Papa John's apologizes for racist voicemail, fires culprits

May 28, 2013

Papa John's promptly fired two of its Florida employees after a customer posted their inadvertent "butt dialed" voicemail filled with racial slurs.

According to the Daily Dot, a black Papa John's customer in Sanford, Fla., discovered the voicemail after a Papa John's delivery driver left his house. In the message, the employee mocked the customer and his wife of being bad tippers (he tipped the driver 21 percent) and sang a song filled with the "n-word." The employee also said the customer was "so black, fireflies follow him around in the daytime."

The Sanford store received more than 300 angry calls after the video was posted online, first appearing on WorldStarHipHop and YouTube.

"As an African-American in this community and also someone who has always tipped their Delivery Drivers 21 percent, I am disgusted entirely by this conversation," the customer wrote in his submission of the video to World Star Hip Hop."Instead of focusing on 'better ingredients' and 'better pizza,' they should prioritize 'better integrity' and 'better people' on the top of their 'to-do list.'"

The incident has caused some uproar on the Papa John's Facebook page, with a few fans vowing to never eat their again. However, CEO/founder John Schnatter issued a full statement on Sunday about the incident, which has also received much praise. It reads:

"Friends, I am extremely concerned to learn about the reprehensible language used by two former employees in one of our restaurants. Their thinking and actions defy both my personal and the company's values, and everything for which this company stands. The employees responsible for this absolutely unacceptable behavior were immediately terminated.

My heartfelt apology goes out to the customer involved, his family, and our community at large. I am very sorry that anyone would be exposed to these hurtful and painful words by any person involved in any way with our company.

Thank you for your important comments. I have personally reached out to our customer to share my own thoughts and offer my deepest apology."

Click the video below to listen to the voicemail.

Read more about customer experience/service.

Topics: Customer Service / Experience , Online / Mobile / Social , Operations Management

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