Pizza to your door in thirty minutes or less. If that’s not tempting when you’re tired from a long day at work and hungry, what is?

Domino’s has made its name on giving customers good pizza for a good price, delivered to their door. It started with a small chain of stores in 1960 in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and has expanded to more than sixteen thousand locations all over the world. Domino’s has more than a thousand stores in India, and even opened a location in Milan, Italy. That Italian location had been a longtime goal of the company’s leaders, bringing their American made pizza to the birthplace of the food.

DomiNick’s to Domino’s

The initial small chain of pizza parlors was originally owned by Dominick DiVarti, who sold it to brothers James and Tom Monaghan in 1960. James traded his half of the company for the Volkswagen Beetle they used for delivery in the first year after they opened, and Tom became the sole owner of the what would become Domino’s. 

DiVarti forbid the Monaghans to use his name, Dominick, in the title of the store. That left Tom with the problem of not having a name. When a pizza delivery employee returned from a run one evening, he suggested Domino’s and Tom immediately jumped at the name. 

The domino logo for the company has three dots to represent the three original locations. Tom Monaghan’s initial idea had been to add a dot every time a store opened, but the company expanded so quickly that this wasn’t feasible. The franchise model allowed the company to get to two hundred stores by 1978. Domino Sugar unsuccessfully attempted to remove the Domino’s name from the pizza chain, with a federal court throwing out that lawsuit in 1980.

Domino’s continued to grow over the next forty years, going public in 2004 on the New York Stock Exchange with the symbol “DPZ”. 

Reinvention

Though the company saw a vast expansion throughout the eighties and nineties, in the early two thousands it began to slow down. This concern was pinpointed with the 2009 pizza survey that ranked Domino’s dead last in a taste test with every other major national brand, tied with Chuck E. Cheese. National chains like Papa John’s, Little Caesars, and Pizza Hut far outstripped the quality of the Domino’s product.

To change its momentum, Domino’s totally reinvented the way that it made its pizza. The company rolled out an innovative marketing campaign in 2010 that was self critical, with consumers berating its old pizza while marveling at the quality of the new pizza. The campaign and the reinvention worked, and Domino’s saw an almost fifteen percent spike in profit. 

Domino’s was the first major restaurant chain to go online with ordering. Its Domino’s Pizza Tracker, rolled out in 2008, allowed customers to not only order their pizza online, but also to track where it was in the delivery process. The innovation set the company apart yet again. It continued to expand its menu beyond delivery with on site table service and additional, non-pizza offerings. 

Today, Domino’s is one of the largest pizza and restaurant chains in the world. Though visionary founder Tom Monaghan sold his stake in the company in 1998 for one billion dollars, his simple and authentic vision of accessible food has continued to make Domino’s a force in the marketplace.

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