Papa John’s Pizza is now coming with a side order of free tuition. There are new reports that say the nationwide chain has launched a brand new tuition assistance program for its employees and it’s one that has garnered plenty of raves so far.
According to USA Today, Papa John’s International is serving up a one-of-a-kind free tuition program for its employees. Corporate employees can receive up to 100 percent tuition coverage based on eligibility.
Partnering with Purdue University Global, Papa John’s is hoping that its new program will help their 20,000 corporate employees and 70,000 franchise employees graduate from college. Their initiative is to help employees further their education and career goals by taking away the financial burden than comes with paying for school tuition.
“People are our most important ingredient and we are always looking for new ways to make Papa John’s a better place to work,” Steve Ritchie, president and CEO of Papa John’s, said in a statement to the press. “We believe this is a truly unique tuition program in our industry. We’re excited to partner with such a well-respected institution to help us deliver on such a robust career growth opportunity for team members who want to pursue their goals to further their education.”
Many of the company’s hourly employees work long hours or double shifts as delivery drivers, shift managers, and customer service reps in order to make ends meet. The company also promises to promote from within and make sure that young adults graduate with a high school diploma, and eventually with a University degree.
Papa John’s is not the first franchise to come up with the idea of helping their employees with the costs of their higher education. Starbucks and Taco Bell have done the same, with Starbucks planning to spend at least $250 million dollars to help its 25,000 employees graduate from universities with their College Achievement Plan.
Meanwhile, insiders are saying that the company is hoping to rebuild their brand from within after a series of negative press that have hurt the franchise’s reputation. Back in 2018, Papa John’s founder John Schnatter was forced to deny that he used a racial slur during a companywide conference call. Schantter was also forced to step down when he publicly criticized the NFL and their “take a knee” national anthem protests. Schnatter insists that his comments in both incidents were mischaracterized.