Papa John’s is becoming less possessive about its brand name.
The pizza chain is launching a new brand identity that includes dropping the apostrophe from its name, the company said in a news release on Tuesday. “Papa John’s” will now be known as “Papa Johns” in its branding and marketing.
The company name, Papa John’s International, will not be changing its name, a spokesperson said.
The company also unveiled a new, apostrophe-free logo and a new restaurant logo, according to the news release.
“We are evolving how the Papa Johns experience comes to life across all touchpoints, while remaining true to what got us where we are today and bringing to life our continued aspirations to improve and grow,” Max Wetzel, Papa Johns’ chief commercial officer, said in a statement. “This new experience is both a celebration of our tremendous momentum and a vision to inspire future growth.”
John Schnatter, who founded the chain in 1984, was known as “Papa John.” In a statement on Tuesday, Schnatter, who resigned as the company’s chairman of the board, was known as “Papa John.” He resigned after a controversy over a training exercise he participated in, during which he used a racial slur.
Schnatter called the chain’s name change “misplaced.”
“My criticism of company management over the past three years has rested largely on their refusal to admit they were wrong about the false media narrative about me and my legacy, and their failure to maintain a commitment to the principles on which we built the company brand, including consistent product quality with every single pizza made,” Schnatter said. “Considering the enduring association of Papa John with the brand, the company’s change to the brand logo today is misplaced. Instead of being obsessed with Papa John and irrelevant changes to the brand logo, the company should become obsessed once again with making quality Papa John’s pizza consistently. Try as they may, they can’t have Papa Johns without Papa John.”
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