized cities have Uber or Uber-style food delivery services, and that, as Autumnheart wisely points out, DiGiorno’s rising crust tastes better for less than half the price, I wonder how long mega-chain pizza will endure.

But then I remember that, all over the world, there are indie pizza shops opening second locations, and local chains turning into statewide or multistate chains (which, for someone with my level of pizza-snootiness, seems to be the usual time where it starts to be more of a logistics problem than a making-good-pizzas problem, and the pizza starts turning to crap), and multistate chains with nationwide ambitions, and I think that, more than likely, there will be another Papa John.

And small-businesspeople are more likely to be conservative, and ones that are more driven and less into perfection or work/life balance, and more willing to cut corners and treat people poorly, are probably more likely to succeed. There are plenty of John Schnatters all the way down.
posted by box at 2:33 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


I don’t go there because it did eventually become a culture war signifier where it appeared to become more popular out of spite among people who agreed with him, but I thought Dan Cathy died.
posted by Selena777 at 2:38 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of amazed that big-chain pizza is still a thing.

Same, but I assume it's that people care less about quality than they do about price and convenience. Also the existence of newer options doesn't necessarily encourage people bc change is bad and confusing.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:51 PM on July 12 [3 favorites]


Bandwagon hating a thing he used to be associated with does not help and is no better and in fact more hurtful than the man who slings racial slurs.

Sugar, I don't care if they take him out and shoot him publicly for being a racist shitbird, I'm still not ordering pizza from PJ's. Because the pizza is utter shit. If having active, functioning tastebuds makes me more hurtful than being a racist shitbird, I'm...pretty OK with that.
posted by MissySedai at 2:53 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


I'm kind of amazed that big-chain pizza is still a thing.

That's because the Costco Food Court is either too busy or closes at 7:30 pm.

But to give a slightly more serious answer, the current trend here is the Chipotle-like "build-a-pizza" places that give you a 10-inch custom made and fresh-baked-in-front-of-you pizza for about $10. That works for one or two people, but for large group gatherings (your little league teams, office lunches, birthday parties, etc.), the big-chains are still more convenient and cheaper.
posted by FJT at 2:58 PM on July 12 [3 favorites]


[...]I thought Dan Cathy died.

Alas, no.
posted by MissySedai at 3:11 PM on July 12


lol at people not really understanding the non-big city flyovers. I can get 2 pizza companies delivered that aren't big chains - both of them are chains but they are local chains. I cannot get any other kind of food delivered to me unless I want to use the companies that fuck over their employees and the local businesses they "serve" by taking far too large a percentage and passing far too little of it on. So, yeah, if i get fucked up and want food, it's pretty much pizza hut, papa johns, or dominoes. Sure freezer pizza can be better (although I argue against Digiornos being it) but that's not why people order delivery pizza generally.

Also, we arent' tipping delivery drivers enough. Give them more.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 3:25 PM on July 12 [9 favorites]


He also reflected on his childhood in Indiana, saying people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died, according to Forbes.

Well if that's the reference point for bad behavior and racism, then we're pretty much all saints, aren't we?

What is he even saying here?


I'd be willing to bet serious money that that's pretty much what he meant - "Look at how bad things used to be, those people got it pretty good now, why are they whining?"
posted by soundguy99 at 3:45 PM on July 12 [7 favorites]


Or “I act like this because I’m from a very backwards place, look how horrible I’m not in comparison to the lowest common denominator and cut me some slack.”
posted by Selena777 at 4:10 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


Selena777: “I don’t go there because it did eventually become a culture war signifier where it appeared to become more popular out of spite among people who agreed with him, but I thought Dan Cathy died.”
You're thinking of Dan's father Truett Cathy. *spits*
posted by ob1quixote at 8:26 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


broccoli and spinach are totally great pizza toppings

My favorite pizza is topped with slightly charred brussels sprouts.
posted by praemunire at 10:17 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Papa John's pizza, and only pizza from Papa John's, is technically an open-faced sandwich.

Discuss.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 12:42 AM on July 13


I actually remember Philly Pizza Company pizza as being pretty good.
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:57 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


*reminder that McDonald's southern-style chicken sandwich is basically a chikfila sandwich and just as good*

McD's southern chicken sandwich is just as good as a Chick Fil A sandwich in the same way that their burgers are just as good as a real burger.
posted by Fleebnork at 7:09 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]


I'm kind of amazed that big-chain pizza is still a thing.

We have the best pizza I have ever tasted, exactly three blocks from my house, and still we order from chain places most of the time. Local Pizza is about $35 a pie. Chain Pizza is more like $15.
posted by arcticwoman at 8:25 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]


Local Pizza is about $35 a pie

Even doing the currency conversion that sounds bonkers to me. I can get an 18" meatball pie and an order of fried zucchini sticks delivered for a little bit less than that (not that I know exactly what that costs because it's my regular order or anything).
posted by uncleozzy at 8:57 AM on July 13


adamgreenfield: "I actually remember Philly Pizza Company pizza as being pretty good."

Yeah, but they don't have hot tea.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:15 AM on July 13


Even doing the currency conversion that sounds bonkers to me.

I looked at the menu just now to refresh my memory, and the one we get is $30 before delivery and tip. It is special occasion pizza.
posted by arcticwoman at 10:43 AM on July 13


14" pepperoni at my latest "decent place," is $20. I see commericals for chains advertising at least two pizzas for that amount.
posted by rhizome at 11:27 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]


Yeah cost is a big factor, especially if you live outside of what I call "Pizza Country", ie. the Northeast. Where I live in NC, there's really only one local place for Pizza. And they charge $20 for one 14 inch pie with a couple toppings. And since we never get pizza unless we have the whole gang at home, we have to get at least two pizzas. Or we can get pizza delivered from Pizza Hut and get two sometimes even three pizzas for the same amount of money. I grew up in a mid-size town in upstate New York and there were no less than 7 or 8 local pizza establishments. There was a lot more competition, so the price went down.
posted by katyggls at 4:26 PM on July 13


The University of Louisville is removing his name from the football stadium. The stadium deal, like pretty much everything UofL, was really odd, he owned the naming rights personally through 2040, not the company.

