If there is anybody that knows a thing or two about pizza, it’s a New Yorker – and don’t try to argue with a New Yorker, it’s just not a winnable argument. Growing up in the city that never sleeps, I spent quite a bit of time after school with my great-grandma while my mom worked, even weekends – because it’s the city that never stops working either. Great-grandma Hanna was always fun to be with. From time to time she’d treat me to something special, something more American than our usual Russian borscht. Pizza, it’s as American as apple pie right, or a marbled cookie brownie perhaps?
I was invited to take a tour of Domino’s headquarter in Ann Arbor, Michigan, visit their distribution center, a local store featuring a new layout/design and to chat with CEO Patrick Doyle. I learned to make pizza, had a chance to win – but I lost – the coveted Golden Spoodle – it’s a hybrid spoon and ladle, got the inside scoop on the new Rewards program (and how to earn free pizza) and ate everything I could get my hands on off the Domino’s menu. If you are wondering why I keep saying Domino’s and not Domino’s Pizza then you will surely enjoy these 10 things you may not know about Domino’s that I learned during my visit.
10 Things You May Not Know About Domino’s
Domino’s Drops the Pizza
Well technically only. That’s right, no longer know as Domino’s Pizza, it’s now just Domino’s. Why? Well their menu has grown so much and they don’t sell just pizza anymore. Besides your choice of 4 different styles of pizza crust, they sell oven baked sandwiches, specialty chicken – think of the chicken as the pizza crust, pasta, desserts and more. You can even get salads at select locations! While pizza remains as the top seller, I’m thinking the lava cakes have to be a close second – followed closely by the new Marble Cookie Brownie. They claim the MCB is shareable, but I say it’s optional. I’ll let you be there judge.
Creating Millionaires is as Easy as Pie
Owning a Domino’s franchise is within much closer reach of the average Joe than any other franchise. In fact, more than 90% of Domino’s franchisees started out as delivery drivers, pizza makers or at another entry-level position. One of their franchisees became a millionaire at the tender age of 30.
Bubbles are Not Okay
Ever been to a pizza shop where you see various bubbles have appeared on the dough – you find this a lot in NYC pizza shops, and I used to think those bubbles were cool. Well, those bubbles aren’t cool at Domino’s and they’ve got a special bubble popper to burst those bubbles as the pizza rides through the oven.
Domino’s Cares About Your Comments
You know that fun Pizza Tracker that pops up after you place an order? Domino’s actually monitors the comments being left by customers on monitors throughout the headquarters. Even CEO Patrick Doyle likes to keep a close eye on the comment board and will from time to time reach out to a customer – good or bad.
The 9-Minute Delivery Cap
So there’s a Domino’s a few blocks away from you but they say they can’t deliver to you…sounds crazy right? My son is studying at St. John’s University in Queens, NYC. The nearest Domino’s is less than a mile away but they can’t deliver to him because of a strict Domino’s policy. Domino’s must be able to deliver your pizza within 9 minutes, as if in rush hour traffic. This ensures that your food will be delivered fresh and hot – it’s a quality thing.
It Takes A Lot of Balls to Reinvent the Wheel
Dough balls – they tested 50 crust seasoning blends to be exact, sauce, cheese…in 2009 Domino’s rolled out a completely new core pizza recipe. The new recipe would include a new garlic seasoned crust, robust sauce and more flavorful shredded cheese. The Domino’s new hand-tossed pizza even can with a guarantee, promising to delivery more taste than ever before – and it has!
Sales on a typical Super Bowl Sunday exceed regular Sunday sales by nearly 80%! How’s that for a touchdown? That is an astounding 1500 order per minute. Don’t fret, their IT guys are totally on top of the situation – their eyes don’t leave the screens, as they monitor the systems to ensure everyone’s order gets placed without delay.
How Much is that Beetle in the Window?
Two brothers, Tom and James Monaghan, buy a business for $500. A year later James is done tossing dough and trades his 50% share to his brother Tom for their delivery vehicle, a used ’59 Volkswagen Beetle. I own two Volkswagens – and collectively have owned five, so I get it, sorta – okay, maybe not. I bet James was all red in the face when the pizza business took off like a rocket! Tom eventually sold a majority 93% stake in 1998 for one billion dollars.
3 Dots Domino
Why does the Domino’s logo have 3 dots? Each dot represents the original 3 stores. Founder Monaghan intended to add a dot for each new store, but as the business expanded rapidly he found it would be impossible to keep up. Can you image the Domino’s logo with over 9,000 dots now?!
Domino’s is giving back to communities all around the world. Hosting a fundraiser? Domino’s offers special cards to sell which allows the buyer to get amazing discounts and the organization to keep most of the profits from the sale of each card – I know this first hand. St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital…what can I say…Domino’s partnered with St. Jude’s at the suggestion of its employees and what has come of this is enormous. Just recently Domino’s officially opened the Domino’s Event Center which will host hospital fundraising events, patient and family activities, and entertainment. Prior to that Domino’s delivered the St. Jude Assessment and Triage Clinic and since 2004 have raised $25 million, with another 8 year $35 million commitment for the future. And it’s not just the Domino’s corporate office – franchise owners are generously giving back to their communities too!
Bonus Fact: CEO Patrick Doyle really knows his pizza…and he’s also totally down to earth and really cool – oh, and really tall.
How many of these facts from my 10 Things You May Not Know About Domino’s list did you know? Is there anything you think needs to be added to the 10 Things You May Not Know About Domino’s list?
And now for some Domino’s fun…have you seen their electric delivery scooter? Well, it just got an upgrade with a new Domino’s theme song…enjoy!
Disclosure: It’s Not Just Pizza Anymore – 10 Things You May Not Know About Domino’s is sponsored post for Domino’s. I was invited to attend an all expenses paid trip to Ann Arbor, Michigan to learn all about Domino’s. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.