Papa John’s still has a PR problem. It’s been a few years since company founder John Schnatter left the company after his bizarre racist views became public. And while company earnings remain steady, Schnatter’s specter lingers, leaving behind a pepperoni-scented odor via a series of weird TikToks. So, what’s a semi-disgraced company to do? Launch a new type of pizza, I guess—New York style pizza, to be exact.
Brand Eating reports that Papa John’s will soon launch “NY Style Pizza” characterized by “oversized, foldable slices.” It seems that the NY Style Pizza is only available in one size: extra large, cut into eight “oversized slices.” How large we talking, here? Larger than the Shaq-A-Roni slices the company released last year?
Other than its large slices, it’s unclear exactly what classifies the pizza as “NY Style.” Brand Eating cites a company announcement explaining that the pizza offers “the right balance of crust and toppings.” But what constitutes “the right balance” of crust and toppings? I have to imagine the brand captured a cranky older gentleman from the grounds of Prospect Park, transported him to a Papa John’s test kitchen, and allowed him to preside over the recipe development. In my mind, once “the right balance” was achieved, the older gentleman would hold up his hand and firmly declare, “It is enough.”
Anyway, the pizza’s retailing for around $13 for a one-topping pizza. If you’re a Papa Rewards member, you’ll get exclusive early access to the new pizza starting Monday, December 20; otherwise, the general nationwide release occurs on Monday, December 27. Finally, looks like this one’s a limited release; per Brand Eating, the pizza will only be available through March 13, 2022.
Will the new formula help the company restore favor among skeptical consumers? Personally, I still feel weird patronizing Papa’s, even though I know Schnatter has left the building. Best of luck to you, Papa.