A study was released by YouGov BrandIndex that shows the popularity of casual diners of Papa John’s has dropped following the comments made by CEO John Schnatter about Obamacare. The company’s Buzz score was at 32 on election day. Since then, the score has dropped to four as of the end of November.
Three restaurants’ popularity ratings were tracked by YouGov following comments made in public by the CEOs of those companies. The restaurants include Denny’s, Papa John’s and Applebee’s. Following comments made by John Metz, the score for Denny’s dropped to zero. Metz announced he would be adding a five percent charge to bills for Obamacare costs. The score for Denny’s increased briefly to six when an apology was made by CEO John Miller.
The score for Applebee’s dropped over 25 points following comments made by Zane Tankel, who owns 40 restaurants in the New York region. Tankel made his comments on the Fox Business Network, saying that he is not sure about expanding his business because of the higher costs from Obamacare. Schnatter made comments this past summer that complained about rising costs his business would incur if Obamacare would pass. Following the election, Schnatter went even further by saying that he will need to pass the extra costs down to workers and customers of the company.
On Tuesday morning, Papa John’s wrote the following in a statement, prepared by Andrew Varga. Varga is the Chief Marketing Officer for Papa John’s:
“The YouGov BrandIndex press release claiming that Papa John’s saw a significant drop in brand favorability is contradicted by the results of BrandIndex’s own general population study, which showed a significant improvement in reputational scores.
The company said that not only are the results of the general population BrandIndex study completely contrary to those cited in the YouGov Brand Index press release, but there is also no change in its current positive sales or earnings guidance.
BrandIndex polls a sample of consumers each day on many aspects of a brand’s reputation. The publicized report failed to mention that during the same time period that YouGov claimed Papa John’s had a significant drop in brand favorability, their general population study showed significant increases in such key criteria as reputation, quality, value and whether consumers would recommend the brand to a friend.
In fact, from November 6 through November 30, Papa John’s overall index number improved almost five points and was at or near recent highs and four of the five measures that make up the index also showed nice improvement.”