The Domino Effect: How Dominos Became One Of The Biggest Pizza Chains In The World

The Domino Effect: How Dominos Became One Of The Biggest Pizza Chains In The World

Today, Domino’s, the infamous pizza chain, has outlets all around the world. Its strong market cap and quick delivery system have contributed to the brand’s success, which has also helped the company conquer its competitors. Initially, this concept was designed as a traditional pizzeria that would serve its customers. However, due to lack of space, the makers offered an optional delivery system that has gained momentum over the years. Today, more than 60% of consumers prefer to order online rather than step outside. Domino’s has been a pioneer in creating several innovative technologies that have revolutionized the customer experience through its delivery system, which remains its strongest customer service advantage even today.

With a market share of over $14.23 billion, Domino’s has stood the test of time and continued to serve its customers by innovating and rebranding the company to change according to the generation’s needs.

How It All Started

The story of Domino’s begins with the story of its owners, Tom and Jim Monaghan. As Tom’s father died in 1940 when he was young, he spent most of his time in an orphanage or bounced around the houses of his relatives. However, his situation only strengthened his ambitions of being successful. When money and investments were not popular, Tom’s futuristic vision made him invest his savings into something that could make a profit. So, in 1960, the young entrepreneur purchased a restaurant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with his brother Jim. The local pizza restaurant was called DomiNick’s, and Tom Monaghan took a $900 loan to buy it, as noted by the Washington Post.

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While the ailing restaurant was taking some time to gain momentum, Jim wanted to leave eight months after the grand opening. He owned 50% of the business. He cashed out his equity in the business by taking the 1959 Volkswagen Beetle that the duo had purchased to carry out a delivery system for customers. Monaghan spent all his time and energy developing the business into a sustainable model.

He kept the name DomiNick’s for many years until the owner intervened, making him change it to Domino’s Pizza. According to Insider, by 1965, Tom Monaghan had opened three Domino’s outlets in Michigan state, represented by the three dots in the brand’s logo. Each dot in the brand’s logo represented the number of outlets present.

A Step Towards International Success

Domino’s had opened over 200 outlets in America within the next decade. While other pizza restaurants focused on taste and customer experience, Domino’s had always kept its focus on speed and efficiency. In 1973, Monaghan came up with the idea to introduce the 30-minute pizza delivery system. As mentioned by Mental Floss, the idea came to the founder after he attempted to shave off extra seconds while preparing pizza and designed a box that would keep the pizzas at the right temperature and protected during delivery time. By 1983, there were 1,000 Domino’s outlets in America, and the company decided to expand internationally.

The same year, Domino’s opened its first international store in Winnipeg, Canada, and its first outlet outside of North America was in Queensland, Australia. In 1993, the 30-minute delivery system was discontinued in America due to multiple lawsuits and accidents. By 1997, Domino’s had its outlets on five continents and 1,500 locations. Tom Monaghan announced his retirement the following year and sold 93% of his company shares.

Combining Technology With Delivery

At the height of the recession, Domino’s faced a decline in sales and found itself in a debt of $943.2 million, which was eventually paid off. Customers began preferring its competition Pizza Hut for better quality and products, which meant the company was losing its clientele. The company turned to technology to find the right answers. In 2007, the company introduced the online and mobile ordering feature to make the experience convenient, and the following year launched Domino’s Tracker, a revolutionary technology that allowed customers to track their order online from the time the order was placed until it was delivered, as stated by Domino’s.

By the end of 2009, the brand scrapped its original pizza recipe to create a new and inspired one for the new generation of customers. With new products and the use of technology, it has become the best delivery company for pizzas around the globe. More than 50% of its profits are generated from outside America.

The company rebranded its logo in 2013 and improved its online ordering system so customers could save their favorite pizzas and order a pizza within thirty seconds. With a hunger for innovation, in 2016, the company experimented with self-driving pizza delivery vehicles in New Zealand. In 2021, Domino’s collaborated with Nuro R2 Delivery AV to deliver pizzas through driverless cars in America. Today, it is the fifth most-favored pizza in America and holds the second-largest market share in the country.

Tom Monaghan knew he wanted to be successful; however, even he had not predicted the success that Domino’s would become in the years to come. While he made a few unorganized decisions during his time, he worked tirelessly to get good results and bring innovation to an industry that was stuck in its old ways. Today, Domino’s remains one of the most preferred pizza joints in over 90 countries and its 17,000 stores.

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Sources: Washington Post, Insider, Mental Floss, Domino’s

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