When Steve Ritchie came to Papa John’s in 1996, he launched on a career that would take him through several years of fantastic growth, new experiences, development, and new responsibilities and end with him leading thousands into a new level of growth for Papa John’s. First of all, in 1996 Papa John was increasing at nearly a new store a day for several years. The company had previously launched into the free world, and it was no longer the private company it once was when it began in 1983. The broom closet that had been gutted out and replaced by a pizza stove in the back of a gas station was no longer just a place to stop, get gas, and an option of a pizza, but it was growing into a global giant on NASDAQ. It would soon become the third-largest pizza brand in the world, and the fans of Papa John perceive ti to be the Number One Pizza company in the world.
Promotions From Within
Papa John has a practice of promoting from within, and 98% of its managers come from delivery-drivers, hourly wage earners, and team-leaders, an incentive for young and old employees. When Steve Ritchie first began, he was hired as a customer service representative, which was a pervasive role to play in a fast-food restaurant. Orders need to be taken, customers need to be met, and there needs to be a friendly face matching customers, while management deals with the myriad details that are required for a fast-food pizza restaurant. Steve Ritchie stayed in this capacity from 1996-2006.
From Franchise to Executive Suit and Tie
In a few years, Steve Ritchie went through several promotions that catapulted his career from the ground floor to the executive level positions. For example, in 2006, he moved from customer service representative to the operator of his restaurant as a franchise owner, which he kept until 2015 when he was promoted to become the Chief Operations Officer, then in 2016 to another promotion as President of Papa John. The COO and President are both executive roles and allow the person, in this case, Steve Ritchie, to work closely with the CEO on a day ot day basis. Those who have worked with Steve Ritchie said his habits were excellent and was always giving 100% of himself ot his duties, which would be a perfect candidate for all kinds of promotions for management looking for dependable employees who were willing to take on more responsibility.
From COO to President Culture
Finally, in 2018, January 1st, Steve Ritchie got the final word that he would be promoted to become the next CEO of Papa John. Steve Ritchie responded in his modest tone that he was “humbled” is being given the role, and he also looked forward to continuing to work closely with team-leaders, says a reporter who interviewed him on that day. Ritchie also said he was interested in giving customers the same excellent level of service which they had grown to enjoy from the Papa John Brand.