The two founders of Pizza Hut sold the business to Pepsi in 1977, and one of the founders then became a prolific Papa John’s franchisee, owning 133 locations by the year 2001. During legal struggles with Pizza Hut in the late 1990s, Papa John’s ran commercial advertisements highlighting the fact, including a dramatization showing Frank Carney [the founder] coming to a Pizza Hut stockholders’ meeting wearing a Papa John’s apron, saying, “Sorry, guys. I found a better pizza.”
In 2011, two Domino’s Pizza Store Managers were charged with arson after burning down a nearby Papa John’s in north Florida.
Papa Johns was sued for false advertising for its “Better Ingredients, Better Pizza” and admitted that it did not use better ingredients than Pizza Hut.