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Papa Johns Pizza Prices... and Obamacare

2 min read

Today, my step mother posted a link to a local franchise of Papa Johns hiring due to faster than expected growth. While I'm glad for the store (and the people who will be getting new jobs) it reminded me of the uproar over Papa Johns back in 2012 when he said pizza prices were going to go up if Obamacare were inacted.

He stated, in a conference call that per pie cost would go up about 11 to 14 cents:

Our best estimate is that the Obamacare will cost 11 to 14 cents per pizza, or 15 to 20 cents per order from a corporate basis

Curious, I went to look to see how different prices are now from what they were in 2012. Prices have gone up quite a bit more than 11 to 14 cents per pie.

In 2012 according to this Forbes article about the pizza magnates math a large specialty pizza was $16.  Today a large speciality pizza is $19.

papa johns menu dated 23 feb 2015

The forbes article also stated that a medium pizza ran closer to $12. Today that medium is $15 (as seen in the screenshot).

I don't know how much of the price change is a result of Obamacare - or the rising cost of meat and produce (as corn became more commonly used to create Ethanol over the past half decade cow farmers have had to pay more for corn and thus meat and dairy have become more expensive). I thought it was interesting to note the huge jump in pizza costs over the three year period.

To put in perspective the $0.14 increase for Obamacare would have been a 0.8% increase in price on the large pizza while the $3 shift we've actually seen has been an %18.75 increase. There was a huge uproar over Papa John's claim of a 14 cent pizza increase when he predicted it but clearly it hasn't hurt the chains ability to sell pizza. The uproar was, honestly, pretty over the top. Papa John' is a business and it was only normal that he would pass the cost of doing business on to his customers. By boycotting the chain all the protesters would have done is to cause some people to lose their jobs. I think it is clear that pizza prices were going up no matter what happened.