Tag: Papa John’s Stadium

Bevin appoints Brown-Forman, Glenview Trust, other big-money heavy-hitters to new UofL board; Schnatter and Frazier raise profiles

A news summary, focused on 10 big employers; updated 10:42 p.m.

Matt Bevin

Tightening his grip on the University of Louisville, Gov. Matt Bevin today added 10 more members to his reconfigured board of trustees, appointing a slew of business heavy hitters, including at least one with long family ties to the board.

Among them: Papa John’s founder and CEO John Schnatter; Glenview Trust Co. founder and chairman David Grissom, who’s also a retired Humana executive; and Brown-Forman heiress Sandra Frazier.

Schnatter is a major UofL booster, donating millions for naming rights to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. He and conservative industrialist Charles Koch donated $6.3 million to the school in March 2015 to establish an on-campus center to study the virtues of free enterprise; responding to criticism, the university said the money wouldn’t curtail academic freedom.

Sandra Frazier

Frazier, who is now cycling off the Brown-Forman board of directors, also is a director of Glenview Trust, a boutique investment firm that serves more than 500 of the area’s wealthiest families. Her late father, Harry Frazier, is a former UofL vice chairman, and her uncle, the late Owsley Brown Frazier, was once chairman.

Two other Bevin appointees are private equity and venture capitalists, according to The Courier-Journal: Dale Boden, now a partner with Weller Equity; and Douglas Cobb, who co-founded Chrysalis Ventures with David A. Jones Jr., a Humana director. Jones’ father, David Sr., co-founded Humana and is also a Glenview Trust director. The 10-member Glenview board comprises some of Louisville’s  biggest power brokers.

Here’s Bevin’s order, with the full list of appointees and their terms.

Bevin’s announcement today follows his surprise June 17 dismissal of the previous 20-seat board, which he called “dysfunctional” in its oversight of the university and President James Ramsey. He replaced them with an interim three-member board, which he filled out with today’s appointments. The school has been roiled with controversy over Ramsey’s seven-figure compensation; a sex scandal involving the marquee men’s basketball program, plus other administrative missteps. Ramsey offered to resign when Bevin dissolved the board, but a final decision on his future was deferred to the next board.

In other news: Continue reading “Bevin appoints Brown-Forman, Glenview Trust, other big-money heavy-hitters to new UofL board; Schnatter and Frazier raise profiles”

Texas Roadhouse is the biggest Louisville-based restaurant chain you’ve never heard of

Texas Roadhouse
Founded in 1993, the company now has nearly 500 restaurants and 48,000 employees.

Boulevard focuses on news about some of Louisville’s biggest employers, nonprofits, and cultural institutions. This is one in an occasional series about them.

Put your books away; it’s time for a pop quiz!

Ever heard of a Louisville-based restaurant chain called KFC? Of course you have. Papa John’s? Certainly.

Now, what about that other big Louisville-based chain: Texas Roadhouse. Not so much?

KFC (15,000 restaurants in more than 125 countries) and Papa John’s (4,700 stores, 37 nations) are better known in Louisville at least partly because they’re older, and promote themselves more locally. There’s the KFC Yum Center downtown, and Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium at the University of Louisville. And who hasn’t seen Papa John’s founder John Schnatter in one of his ubiquitous TV commercials?

Kent Taylor

But Texas Roadhouse has come a long way, too — and in a relatively short time. Chairman and CEO Kent Taylor started the steakhouse chain in 1993 with a single restaurant in southern Indiana. Some 23 years later, it’s grown to nearly 500 company-owned and franchised restaurants in 49 states plus five foreign countries, and 48,000 employees.

That three big restaurant companies are all based in Louisville isn’t a huge surprise given an economic principle with an unwieldy name: agglomeration. That’s where companies beget other companies in the same industry nearby, all benefiting from the increasingly specialized labor pool and economies of scale: for example, intellectual property attorneys experienced in the fast-food trade.

Peanut shells
Western theme peanut shells.

Taylor, for one, started out as a KFC manager in 1990, when he returned to his Louisville hometown. Three years later, he opened the first Texas Roadhouse, in Clarksville, Ind. The restaurants are known for their western themes, line-dancing servers, peanut shell-strewn floors, and Texas Red Chili and ribs.

The company went public in 2004. Its headquarters is at 6040 Dutchman’s Lane.

Now 60, Taylor is the biggest individual stockholder, with 4.4 million shares, or 6.2% of all, according to the 2016 shareholders’ proxy report. His stake was worth more than $200 million in June 2016, when shares were trading at a record high of $46 each.

What Papa John’s, Apple and Google have in common. (Hint: many of you own one)

Boulevard focuses on news about some of Louisville’s biggest employers, nonprofits, and cultural institutions. This is one in an occasional series about them.

John Schnatter

Some of the most successful U.S. companies got launched in garages, and Papa John’s story begins there in 1984 — sort of. It involves a car, specifically founder John Schnatter‘s prized gold 1972 Camaro Z28. After graduating from Ball State University with a business degree, Schnatter sold it for $2,800 to help save his father’s tavern, Mick’s Lounge, from bankruptcy.

“He knocked down the broom closet of Mick’s Lounge,” the company says on its history page, “purchased used restaurant equipment, and began delivering pizzas out of the back of the bar.”

Schnatter's Camaro
The famous car.

Only a year later, Schnatter opened his first Papa John’s in Jeffersonville, Ind. More than 30 years later, it’s now a fast-food giant with 4,700 restaurants worldwide — including more than 1,200 international restaurants in 37 countries and territories. It has 750 employees in Louisville, and another 21,000 across the globe. The company went public in 1993.

The company’s success has made Schnatter — born Nov. 23, 1961, in Jeffersonville — one of Kentucky’s wealthiest residents. His 10.5 million shares were worth well over $600 million in June 2016, enough to buy naming rights to 55,000-seat Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium at the University of Louisville.

And, of course, there’s his famous Anchorage home: a 40,000-square-foot castle on 16 acres. It features a 22-car underground garage (complete with an office for valet parking, a car wash and even a motorized turn able to move limousines), and a 6,000-square-foot detached carriage house, according to Curbed. The real estate site called it “utterly bonkers,” and posted this aerial photo:

John Schnatter's house

The photo doesn’t appear to show the helicopter landing pad WDRB said spurred neighborhood noise complaints last month.

And the prized Camaro? In 2009, Papa John’s announced a $250,000 reward for the car, leading to its recovery. A replica now sits in the lobby of Papa John’s headquarters at 2002 Papa John’s Blvd.

Just think about all the tips we’ll save on pizza deliveries

The latest news about big Louisville employers; updated frequently.

PAPA JOHN’s and PIZZA HUT: As consumers get more comfortable with autonomous delivery — robots to you and me — a restaurant industry that already uses cutting edge logistics services could start adding delivery robots in the coming decade. Indeed, Domino’s — arch rival to Papa John’s and Pizza Hut — is already giving a trial run to its “DRU” robot in Australia; watch Domino’s Robotic Unit video. DRU follows Domino’s introduction last October of a delivery van equipped with a special warming oven that’s easily accessed from outside.

TEXAS ROADHOUSE is adding bee hives at its corporate offices on Dutchmans Lane, a symbolic step drawing attention to the nation’s beleaguered bee colonies. (C-J).

In other newsUniversity of Louisville said today it’s raised another $12 million for the planned $50 million Papa John’s Stadium expansion. (Card Game)