Pizza Hut’s CEO Jabbed At Papa John’s Complaint About NFL Protests Hurting His Sales

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The debate over the effect of NFL players protesting the national anthem has gone from sublime to utterly ridiculous. When pizza chains are legitimately arguing over whether or not protests are hurting sales, it clearly falls into the latter.

Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter made headlines when he blamed the company’s lack of revenue on NFL players protesting the national anthem. Schnatter believed that the entire saga of anthem protests should’ve been “nipped in the bud” when Colin Kaepernick began kneeling for the anthem over a year ago. Whether or not Big Papa Schnatter’s claims hold water or not, remains a mystery.

However, not every brand of pizza is feeling the pain that Papa John’s is. CEO of Yum Brands, Greg Creed claims that the anthem protests aren’t hurting Pizza Hut’s business at all. It stands to note that Pizza Hut, while being a popular pizza chain, isn’t the official pizza chain of the NFL. That would be Papa John’s, so whether or not protests and a connection to the NFL would hurt them isn’t quite the same, but it’s still fun to see a pizza brand war.

(via Business Insider)

We’re not seeing impact on any of that on our business,” Greg Creed, CEO of Pizza Hut’s parent company Yum Brands, said in a call with investors on Thursday.

Creed said that Pizza Hut does benefit from live sporting events, including baseball, college football, and the NFL. Pizza Hut is the official sponsor of the NCAA, making college sports especially important to the chain.

Papa John’s isn’t only taking digs from Pizza Hut, though, as popular frozen pizza brand DiGiorno’s has been sending shots via Twitter at Big Papa. Digiorno’s claimed that Papa John’s brand had copied their rising crust recipe back in 2016, and they brought back the receipts in the wake of Papa John’s recent struggles.

Clearly the war over who runs the streets when it comes to pizza is a very serious business. Petty wars aren’t just for athletes on social media, as it apparently spills over into pizza companies as well.