By all accounts, Domino’s is the pizza of the people. After customers claimed the age-old recipe began tasting of cardboard and ketchup, the company decided to completely nix its tried-and-true formula and start from scratch—crafting an improved pie that has come to dominate the franchise-pizza landscape.
This adaptability, along with innovations like the modern-day pizza box and specialty kitchen tools, is a main reason why Domino’s continues to revolutionize the take-out business, inspiring other operations like Papa John’s to follow suit. (And it looks like their next big idea involves the delivery car.)
As America’s second-largest pizza chain, Domino’s has been growing its brand since 1960, using progressive delivery methods (emojis anyone?!) and supremely clever marketing techniques. We dug deep into the pizza-empire’s history to find out the backstory behind its logo, how the OJ Simpson trial boosted sales, and other surprising factoids.
Here are 10 things you didn’t know about Domino’s.
The Pizza Chain Sells 1.5 Million Pizzas Every Day.
With over 11,000 locations scattered across the globe and 5,000 international locations, it should come as no surprise that Domino’s deals with a heavy amount of daily pizza traffic. According to Forbes, in the United States alone, the pizza company sells 400 million pizzas a year. That, along with traffic coming from over 80 international markets, means Domino’s is able to serve customers 1.5 million pizzas every day globally.
One of the Founders Quit to Be a Mailman.
Domino’s began after two brothers, Tom and James Monaghan, bought out an existing pizzeria in Michigan. After just one year, James Monaghan felt he might not be cut out for the pizza business and decided to continue his life as a mailman. Ultimately, James decided to sell his half of the business to his brother Tom in exchange for a Volkswagen Beetle—making Tom the sole proprietor of the business. Four years later, Tom decided to rename his business “Domino’s.”
Pizza Can Be Delivered Via Drone, Airplane, and Emoji.
One of the greatest joys for customers in the modern day era is ordering a pizza and having it delivered straight to your door. As if the process could not get any easier, Domino’s created ways to make the ordering experience even more convenient. United Kingdom customers can have their pizza delivered via drone, and those living on remote islands can have their pizzas delivered by a small airplane. Even the emoji-savvy millennials can have a pizza delivered by texting an emoji pizza.
The Company Holds a Competition to Find the World’s Fastest Pizza Maker.
Ever wonder how the delivery man gets the pizza to your door so quickly? Turns out the company doesn’t just hire speedy employees—they create them. At Domino’s World Fastest Pizza Maker Competition, employees from Domino’s locations around the country compete to represent their own franchise. The 2014 winner was UK employee Pali Grewal, who was able to make three pizzas in less than 11 seconds each. A true modern-day hero.
The Three Dots Represent the First Stores.
While it’s easy to assume the dots on the Domino’s logo simply represent a traditional domino block, it actually points to a marketing scheme that more or less backfired. The three dots represent each one of the company’s first stores. The original plan was to add a dot as each additional franchise was created, but after the company exploded in popularity, the idea was scratched.
You can only cop vegan Domino’s in Israel.
In the United States, vegans hoping to order from Domino’s are only able to sang a cheese-free pizza on a thin crust. But for vegans living in Israel, this isn’t the case. Back in 2013, Domino’s Israel created the chain’s first-ever 100% vegan pizza. The pie features soy-based cheese and cruelty-free toppings. Lil B would be proud of this one.
The Super Bowl is Domino’s Biggest Day of the Year.
Tailgates, beer, feasts of chicken wings, and barbecue dominate the football scene. But statistics point to another trend. According to Fox News, the Super Bowl is the company’s largest day of the year, meaning pizza truly dominates. Customers who know exactly what they would like to order can even use the Domino’s application to preorder their feast and have it delivered to them right before kickoff.
Domino’s Saw a Spike in Sales During the OJ Simpson Chase.
One of the world’s most intense car chases to date also happened to be Domino’s busiest day ever. On June 17th, 1994, over 95 million people were glued to their televisions watching two hours worth of news covering OJ Simpson and his infamous low-speed chase in his Ford Bronco. Tim McIntyre, Domino’s vice president, explains to Business Insider: “People were so enthralled by the bizarre nature of what was happening, they didn’t want to miss a moment, so instead of going out to dinner or making dinner, many people ordered pizza.” McIntyre also reasoned that the fact the chase happened during “dinner time on the West Coast and late-evening on the East Coast” greatly helped sales.
Australians could earn some serious cash creating their own pizza for Domino’s.
Back in 2014, Domino’s Australia gave superfans the opportunity to create their own pizzas and make bank while doing it. Using Domino’s Pizza Mogul app, fans were able to devise their own pie to be included on Domino’s menu. The pizza was added to a temporary menu that allowed customers to order fan-made recipes. The more the specially-crafted pie sold, the more money the creator would make. Pizzaboyz take note—the highest earning Pizza Mogul received over $1,000.
The Hip-Hop Community Reps it Hard.
Rappers—they’re just like us. Both Riff Raff and Young Thug have both vocalized their love for the pizza chain. In a recent interview with The New York Times, Thugger, who has been known to never eat “real food,” ordered four Domino’s pizzas before heading into the recording studio. Alternatively, while Riff Raff was trying to gain weight to join the WWE, he ordered boxes on boxes of Domino’s. During a San Francisco show, he and Diplo handed extra slices of Domino’s that Riff Raff failed to finish out to the audience. Such a gentleman.