After a series of bad publicity courtesy of John Schnatter’s utterances, Papa John’s is finally on a road to recovery, thanks to a smart move made by CEO Steve Ritchie. In his bid to turn around the fortunes of the company that were fast dwindling, Steve wrote a well-crafted apology letter to customers.
In the letter, Steve owned own up to the mistakes made by John Schnatter courtesy of his offensive utterances. He acknowledged the fact that the words were hurtful to them and that it was regrettable to have come from a person of John’s caliber. However, he was quick to point out to them that the words were in no way a representation of what the company values stand for. Being the leader he is at Papa Johns, Steve said he was sorry and that at no point in time has insensitive language and racism been tolerated at the company.
Steve Ritchie went ahead to assure their customers that it is not only about words but they will be taking action. He specified some measures to be taken in their bid to try and reinstall trust and retain the company’s reputation. One of the measures he spelled out is that they will be looking to bring in external auditors. These experts will audit the company’s diversity, values, and culture. With this, the company will get to understand its strengths and weaknesses. In addition to this, Steve assured customers that they will maintain transparency in all their operations and that everyone was free to hold them accountable in their dealings.
With these, Steve Ritchie reiterated that he will personally be involved in implementing these measures. He thanked all the customers who have been with them all along and hoped that they will remain supportive even during such turbulent times.
With this letter, Ritchie demonstrated a sense of honesty and transparency. Reading the letter, one sees empathy and vulnerability, something that will appeal to the target audience. The fact that he distanced Schnatter’s views from the company have helped save face and this will see more customers understand the situation from his point of view.
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