History & Marketing Strategies of Domino’s

Company Name – Domino’s
Founder – Tom Monaghan, James Monaghan, Dominick DiVarti

Recognized as the largest selling pizza company across the globe in sales in February of 2018, the Domino’s Pizza Inc or Domino’s is famous for its thin crust pizzas with a variety of flavors directed towards the consumers of different ethnicity. Its headquarters is known as Domino’s Farms Office Park and it is located in Michigan’s Ann Harbor.

Since 1998, Bain Capital has been operating as parent organization of Domino’s. From 1st July in 2018 till present, Richard E. Allison Jr has been appointed the CEO of Domino’s while David A. Brandon is the Chairman. 

How It All Started 

The Monaghan brothers – Tom and James took the responsibility of DomiNick’s on 23rd April in 1963. It was a quaint pizzeria chain located at 301 West Cross Street (then 507 Cross Street) near the Eastern Michigan University in Michigan’s Ypsilanti.

The owner of DomiNick was Dominick DiVarti who secured a deal of USD 500 as down payment along with USD 900 for the payment of the pizza store. Although James, a postman back then, was not sure about quitting his job as it offered financial security for this new venture, he traded half the business to Tom within 8 months for their pizza delivery vehicle, a Volkswagen Beetle.  


Tom Monaghan was owner of two more pizzerias by 1965 in the same county but as Dominick was not ready, he could not combine the stores within one building. It was Jim Kennedy, one employee who had returned from pizza delivery one day and came up with the idea of renaming the pizza restaurant as Domino’s and in the same year, Domino’s Pizza Inc was launched officially under Monaghan.

The logo was created with three dots for the three stores and the idea was to add one dot with the launch of every new Domino’s Pizza restaurant. The idea became discarded, thanks to the rapid growth of new restaurants that helped Domino’s to open the first franchise in 1967, followed by expansion to 200 stores by 1978. 

As for international launch of product, on 12th May in 1983, Winnipeg of Manitoba was the location of 1st Domino’s international store. Starting with Vancouver, Domino’s had completed hundredth store launching in that same year. In Luton, United Kingdom and in Tokyo, Japan, the year 1985, Domino’s launched its first stores.

Domino’s even launched its international franchise in Haiti and Dominican Republic, something which was not done before by any pizza restaurant chain. Domino’s celebrated 1000 stores launch in 1995 and 1500 store launch in 1997 during which it also made a record in launching 7 stores across the five continents within the same day.

With 6000 international stores by 2014, Domino’s planned to expand the business to Italy, birthplace of pizza and fulfilled the dream in 2015. Now, Domino’s has a thousand stores in India itself, as surveyed in 2016. 


Domino’s marketing strategy and reasons behind its success

In order to make ordering of pizza convenient than ever, Veterans Delivering, The Dream franchise program along with mobile app and site were started in 2007. The Pizza Tracker in 2008 was launched to let consumers have access to order status in real time. Besides, the Domino’s dining restaurant was also set up to let visitors dine on place or take out the pizza for having later. 

In 2009, Domino’s was enlisted for consumer survey according to taste preferences and followed by its loss, the company tried to create the pizza from scratch. Civilians were found commenting on the pizza quality during that time, which the chef team took very seriously and in that same month, the new thin crust pizza was launched resulting in highest quarterly gain.

A few years later in 2011, Time’s Square in New York too featured real comments from consumers and as a matter of fact, it helped the company to engage with the customer base more.   

In order to stay true to its customers, the pizzas are made according to the taste of that particular region. While Italian-American variant is popular in the U.S., that in India is the pizza with Indian spices. Besides, there are options so that you can choose the crust thickness, toppings and styles properly. 

Experimenting with pizza has always been beneficial for the success of Domino’s. Apart from the pan pizzas, the artisan pizzas with custom toppings and crusts, bread bowls, oven-baked sandwich, pasta, chicken wings, desserts and beverages were also started. The 30-slice Dominator, Buffalo Chicken Kickers, Philly Cheese Steak Pizza, Brooklyn Style Pizza and New York style pizzas were popular in the market.

The partnership with America’s Make A Wish Foundation for two years had made it a listed for charitable activities as it provided over 12000 pizzas for the relief workers of 11th September, 2001 attack on World Trade Center and donated significant amount to disaster relief initiative of Red Cross.   


Domino’s Campaigns 

The first advertisements featuring Noid with the catchphrase of “Avoid The Noid” was quite a sensational campaign for Domino’s during 1980’s and after a few controversies, it was brought as arcade-style game where each person with top score would get free pizza.

Its Pizza Turnaround campaign however won hearts due to its transparency and honesty regarding its pizza-making methods and for the way it accepted its mistakes earlier while promising to rectify from then on. 

Wedding Registry of Domino’s became rave as it let would-be-married coupled to register for pizza wedding where the wedding arrangement consisted of Domino’s food products. It earned huge sales through ecommerce strategy and was successful. To engage tech-savvy consumers, it started the pizza emoji campaign where customers could order a pizza just by tweeting the particular emoji.

Another engaging campaign was the Pizza Legends where consumers were asked to create pizzas of their choice with variegated toppings such as “peace” and “stardust”. In a competition-like setup, people share their custom pizzas to be featured on the Pizza Legends League.

In India too, Dominos went all out with their campaigns. From getting in Mayur and Rocky from the “Highway on my plate” series to connect with the audience to introducing the burger pizza to touch the all-day dining market, Dominos connected with the Indian crowd. “O Pizza aaye free”, is a phrase that became synonym with Dominos with respect to their 30 minute delivery deadline.



Once called as a poor man’s Pizza Hut, this American pizzeria restaurant chain is ruling the market with excellent digital presence as well as extensive supply chain in remotest corners. Apart from pizza varieties, Domino’s has been popular for its submarine sandwiches, pasta, chicken wings and the desserts. 

With over 290,000 employees in the Domino’s owned offices, stores and franchises, the company has been acknowledged as the 7th largest restaurant chain serving fast food according to over 15000 locations worldwide. 

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