Papa John's CEO John Schnatter on a conference call with shareholders last week said that President Barack Obama's healthcare law, dubbed "Obamacare," will cause the pizza chain's prices to increase, Politico reported.
That price increase will then be passed down to consumers, resulting in an additional 11-14 cents per pizza, Schnatter told shareholders.
Soon after word spread, the pizza chain's Facebook page lit up with comments, ABC News reported, some of which chided Schnatter for his comments, others writing that they'd be happy to pay more so that his employees can have healthcare.
On Wednesday, Papa John's responded with the following statement on Facebook:
There's been a lot of buzz about some comments made recently by our founder regarding the potential impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on our business. We certainly understand the importance of healthcare to our customers, our employees, small business owners and their employees.
As a publicly traded company, we were responding to a direct question from an analyst on our quarterly financial conference call about the anticipated costs of complying with the Act. When certain business costs increase – such as fuel, ingredients or employee healthcare – there is naturally an impact to the price of products and services.
The vast majority of Papa John's restaurants are owned by small business people, each of whom will be impacted in different ways by costs associated with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Papa John’s remains fully committed to providing our customers with better ingredients and better pizza at the best value.