Papa John’s Price Increase Is Not ‘Because Of Obamacare,’ CEO Pledges To Pass Costs On To Consumers

COMMENTARY | Papa John’s price increase has become a political dispute in recent days, as the company’s CEO has threatened Americans who live in localities with apparently sucky pizza with a several-cents per pie increase… blaming the president and his controversial Obamacare act for their pricing policies.

At the heart of the Papa John’s price increase debate is an issue everyone where I live (New York) takes very seriously: really, really really really bad pizza. And Papa John’s pizza, whether the price increases or not, is some of the worst in the nation.

But I get it, I do, about the Papa John’s price increase — not everyone has DiFara or Grimaldi’s in their backyard to get a truly decent pie or slice, and you’re dependent on whatever pineapple-laden monstrosity Papa John’s is shilling for your pizza fix.

So Papa John’s CEO has discussed the impending price increase, as we reported earlier. John Schnatter — whose name, I should point out, does not sound Italian at all — has threatened pizza-loving Americans (we are using the term pizza here quite loosely) ahead of the election that the costs of expanded access to healthcare will work out to be roughly ten to eleven cents per pizza, saying:

“Our best estimate is that the Obamacare will cost 11 to 14 cents per pizza, or 15 to 20 cents per order from a corporate basis. We’re not supportive of Obamacare, like most businesses in our industry. But our business model and unit economics are about as ideal as you can get for a food company to absorb Obamacare.”

Did we mention Schnatter supports and fundraises for Mitt Romney? Just throwing that out there. And what you should know, via Mediate, is that Schnatter has also said:

“If Obamacare is in fact not repealed, we will find tactics to shallow out any Obamacare costs and core strategies to pass that cost onto consumers in order to protect our shareholders best interests.”

Well, if I ate that suck-tastic excuse for pizza, I’d certainly feel like I wanna give that guy my money. Anyway, here’s where the Papa John’s price increase contention falls apart — unless every pizza joint across the great United States of America, from sea to shining sea, is jacking up prices, this is not because of Obamacare.

Think about it. When has a big national chain every not used any convenient excuse to wring more money out of you and blame something like weather or the government?

You can continue patronizing Papa John’s after the price increase, or you can go to your local pizza joint and enjoy a likely-to-be-better pizza, politics free. Heck, even Domino’s and Pizza Hut is letting you decide who you want to vote for without holding their wares over your head as a political bargaining chip.

Do you think the politics in fast-food like the Papa John’s price increase is getting out of hand?