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Papa’s in the House: The Massive Mansion that Papa John’s Pizza Built

There are few things Americans disagree on more than politics and pizza toppings, so it’s not surprising partisan pizza maker “Papa John” Schnatter is in the middle of a political firestorm. A longtime critic of Obamacare, the Papa John’s CEO recently announced employee hours would probably be reduced to avoid the additional $5-8 million cost of providing all full-time employees with government-mandated health insurance.

The announcement lit a fuse on the internet, sparking debate not seen since the recent flareup over Chick-fil-A’s gay marriage controversy. Amidst the online bickering of armchair economists, Schnatter’s opulent 40,000-square-foot castle in Kentucky was dragged into the fight. Critics pointed to the Papa John’s CEO’s immense wealth ($600 million net worth) and enormous home as reason enough he could afford the increased health care costs. After all, critics argued, if he doesn’t have the coin for his workers’ health care how can he afford a promotion to give away 2 million pizzas or own a home with these deluxe amenities:

  • Multi-level 22 car underground garage
  • Multiple swimming pools
  • Private golf course
  • Gigantic motorized turntable-driveway to park stretch limousines
  • 6,000-square-foot guest house
  • Office for valet parking

But while this massive mansion received plenty of criticism, many have came to the defense of the pizza magnate. Numerous supporters spoke out on social media, and recently it was announced that Friday, November 16 will be National Papa John’s Appreciation Day.

Schnatter’s sprawling home was recently the site of a Mitt Romney fundraiser, in which the former presidential candidate praised the Republican donor, saying “Who would’ve imagined pizza could build this?” In addition to similar political beliefs, both men share an enthusiasm for large homes and car elevators.

The controversy hasn’t deterred Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning from buying 21 Papa John’s franchises in Colorado. Many, including sports reporter Rick Reilly, credited Manning for the timing of his purchase since marijuana becomes legal in Colorado in one week.

With Papa John’s stock suddenly down and a boycott on the way, it seems like the fast food franchise had hit bottom, but today things got worse. In the U.S. District Court in Seattle, attorneys representing people who received spam emails filed a class action lawsuit against Papa John’s Pizza that they say could cost the pizza chain $250 million.  No matter what happens to Papa John’s though, John Schnatter has a pretty sweet home to hang out in until these controversies blow over.


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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000353427816 Sherry Gay

    BUT you don’t want to give your people HEALTHCARE?

  • Victor

    He is turning to be worst than Walmart!!!

  • Joe the Plumb bob

    He got all that by working long hours, devoting himself to his dream and generally busting his ass. You would do well to learn by his example rather than piss and moan because you aren’t there yet. If you’ve given up on yourself, then you’ll want to take his stuff. Is that what you’re saying, Sherry and Victor? Are you willing to admit your lives are failures? Why is he greedy for trying to keep what he has created, and you’re somehow not for trying to take it WITHOUT EARNING IT?

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  • john

    Has nothing to do with not wanting to earn it. What about the mny hard working people that work for him full time that helps him make the money that he does, often for little pay that is not even a living wage. Is it to much to ask for health care for you and your family? The amount it would cost him is peanuts compared to what he makes. Wake up America. It is time we stand together!

  • beerandpolitics

    At the vey least, we should make a point to call out extremely wealthy CEOs when they stand there and tell us that pay cuts are “the only option”. unless my calculator is broken, he could take about a 1% paycut and cover the whole thing, company-wide. Of course, we understand that they don’t WANT to do this…but it’s not the case that it’s somehow not doable.

  • frantzhollywood

    Due to the Obamacare passing ,elevated health care costs have risen to an un-affordable level for most companies that in the past have split the premium cost with employees.This company succeeds on the sheer volume and branding. I would never expect that if i ever worked for a fastfood pizza establishment that I would have any healthcare plan …get real people.

  • Dana Smith

    I know for a fact u dont work for him or u wouldn’t have such dumba.. Stuff to say about this. Let u or ur family go without insurance and u work for him. See how u would like it.

  • mark

    You can either be a socialist or you can understand economics.

  • yo

    Haha…none of you can even spell… just shows you are the lower class that is jealous when someone actually works hard and makes it…. Another person looking to mooch off someone that made it.. Good luck in life!

  • Steven Ams

    You dont deserve free healthcare working for a pizza place im sorry, u get what u earn and if u are going for a career through a pizza store u need to rethink your career options.

  • Laurie

    I’m sure he feels like he’s pissing the money away by “giving” it to the doomed Obamacare…this whole program is a runaway train on a dead end track headed for a mountain side…

  • jason s

    If you feel that way, my mortgage is due. I have a few other things that I’d like for free workout working for it. Stand together