Papa John's Workers Fired After Butt-Dialing Customers

John Schnatter, Papa John's chairman and CEOBy Susanna Kim

Papa John's Chairman and CEO John Schnatter apologized to a customer in Sanford, Fla., for a racist rant a Papa John's delivery man inadvertently left on the customer's voicemail. After he delivered a pizza to the Sanford customer and his wife Sunday evening, the delivery man "butt dialed" the customer and left a voicemail message laden with racial slurs as he complained about his tip. The customer posted a video on YouTube in which he showed the pizza delivery receipt, explaining he and his wife tipped 21 percent, "as usual." In the voicemail message, which lasts about four minutes, the Papa John's employee complains to another Papa John's employee about the $5 tip and uses the N-word and other racial expletives, which he also incorporated into a song about the customer.

"I guess that's the only requirement for being a [insert N-word] in Sanford," a city still reeling from racial tensions after the shooting of Trayvon Martin last year.

"Yeah, they give me five bucks there -- fine outstanding African-American gentleman of the community," the delivery man can be heard saying in the call. His fellow co-worker laughed in response.

More: Pastor Refuses To Pay Tip -- And Receipt Goes Viral

Schnatter posted an apology on Papa John's Facebook page on Monday afternoon. "Friends, I am extremely concerned to learn about the reprehensible language used by two former employees in one of our restaurants," the Facebook post stated. "Their thinking and actions defy both my personal and the company's values, and everything for which this company stands." Schnatter said the employees "responsible for this absolutely unacceptable behavior were immediately terminated."

"My heartfelt apology goes out to the customer involved, his family and our community at large. I am very sorry that anyone would be exposed to these hurtful and painful words by any person involved in any way with our company," Schnatter said.

A call to Papa John's by ABC News for further comment was not immediately returned. Many Facebook users who commented in response to Schnatter's post applauded his public apology. One Facebook user said Schnatter is "a CEO that actually takes responsibility for the actions of his employees. You can't control employees, but you can take appropriate action."

In January 2012, a customer was described on a paper receipt as "Lady Chink Eyes" by a Papa John's employee in New York City. Last month, a CVS customer in New Jersey filed a million-dollar lawsuit against CVS for being called, "Lee, Ching Chong."

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dimaster44

I TO WAS CALLED NAMES IN SCHOOL 35 YEARS AGO WHO CAN I FILE A SUIT AGAINST

June 19 2013 at 8:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dimaster44's comment
cakibler

Start with your English teacher. She or he obviously failed in your case. Don't use all upper case letters when posting either, it's considered rude.

June 19 2013 at 9:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
heofunum

ching chong = lawsuit?
wow. I am going to file lawsuits against all the former classmates who called me a four-eyed creep when I was in elem school.!

June 19 2013 at 2:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rhogenesr

since when did tipping become part of the price. that being the case pizza $10. tip $10.00.
it seem that people in the food service industry expect a 20% plus tip regardless to the service, given bad attitude and all.

June 19 2013 at 1:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ronnyc57

Move to NY, so you can get good home made pizza. You hicks that eat Pee Pee Johns have no idea what real pizza is. Ketchup and egg-noodles anyone ??

June 19 2013 at 10:32 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ronnyc57's comment
thomgrisso

Thanks for the advise runny!!
No doubt the NYC Pizza made you the fine example of twit that you are !!
Thanks but no thanks on the NYC advise..
I will let you go now as no doubt you need to "pee pee"?
Hmm when you are old enough to be called an adult you will drop the ny from ronny or does that stand for Ron of NY? Twit!

June 19 2013 at 12:08 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to thomgrisso's comment
Mr. Golf

thomgrisso, it was ronny, not runny, and it was advice, not advise. He was advising you so your response should have been thanks for the advice. Take a minute to learn the English language BEFORE you make fun of others.

June 24 2013 at 5:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
beth.smith2412

remember when pizza hut fired a kid for protecting himself during a robbery? guess your suppose to die cause you dropped a few pizzas huh pizza hut? papa johns tates better anyway!

June 19 2013 at 9:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
beth.smith2412

well remember when pizza hut fired a kid for protecting himself during a robbery? i do..papa johns tastes better anyway

June 19 2013 at 9:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
joey22

the HELL with pizza delivery people..who do they THINK THEY ARE?? I'm NEVER Tipping one again....Mark that Down....

June 19 2013 at 9:24 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to joey22's comment
creahginmyst

I sure you have a point that matters ?

June 19 2013 at 10:36 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to creahginmyst's comment
thomgrisso

I can't seem to see one either ?

June 19 2013 at 12:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
AnneMarie

Damned if you do and damned if you don't

June 19 2013 at 8:52 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Nona

I am often shaking my head when reading comments about articles on line and how so many peoples rants have nothing at all to do with the subject. I laugh when the subject of a rude and obviously ignorant pizza delivery person, is twisted into Obamacare and gun control. Really? Stick to the subject on hand people otherwise you risk yourselves appearing to be a self important whiner. Good God!

June 04 2013 at 7:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike Weston

"Jesse": Papa John is the CEO, so I don't think he'll fire himself. I agree that their pizza is not very good, but the man seems to be of high character. As for bringing Chick Fil A into this, I can't help but think this is political on your part. I love their food and respect their values and beliefs, unlike you. I think they'll do just fine without you and the "gay marriage" mafia. The only scumbags are you and the sore losers who get mad they can't impose their constantly evolving morals on others.

June 03 2013 at 7:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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