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Papa John’s Becomes Latest Brand to Implement Employee Scholarship Program

The pizza chain is now offering free tuition toward an online degree for its 20,000 corporate employees as well as “significant” reductions for franchisees’ employees.

By Madeline LenaStaff Writer
10:10AM 02/15/19

Papa John’s has teamed up with Purdue University Global to provide free tuition for corporate employees and fee reductions up to 20 percent for franchisees’ employees who enroll in the online degree program, according to a recent Nation’s Restaurant News article.

As part of Papa John’s efforts to improve its benefits program, eligible employees can pursue 180 different degrees in associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree programs. Textbooks and course materials are included in the offer, and the application fee is waived.

“We believe this is a truly unique tuition program in our industry,” Papa John’s president and CEO Steve Ritchie said in a statement included in the NRN article. “We’re excited to partner with such a well-respected institution to help us deliver on such a robust career growth opportunity for team members who want to pursue their goals and further their education.”

Do scholarship programs like these increase employee retention, though? A recent Restaurant Business article explored the success Chick-fil-A is having with the initiative on the heels of the brand’s recent announcement it has expanded its scholarship fund to a whopping $15.3 million.

According to the article, Chick-fil-A surveyed past scholarship recipients last year and found that 90 percent intend to keep working for the brand even after they earn their degree. While there’s no requirement that employees stick around, the research shows that the overwhelming majority will anyway. The brand didn't say how many of the 53,000 employees who participated in the program were surveyed.

With big industry players like McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Chili’s and Starbucks now offering similar programs, it’s clear brands are recognizing the need to differentiate their employment opportunity in a competitive job market. Add Papa John’s to the list, too.

Read the full NRN article here.