Almost everybody has ordered pizza from Domino’s at one point or another. You can find one of these stores in practically every city and town in the United States, not to mention in plenty of other locations around the world. As a result, they have become one of the most prolific pizza chains in the world but just because you eat there, that doesn't necessarily mean that you know a lot about the company itself. Their history is actually quite interesting. Below are 20 of the most important things about them.
1. The company has been around since 1960
The company has been around for a while. As a matter of fact, the very first Domino's store opened in 1960 and they've been going strong ever since. Most people don't realize that the chain is that old, but they have been perfecting everything they do about making pizza and honing their marketing strategies for more than 50 years now.
2. The headquarters is located in Michigan
The very first store was located in Ypsilanti, Michigan but the company headquarters is in Ann Arbor. For the most part, the company has made every effort to keep things traditional, which is precisely why they decided to place their headquarters in Michigan in the first place. Their headquarters in Ann Arbor is designed to pay homage to that first store located within the same state that opened so many years ago.
3. They are the biggest pizza chain in the country
The store has always been capable of growing at a rapid pace. As a matter of fact, within the first year of operation they had three stores and they were planning on opening a fourth. Things continued at the same pace throughout the years and it really hasn't changed much today. If anything, the rate of growth has gotten even faster. That makes them the biggest pizza chain in the entire country and many people consider them to be the biggest chain in the world. That's nothing to shake a stick at, especially when you consider the fact that they routinely out do chains like Pizza Hut and Mazzio's when it comes to sales.
4. It all started with a single restaurant
It all started in 1960 and at the time, everything hinged on a single restaurant. Two brothers decided to purchase a restaurant that was called DomiNick's, which is now known as that iconic location in Ypsilanti, Michigan. If it weren't for that decision, there is every possibility that the chain now known as Domino's wouldn't even exist.
5. In the beginning, it was a family operation
The first store was initially purchased by the two brothers, as mentioned in the paragraph above. The original plan was for the two of them work together. Each of them had other professional interests but one of the brothers was far more interested in becoming a self-made businessman. The other brother, a full-time mail carrier, also wanted to get in on the family business but it wasn't long before the demands of the pizza business started to encroach on his full-time job. As a result, it didn't take long for him to decide to let go of his interest in the pizza chain and focus on the career that he already had.
6. You wouldn't believe how much money it cost to get started
You have to remember, the brothers purchased that first store back in 1960 so things didn't seem nearly as expensive back then as they do now. Nevertheless, they got the business for what many people consider to be a steal. They paid a $500 down payment and then paid out the remaining $900 on the building in order to make that first store their own.
7. One half of the original owners quit the business less than a year end of things
This has already been touched on in a previous paragraph, but it is worth mentioning one more time. These days, you're probably thinking that the brother that gave up his interest in Domino's was crazy for doing so. However, you have to remember that at the time he did this, no one had any idea that this chain was going to become as popular as it is now. Back then, they only had a couple of stores and he probably thought that he was doing the best thing for himself and his family, taking a route that guaranteed him a paycheck as opposed to taking a risk on a business that may or may not succeed. Clearly, if he could have seen into the future, he would have probably made a different decision.
8. There's no doubt that his payoff would make a person cry in today's world
When one brother decided that he no longer wanted to be part of the business, his other brother made the decision to buy him out as opposed to just dropping things. That way, there would be no hard feelings and most importantly, no bad blood between the brothers. That being said, you're going to be surprised at just exactly what that payoff entailed. At the time, these two brothers were using a Volkswagen Beetle to deliver their pizzas. The brother that decided he no longer wanted to be part of the franchise got to keep that car in exchange for signing over all of his right to the restaurant. You can almost bet that he cried many tears over that decision over the years.
9. The company had more than 200 stores by the late 1970s
As previously mentioned, this is a store that grew rapidly. Opening in 1960, there were more than 200 stores by 1978. That level of growth is almost unheard of in any business. Things really haven't changed much for the store in all the years that it's been open and new stores are still opening each and every day. Clearly, Domino's figured out how to do it right from the beginning and they've been continuing to do so ever since.
