Steve Ritchie Goes From Customer Service Rep To CEO At Papa John’s

Steve Ritchie is the chief executive officer of Papa John’s. He started working for this company in 1996 when he was earning $6 an hour as a customer service rep. His hard work and dedication led to him advancing his career and 10 years later he became one of this pizza chain’s franchise owners. In 2010 he transitioned to their corporate headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, and became involved in the overall day-to-day operations.

In 2014, in a post from,  he was named as the new chief operating officer of Papa John’s. A year later he became the president and it was determined that he would become the CEO of the company in the next few years. It was on December 21, 2017, that Steve Ritchie earned the top position at Papa John’s.

He now oversees a company that is international in scope. Papa John’s has over 120,000 people working for it in between the corporation itself and the franchises. There are about 5,000 storefronts with around 3,500 of those being in the United States and the rest in 45 countries around the world. Steve Ritchie says that the best and most important ingredient they have is the team members who work for this company. This is why 98% of the store managers are people who were promoted from hourly positions such as delivery drivers and shift managers.

The first Papa John’s was established on October 2, 1984. It became very popular and in 1993 it was sufficiently large enough to have an initial public offering. By the time Steve Ritchie joined this company it had 1,500 restaurants from where customers could pick up a pizza or have one delivered. It first expanded internationally into the United Kingdom in 2001 and now has 300 stores there. Steve Ritchie says that Spain has also become one of the most important nations for his company and now operates 42 restaurants there.

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