What You Don’t Know About Papa John, The Man Behind Your Pizza


There’s nothing more satisfying that biting into a hot slice of pizza. Whatever your preference — plain cheese, pepperoni, or supreme — everyone can appreciate a cheesy pie.

Papa John’s Pizza is one of the biggest names in the business, and the face of the operation has a few secrets under his sleeve. Papa John really went the extra mile to protect his prized possessions in slide #4!

10. He Wasn’t Always Destined For Pizza Greatness

Papa John’s creator — John Schnatter — wasn’t planning on owning and operating a pizza empire. Schnatter applied to law school at the University of Louisville but was rejected, leading him to his current occupation and serious success.

Slide #7 proves everything happens for a reason, especially for this pizza master!

9. Public Speaking Is Not His Piece Of Pie

Although Papa John is constantly appearing in television commercials and represents his entire international chain of restaurants, he would be the first to admit he has a fear of public speaking.

He even admits he has “a real problem with the English language,” but since working with a coach, he has definitely improved keeping his cool in front of audiences.

8. He Lives In A Little Slice Of Heaven

John Schnatter lives in a remarkable 40,000 square foot mansion in his home state of Kentucky. This includes his very own car wash and a 22-car garage to accompany it. Papa John enjoys the finer things in life, and he’s very serious about his dough in slide #5!

7. Schnatter Made Sacrifices That Paid Off Big

Before hitting it big, Papa John was forced to sell his beloved 1972 Chevy Camaro Z28 to help his dad’s tavern get out of a financial rut. After he began rolling in dough from his success in pizza, he hunted this prized possession down and bought it back for $250,000!

6. His Excellence All Started From A Broom Closet

Schnatter first began making pizza out of a broom closet at his father’s tavern, and after an entire year, he was able to open up his own pizza shop. Today there are more than 4,700 Papa John’s Pizza shops worldwide. Slide #2 reveals Papa John can get pretty political!

5. He’s All Business When It Comes To Those Better Ingredients

Papa John has high standards when it comes to his pizza pies, and he makes it a point to make sure his standards are met. Schnatter is even known to visit individual stores to check up on their pie-making skills, and if he isn’t satisfied he throws it out!

4. His Hands Are Worth Multiple Millions

Papa John knows how to throw some dough and spread just the right amount of sauce, and he wants it to stay that way. Schnatter had his hands insured for $15.3 million in 2015 — a smart move for a man that has dedicated his life to the art of pizza!

3. Neighbors Don’t Appreciate His Noise

He may make some great pizza, but his neighbors weren’t too thrilled about the helicopter landing strip built on the land of his Kentucky mansion. Schnatter tried to keep the peace by constructing a two-mile walking trail open to the public. Papa John really caused a stir in slide #1!

2. Papa John Is Really Republican

John Schnatter has been very open about his political views and his alliance with the Republican party. He actually donated $20,000 to the party just in July of 2016.

In 2012 he came under fire for stating he would have to increase the cost of pizza by 14 cents to provide healthcare to full-time employees under Obama’s healthcare reform. This might explain his signature red shirt!

1. He Always Comes Back For More Cheesy Goodness

John Schnatter actually left his business behind twice, but he always returns to his successful pizza empire. He went as far as to give up the title of CEO in exchange for golf and more family time, but later returned to his rightful throne.

You can never separate a man from his delicious pizza destiny!

There is a story behind every business, and Papa John is definitely a man of many saucy surprises. A lot goes into building an empire from the ground up, and he’s certainly had his share of ups and downs. From starting his business in a broom closet to operating thousands of stores across the globe, it’s still all about that perfect slice.

There’s nothing that brings people together more than the love of pizza, and Papa John definitely knows the way to our hearts. Better ingredients and better pizza? Sounds like a win-win situation to us.