National Papa John’s Franchisee Association Hires Prominent Franchisee Attorney, Robert Zarco, Esq.

The Papa Johns Franchise Association (PJFA) today announced it has engaged internationally-recognized franchisee attorney, Robert Zarco, founding partner at the Miami litigation firm of Zarco, Einhorn, Salkowski and Brito. The goal of the engagement is to arrest the ongoing decline in sales that began following Papa Johns founder, John Schnatters criticism of the NFL over the handling of the players protest of the perceived discrimination against African Americans by kneeling during the national anthem.

Having exhausted all other options, the association feels it has been left with no choice but to conduct an investigation and rectify the root causes behind the steady decline in its members store sales, said Vaughn Frey, Papa Johns Franchise Association Board Chairman.

In May, Schnatters use of an abhorrent racial slur during a media training session with the companys marketing firm became public, subsequently revealing a pervasive, toxic culture at Papa Johns that includes sexual harassment claims, confidential settlements and a bitter, public feud between Schnatter and the brand to regain control of the company. The actions of the founder have resulted in the termination of valuable sponsorship agreements between Papa Johns and several sporting organizations and a negative public presence that has harmed franchisees businesses.

The small businesses of the PJFAs members and the lives of the owners and employees of those businesses are at stake here, said Zarco. The damage to the brand image and the franchisees businesses has persisted and continues to persist. The Papa Johns system continues to struggle as Mr. Schnatter remains in the press. I will not rest until I get to the bottom of this controversy so I can assist the PJFA in conveying the concerns of its members to Papa Johns leadership and work with Papa Johns and Mr. Schnatter to reach a resolution in whatever forum necessary to serve the interests of the PJFA and its members.

Meanwhile, the PJFA believes that its members have been left to fend for themselves in the midst of all of this turmoil.


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Our members have sustained tremendous financial losses and a decrease in sales at the store level after Mr. Schnatters controversial comments, said Frey. As the Founder of the Company and its CEO, Mr. Schnatter understood the significant investment that the Company made in promoting the brand through the NFL and the sponsorship deals with several prominent sports organizations. His comments about the NFL during the Earnings Call and his use of a racial slur in the media training session with the Companys marketing firm have significantly harmed the brand and our memberships store sales.

Mr. Frey continued, The brand image has been severely tarnished by the continuing negative press coverage surrounding Mr. Schnatter and his dispute with the Company. He has put out his version of the truth on his website and has given several interviews on this issue which has kept the negative press coverage going. We are trying to move on from the controversy, but it is hard to do that when there is a new story being put out every other day about new developments relating to Mr. Schnatter and Papa Johns.

Mr. Zarco has initiated an investigation into these matters to determine what action should be taken for the franchise owners to recover their losses and protect their investments from further damage.

About the Papa Johns Franchise Association

The Papa Johns Franchise Association is comprised of franchise owners in the Papa Johns system. Its Board of Directors consists of 10 franchise owners with a combined ownership experience of more than 220 years. The PJFAs members own more than 1200 Papa Johns stores. The association was formed in 2005, and its mission is to provide a pathway for franchise owners to offer their input on Papa Johns initiatives or to voice any concerns regarding the business that can bring about change that benefits both the franchise owners and Papa Johns. The association wants a true partnership with Papa Johns so that it could play a role in major decisions that affect franchise owners.

Coltrin & Associates
Jennifer Webb, 212-221-1616
[email protected]