Papa Johns International, Inc. highlighted the staffing challenges the pizza chain – and the rest of the restaurant industry – has faced in a letter sent out to guests the weekend of Feb. 5. The Louisville, Ky.-based company asked guests to be patient as it “navigates restaurant operations during this unprecedented time” with effects including reduced hours, some temporary store closures, and limited availability of delivery drivers.
“You have helped us persevere through a health crisis that has impacted all of our lives, been understanding of the challenges faced by our Papa Johns team members as the pandemic has thrown them many curveballs and allowed us the opportunity to serve our communities through a time of constant change and uncertainty,” the thank you note to customers read. “As a company and as individuals, we are grateful.”
In the letter, Papa Johns CEO Rob Lynch said his team is taking actions to address some of the challenges of staffing shortages, supply chain challenges, and navigating the latest waves of the pandemic, including regular cleanings of each restaurant, increasing drive-up and pickup options for customers, updating store location websites with new hours, and continuing to hire new team members.
In response to these challenges, Lynch has previously stated that Papa Johns’ partnership with third-party delivery companies has helped the company boost its delivery driver shortage and navigate the labor climate.
Papa Johns is not the only restaurant company to reduce operating hours in the wake of omicron-related challenges and high staff turnover rates. Earlier this month, NRN reported on multiple restaurant chains, including Starbucks, Chipotle and McDonald’s cutting back on store hours due to the industry’s latest challenges.
When Starbucks made a similar announcement in January, the coffee chain attempted to compensate customers for the inconvenience by extending Star rewards until April 1.
“You have our commitment to make the situation right,” the company said in the email obtained by USA Today. “We will always make proactive decisions that prioritize the health and well-being of our customers and our partners […] These decisions are made on a store-by-store and market-by-market basis.”
Earlier in February, Starbucks reported that staffing challenges and labor costs have had a detrimental effect on the company’s first quarter earnings.
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