10. In 1983, they opened a store in Canada
They're very first store outside of the United States was opened in Manitoba, Canada in 1983. This marked an important milestone for the company, as there would be many more plans to open additional stores in Canada as well as in other countries. Up until then, all of the stores they had opened had been in various locations throughout the US. This was their first step in becoming a true global company and they definitely figured out how to do it the right way, as evidenced from the number of stores that they now have all over the world.
11. They started trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 2004
Given the rapid rate of growth, it might surprise many people to know that they weren't publicly traded for a number of years. The company remained private for much of its operational history. It wasn't until 2004 that they decided to go ahead and become publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. There were a number of reasons for this, and most of them involved requirements to become more transparent with regards their business practices in order to become publicly traded. It wasn't necessarily that they were trying to hide anything, but they weren't exactly anxious divulge their business practices to potential competitors, either.
12. The company is no longer known as Domino's Pizza
One of the more recent advertising campaigns by the company involved dropping the last half of its name. Throughout the years, it has always been known as Domino's Pizza. Today, it's simply known as Dominos. The reason for this is because the store sells more than just pizza and they wanted to emphasize that fact to their customers. In reality, they actually sell quite a few different items on their menu, which will be discussed in more detail in the following paragraph.
13. They don't just sell pizza, either
Granted, they started out selling pizza and only selling pizza. These days, they sell all kinds of things like sandwiches, pasta, wings, and even dessert. That is precisely why they made the decision to change their name. Yes, it was part of a marketing campaign but it was also part of a legal name change because they wanted more customers to understand that they had additional options to them if they weren't in the mood for pizza.
14. They are routinely involved in charitable work
The company has always made a habit of being involved in charitable organizations. As a matter of fact, they give a fairly large portion of their yearly earnings to designated charitable works. More specifically, they have had a long-standing relationship with both St Jude and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, contributing a significant amount of money to each organization over the years.
15. They helped out after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001
They also got involved in helping out after the tragic terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11th, 2001. At the time, virtually everyone in the country was looking for a way to contribute some type of assistance and they figured that since they were in the business of making pizza, the best thing they could do was contribute pizzas to First Responders and relief workers that were spending weeks and even months at the World Trade Center site. During that time, hundreds of pizzas were donated. They also contributed a significant amount of money to the American Red Cross, asking that the money be used to help individuals that had been directly impacted by the tragedy.
16. A website glitch famously cost them a lot of money
A few years ago, they had a glitch on their website and they wound up losing a ton of money because of it. They had just begun rolling out their website and allowing people to order pizza from it. Something went wrong and they ended up allowing people to order medium pizzas without charging them. The restaurant could have simply stated that a mistake occurred and then proceed to charge customers anyway but instead, it decided to honor its customers by allowing them to have the pizzas for free. All in all, they gave away thousands of medium pizzas at no charge to their customers. This dead custom a lot of money but it also gave them a ridiculous amount of lifelong customers, allowing them to make even more money in the long run.
17. The paved the way when it came to promising a pizza within 30 minutes
These days, almost all of the major pizza chains allow people to order online and they promise pizza delivery in 30 minutes or less. This was all something that was pioneered by Domino’s. It wasn't until they started doing it that everyone else figured out they had better hurry up and jump on the bandwagon or they were about to get left behind.
18. Today, they have stores in practically every area of the globe
If you look at a map, they really do have a store in practically every country. In many cases, they have 40 or more stores. This is a company that has definitely figured out how to market its business in every part of the globe and do so successfully. It is something that many other corporations have never figured out a successful formula for, but Domino's has seemed to know how to do it since the very first day.
19. The corporation recently spent a great deal of money upgrading all of its stores
Just a couple of years ago, they went through a major process where they started redecorating each and every one of their stores in the United States. At the time, stores had not been refurbished since they were opened and many of them had been there since the 1970s or the early 1980s. Domino's considered it a necessity to revamp all of the stores in order to modernize them and make them more customer-friendly.
20. They've been instrumental in changing the way people order pizza
Today, they have apps that you can put on your phone and it makes it a snap to order pizza. They even have a special system that rings back to your phone when your order is ready for pickup so you're not sitting around waiting and wondering how much longer it will be before your pizza is ready.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker