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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

  • al

    Lets be fucking real, it’s a summer job for kids

  • al

    Lets be fucking real, it’s a summer job for kids.

  • Linda Gottbrath

    I applaude Papa John’s no matter what his reasons might be. Obamacare takes away our rights. I do not think it fair that I must support murder. When you are pro-life you support life from conception to natural death. I am pro-life. Nor do I give my tax money for them to give it to murderers. More people should stand up against this travisty of justice. If it is health care then it should take care of the unborn as well as the elderly with life saving remedies. Obamacare is not health care when it provides death care. Let us get some health care and maybe people like Papa John’s and others will support true health care.

  • john haney

    I agree he worked hard to make the business he did but why does he have to be so greedy? I think he likes the lime light and rubbing elbow with celebrities. I think he should cut Payton’s salary and see what happens.
    Sorry, I like to see people make money, big money, but this guy is just down right Greedy!
    Help your employees. Let them live a a liveable life and not have to work 2 jobs.
    I would like to see him on undercover boss just to see what he does for them. Probably free 1 topping pizza for a month!

  • TheBuba1212 .

    Joe your dumb as a plumb bob to make a statement

  • TheBuba1212 .

    Why is it the conservative always says the liberals want free stuff, but it is them that always ask for it

  • TheBuba1212 .

    Tell that to my neighbor we live in florida and the main industry is the service industry for the tourist it is not just a summer job for the kids

  • TheBuba1212 .

    OK steve then start making your own pizzas cause if every one else quits you will have to

  • TheBuba1212 .

    Damn health care cost never was raised before the ACA was passed I like the Imaginary world you live in

  • TheBuba1212 .

    Oh so you do not want the socialist programs like for instance the streets the police the fire dept. I think it is time for the tax dollars to work for the citizens and not the 1%

  • TheBuba1212 .

    Most of the comments here are just plain stupid, I guess the citizens of this country are truly uneducated

  • TheBuba1212 .

    joe to make a statement like that your dumb as a plumb bob

  • luis leon

    Why is he still the pizza of the NFL?? ??his home looks like a castle from game of thrones.but he can’t afford health care for his employees,, instead he
    cuts their hours so he legally does not have to .. Scum bag!

  • Brian Mckay

    This guy knows how to be a true American….work hard and don’t complain that life isn’t fair! Stop asking the government to take care of you and work hard to become a true American independent….THAT is the “American Dream”…not complaining and waiting for a handout and then when you don’t get it, you blame the folks not giving you a handout!

  • John Humphrey

    the answer is simple…… if you disagree with Papa Johns tactics then just don’t frequent his establishments. How hard is that?

  • John Humphrey

    and since when is a 15″ pizza worth $15-$21?
    common sense should prevail here but apparently people prefer to dicker,bitch,and complain rather than think through things themselves. That is why Springer, Wilcos, Maury, and other tv shows are popular. The public can view dumbasses air their stupidity online and on the air.

  • Andrew Brady

    it would be far more than a 1% cut for him (I dont know the actual figure). 1% of his net worth would pay for it for a year.