Fresh off a controversial week in which one of its stores issued a receipt containing a racially insensitive description of a customer, the Papa John’s pizza chain finds itself in the middle of another, even more difficult situation.
On Sunday night, a Papa John’s store outside of Baltimore made two pizzas for one of its longtime customers. In the section on the receipt for customer description, the employee who took the order wrote “third best coach in family.” The pizza was ordered by Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, who was celebrating his team’s win over the Houston Texans to advance to the AFC championship game against New England.
“This is not something we condone,” said Papa John’s in a press release. “We expect all of our employees to adhere to strict company standards. It is clear that John Harbaugh is the second best coach in the family. We expect our employees to accurately reflect the accomplishments of our customers.
Most experts agree that Jack Harbaugh, a college football coach for 43 years, remains the finest coach in the family. The controversy stems from younger brother Jim’s breakout season with the San Francisco 49ers as compared with John’s solid track record with the Ravens.
At the heart of the Papa John’s mess is 16-year old cashier Danielle Taylor, who has worked at the store for five months. “I can’t believe anyone would disagree with my assessment,” said Taylor, who has not been disciplined by the company. “The Ravens have been decent, but the 49ers have exploded this year.”
John Harbaugh’s Ravens have advanced to the AFC championship game to face New England, while Jim’s 49ers will play in the NFC title game against the Giants. Papa John’s has promised a free personal-size pizza to the Harbaugh brother who makes it to the Super Bowl.