Papa John’s delivery driver staffing levels are getting ‘progressively better,’ CEO says

Papa John’s is seeing improvement in staffing levels for delivery drivers, CEO Rob Lynch told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Monday.

“April was a challenging month, but our staffing situation has gotten progressively better. We’re starting to get drivers to come in and take the orders. … Our demand is still huge, and it’s been a challenge servicing those orders,” Lynch said in an interview on “Mad Money,” adding that partnerships with DoorDash, GrubHub and Uber Eats have helped mitigate labor challenges.

Papa John’s reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue in its latest quarter. The company said that supply availability and labor shortages have been some of the bigger headwinds for the company.

The pizza company’s stock was down 4.37% on Monday, hitting a new 52-week low earlier in the day.

As for other snags in Papa John’s operations, Lynch said that while inflation is raising costs for the company, it’s being cautious about taking price hikes. Papa John’s raised prices by about 7% on average across its corporate stores last quarter.

“We haven’t seen this level of food inflation in about 40 years. … We’re taking a long-term view here. We’re continuing to bring new customers in,” he said. 

“So we’re not taking as much pricing potentially as we need to to cover the whole cost, because we want to make sure that when we come through these challenging times and return to a more normalized rate of cost, we’ll have those customers,” he added.

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