Papa John’s CEO Apologizes For Driver’s Impromptu Racist Opera Singing

John_profile2011Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter has had to step up and publicly apologize after a delivery driver in Florida was caught dropping the N-word numerous times on a customer’s voicemail, even going so far as to work the slur into some opera singing.

The customer says that he and his wife tipped the driver 21%, but shortly after the Papa John’s car left his home, a call from the driver went to his voicemail.

On that call, which appears to be the result of an accidental butt/pocket-dial, the driver can be heard discussing a supposed lack of tip from the customer with another employee.

“That’s the only requirement for being a n****r in Sanford,” says one Papa John’s worker in the recording. “Yeah, they gave me five bucks there. Fine, outstanding African-American gentleman of the community.”

Then the driver launches into his not-a-good-idea version of Figaro’s Aria from the opera The Barber of Seville, in which he replaces the “F” in “Figaro” with an “N.”

This was all on the customer’s voicemail. Which he then documented on video and posted to YouTube (it’s since been taken down, but is still live on

The Daily Dot called the Sanford, FL, store and confirmed that the call was indeed legitimate.

Meanwhile, Papa John’s CEO Schnatter has taken to the company’s Facebook page to apologize and say that the two employees have been fired:

Friends, I am extremely concerned to learn about the reprehensible language used by two former employees in one of our restaurants. Their thinking and actions defy both my personal and the company’s values, and everything for which this company stands. The employees responsible for this absolutely unacceptable behavior were immediately terminated.

My heartfelt apology goes out to the customer involved, his family, and our community at large. I am very sorry that anyone would be exposed to these hurtful and painful words by any person involved in any way with our company.

Thank you for your important comments. I have personally reached out to our customer to share my own thoughts and offer my deepest apology.

You may remember the 2012 incident involving a Papa John’s employee in New York who got in trouble by using a customer’s receipt to describe her as “lady chinky eyes.”

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