Papa John was synonymous with the University of Louisville, he's been by far their biggest and most visible supporter/booster for years, giving millions annually and the most well known member of the athletics board. UofL has had a rough go the past few years, a really rough go. Having him slink away is probably the best outcome for the university, but I'm going to be really interested in how long he stays away, and if he's still funding the program in a less public way say a year from now.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:04 PM on July 13 [4 favorites]


The thing that bothers me the most about this is how it illustrates the pervasiveness of magic words racism.

It isn't like Schnatter hasn't been known to be a racist and an all around asshole before this. Yet it took him being caught saying the magic word before (white) society at large would acknowledge his racism and his general awfulness.

White society has managed this really weird thing where they acknowledge that racism is bad, but limit what racism means to people who say one specific word, not people who are racist without using that magic word.

Trump illustrates this. He constantly talks about black people being stupid, he has a long and well documented history of racial discrimination in his housing projects, he uses racist stereotypes when talking about Jews, black Americans, Muslims, Chinese, Japanese, and pretty much everyone who isn't white, but none of that counts. He isn't racist (according to white culture) because there's no record of him saying "nigger".

The rumor of an audio recording of Trump using that word causes anti-Trump people to react with glee in hopes that the magic word will finally force white culture to admit his racism.

It's an amazing victory for American racists. As long as they avoid (getting caught) saying one specific word they can be as blatantly racist as they want and white people won't admit that they're racist.
posted by sotonohito at 7:05 PM on July 14 [17 favorites]


It really is, and I find it useful to take a step back and take note of what in America has to be litigated to the death in order to be accepted. My mom only needed to smell incense to suspect I was doing drugs (I wasn't, I was 11 years old), but racists? Well, you have to actually go inside their heads in order to be able to say. Ain't no "quacks like a duck" for racism, for some reason. Hypervigilance, perhaps.
posted by rhizome at 8:32 PM on July 14 [2 favorites]


White society has managed this really weird thing where they acknowledge that racism is bad, but limit what racism means to people who say one specific word, not people who are racist without using that magic word.

In which they (well, we) have been more than ably assisted by conservative media and politicians (and the mainstream media and journalists considering this as a Serious Position rather than utter horseshit) spending decades hammering on the idea that as long as the most obvious signs of racism (or sexism, or economic inequality, or or or etc etc etc) are gone, then clearly racism is a Solved Problem, and clearly anyone asking for more is a special interest group and/or a greedy individual looking to game the system for personal gain. It's really easy to start to think "well, as long as I don't use That Word it's not racism" when your media/news/political environment is full of this constant drumbeat of "Hey, we don't use That Word, we let them vote without turning the dogs and firehoses on them, we let them come to our schools, what more could they possibly want? Maybe they're trying to get somethin' for nothin' for free, and that's not fair!"
posted by soundguy99 at 10:29 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


There are plenty of John Schnatters all the way down.

This is where I inform DC-area mefites that beloved local chain Matchbox is absolute trash.
posted by duffell at 1:14 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]


"I see a lot of "his pizza wasn't good" comments on posts like these. I just want to take one moment to stress: That is not his pizza. That pizza is the product of thousands of employees who are not John and do not share his opinions. I live a near PJ's HQ, and it's a business that absolutely affects our local economy. The best thing they can start with is to take him off their advertising. Until then, remember that he's just some prick who's out of the company. Bandwagon hating a thing he used to be associated with does not help and is no better and in fact more hurtful than the man who slings racial slurs."

I very much doubt he was the only toxic person around. He's one zit popped but it's not like the face is now or ever clear of pimples. There are people as nasty as him all the way up and down that chain, from some racist teen delivering pizzas as their first job, to countless execs who casually think and say all sorts of things that go unreported or corrected. There's never just one bad apple, especially if that bad apple is near the top, you need more bad apples to make the bad apple thrones.
posted by GoblinHoney at 2:11 PM on July 16


I don’t know if anybody’s still following this story, but to update:

1. Colonel Sanders' family calls 'Papa' John a ‘weasel’ over N-word scandal
2. Papa John's founder 'isn't going quietly,' lawyer says — Schnatter just dragged Kanye West into fight with the board

Living in Kentucky, I can tell you that there are some really great people here both in and out of public life. Unfortunately, we also have the likes of Papa John, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul.
posted by SteveInMaine at 4:48 AM on July 18 [1 favorite]


That Col. Sanders story is headlined all wrong.
posted by rhizome at 10:06 AM on July 18 [1 favorite]




Forbes goes inside Papa John's, finds things very icky indeed.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:15 PM on July 19


Female employees were mocked and asked if they were menstruating. Male executives made references to “gangbangs” and comments about whether women wanted "to jump on the train."

I'm not sure why I'm always surprised, but...ugh. I remember when that creep first surfaced in my consciousness, complaining that being forced to extend health care to his employees would raise the price of a pizza by 15 cents. I was astonished that he thought that was an argument against health care. 15 cents. I just don't understand how someone can be so consistently awful.

I'm sure the only reason this stuff is coming out now is that Schnatter is being difficult post-ouster and the board wants to discredit him. Even so -- I hope every women in the company sues.
posted by grandiloquiet at 8:58 PM on July 19


Papa John's board adopts poison pill plan to keep Schnatter from re-asserting control.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:31 AM on July 25


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