Papa John’s employee fired over racist pizza box label

A Kentucky Papa John's employee was fired after posting an Asian-American customer's name as "Ching Ching" on her pizza order. Photo courtesy Janice Kim.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Papa John’s employee in Kentucky has been fired after allegedly writing an insensitive name on the label of a customer’s pizza box.

According to Janice Kim, a member of her church, who is an Asian-American, ordered a pizza from a nearby Papa John’s. When the customer received the pizza, they noticed it said “Ching Ching” where the customer’s name should have been listed.

The restaurant’s management team told the customer, who wishes to remain anonymous, that’s the name on file for her in their system, Kim said. However, the customer has lived at the same residence for 10 years and has ordered pizza from that restaurant in the past without the comment, Kim added.

Papa John’s tweeted an apology for the mistake. The chain said it’s working to make things right with the customer.

Kim, who is acting as a de facto spokesperson for the customer, says the goal is to raise awareness of the situation so others can learn from it.

“This is to educate people that we should treat each other as (humans),” Kim said. “Moreover, this incident is a corporation that deals with customers. There needs to be sufficient training … Have some professionalism. Finally, have some empathy to recognize and comprehend another human being is hurt.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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