Steve Ritchie Welcomes New Position as CEO and to Bring Papa John’s to Next Level of Growth

In 1996 Steve Ritchie came to Papa John’s to apply for a job. He may or may not have seen how much activity was surrounding the company that had just launched its IPO just three years earlier in 1993. After one year of its IPO, whether because of the growth from the IPO or what had already been growing from its beginning in 1983, Papa John’s had 500 restaurants throughout the country. Following 1994-1997, just three years later, we have the reports that Papa John’s had grown to 1,500 restaurants throughout the country and internationally. It surely a sign of what was to come and figures that must have been on pizza-purveyors minds throughout the country. Steve Ritchie arrived just as this flurry of activity was beginning to take place in the Papa John Culture. Steve Ritchie was hired as a customer service representative, a part of the fast-food delivery service that was both common but necessary. Common because someone had to be the face of the corporation when people came to order pizzas, but necessary because of the segmentation of each duty as part of a logistic chain from receiving the order to its going out the door or in the case of Papa John’s the door with the deliver-drivers to the door with the customer. Steve Ritchie kept that position until 2006 when he took a different opportunity and ran with it for another eight years.

Customer Service to Franchise Owner

As mentioned above, Steve Ritchie was a customer service representative for his first ten years, but in 2006 he got the opportunity to get into the operations of Papa John and opened his own franchise. Managing a franchise day today would have been a different challenge for the new manager, but one that was possible to accomplish because of the new training facilities that Papa John required of all its new franchises. For those who worked with Steve Ritchie, they made it know that he was alway excellent in carrying out his responsibilities and eager to get promoted. One of the common practices of Papa John, which itself drew lots of people to the business, was the way it hired from within. Evidently from its beginning, 98% of its promotion to management positions came from three places at Papa John’s: delivery-drivers, hourly workers, or team-leaders.

Owner and Operator to COO

In 2014 Steve Ritchie was promoted to Chief Operations Officer, which would allow him to work day-to-day with the CEO and begin making decisions along with the upper executive staff. Then a year later, 2015, Steve Ritchie was promoted to President. Finally, in 2018, Steve Ritchie was lastly promoted to the position of Chief Executive Officer. A reporter who interviewed him that day report him as saying how “humbled” he felt in having the opportunity to work with such a great company and to have a role in helping the brand grow to the next level, a position he looked forward to. Steve Ritchie said he was looking forward to working with team-leaders and continuing the tradition of bringing excellent service to consumers who perceived Papa John’s to be the Number One Pizza company in the world.

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