The Founder of Papa John’s Ate an Absurd Amount of Pizza to Make a Point

John Schnatter reportedly taste-tested 800 pizzas in 18 months

A pizza on a serving platter on a table with a hand reaching down and pulling a slice away
What would you consider to be a lot of pizza?
Quin Engle/Unsplash

How much pizza do you eat in a month? This isn’t a trick question. Yes, pizza isn’t the healthiest food out there — the abundance of carbs and cheese tends to have that effect. On the other hand, pizza is delicious. Even mediocre pizza can generally be tasty under the right circumstances. But it doesn’t take a doctor to know that consuming a certain amount of pizza over a certain span of time might not be advisable. Like, say, eating 800 pizzas over the course of a year and a half.

However, that’s precisely what John Schnatter did. You might know Schnatter as the founder of popular pizza chain Papa John’s, who left the company after objecting to NFL players kneeling during the national anthem and using a racial slur on a conference call.

It turns out that Schnatter feels the company he founded has suffered since his departure, and his method of proving it involves eating copious amounts of pizza, as detailed in a recent profile of Schnatter at Bloomberg. In it, writer Devin Leonard notes that Schnatter has “used TikTok to make the case that the quality of Papa John’s pies has deteriorated in his absence. He says he’s tested 800 in the past 18 months.”

According to Schnatter, some of the pizzas he tried were “burnt” or “undercooked.” Still, that averages out to significantly more than a pizza per day — which suggests he’s not eating the whole pizza, or he has an absolutely amazing metabolism.


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