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Papa Johns Drops the Apostrophe From Its Logo With Plans for Total Brand Refresh

The pizza chain is rolling out a new visual identity and store design as it attempts to further revitalize its brand after struggling through controversy surrounding founder John Schnatter.

Papa Johns announced today its plans to capitalize on nine quarters of same-store sales increases with a wide-ranging overhaul of its visual identity, logo and in-store design, according to a press release. In addition to a more modern and sleek look, the brand aims to adapt to pandemic-fueled changes in the restaurant category by optimizing its store layout and rolling out new pick-up, drive-thru and self-serve options.

"We are evolving how the Papa Johns experience comes to life across all touchpoints, while remaining true to what got us where we are today and bringing to life our continued aspirations to improve and grow," Max Wetzel, Papa Johns' chief commercial officer, said in a press statement around the news. "This new experience is both a celebration of our tremendous momentum and a vision to inspire future growth."

The pizza brand’s new visual identity — specifically the decision to drop an apostrophe from "John's" in the logo — could also be an attempt to further distance itself from founder John Schnatter, who found himself in hot water amid a series of controversies in 2018. The issues started with reports of Schatter using a racial slur during a conference call and his subsequent resignation as Chairman of the Board (a move he has come to regret). As a result, Papa Johns has been looking for ways to clean up its image and win back favor among customers in recent years, most notably with the help of NBA legend and brand ambassador Shaquille O’ Neal.

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