Business
11:44 am
Thu November 15, 2012

And So 'National Papa John's Appreciation Day' is Declared

The politics of ordering a pizza for Friday's dinner just got significantly more complicated than the usual arguments over toppings.

In response to criticism of Papa John's chief executive John Schnatter's comments criticizing the Affordable Care Act, Freedomworks -- the conservative organization closely tied with the Tea Party -- issued a statement Thursday urging people to make Friday "National Papa John's Appreciation Day."

The day of support for the Louisville-based pizza chain was begun by Reboot USA. And, of course, it has a Facebook page. There, supporters are urged to:

1. Like Papa John’s on Facebook

2. Change your Facebook avatar to the Papa John’s logo on Friday

3. Have a pizza on Friday! Take a picture of yourself and share on Facebook, as well as on Twitter with #IStandWithPapaJohns

4. If there is not a Papa John’s near you, simply tweet your support with the above hashtag

Last week, Schnatter was quoted by a Naples newspaper saying that some Papa John's franchisees would likely cut hours to keep from having to offer healthcare to workers. In August, Schnatter said the Affordable Care Act -- often called Obamacare -- would cause an increase in pizza prices.

"If Obamacare is in fact not repealed, we will find tactics to shallow out any Obamacare costs and core strategies to pass that cost onto consumers in order to protect our shareholders best interests," Schnatter said at the time during a conference call.

Here's what Freedomworks said Thursday, as it urged Obamacare critics to make their Friday night dinner plans early:

"There was the expected liberal backlash. As has become routine for those who oppose anything related to Obama, Schattner was accused of racism. He was also painted as a wealthy man who was willing to hurt workers for his own bottom line or simply to be anti-Obama."

Freedomworks noted the long lines at Chick-fil-a restaurants across the nation this summer when a similar appreciation day was created for the chicken chain, after its chief executive was criticized for his comments on gay marriage.

A Papa John's spokeswoman did not immediately return a telephone message and e-mail from WFPL seeking comment. We'll update when she gets back to us.