I first became acquainted with Dominos when I lived in my first apartment in Minneapolis. Near the U of M, “Cedar Square West,” was a HUD experiment of a “city within a city” and the exteriors were represented to be the domicile of Mary Tyler Moore on the television program that bore her name.
Dominos was the only joint that delivered to the complex, where safety could be dicey at times. I can still picture the long-haired, bespectacled delivery kid, who regularly bathed in patchouli.
That was about forty years ago. When they started delivering to me, they were, in fact Dominos, but a lawsuit by the makers of Dominos Sugar forced them to change their name for a few years, and I recall it as “Pizza Park.” Same colors, logo, but packaging and signs changed. Ultimately, the court said the pizza guys could keep their name, and now they are the second largest pizza chain in the US, and the largest in the world, with about 10,000 stores, corporate and franchisee owned. They bring in nearly $2 billion in revenue annually. India is the largest Dominos market outside of the U.S.
They specialize in ‘value priced’ product, and in addition to pizza, have ‘pasta bowls,’ sub sandwiches, chicken thingies, and pizza bread. Taking a cue from the Taco Bell philosophy, Dominos is able to take the same core ingredients, deliver them in different shapes, and with different names.
They frequently run pricing specials, and are generally acknowledged to be the technology leader as far as ordering apps, both online and with mobile. Their “pizza tracker” shows the progress of your order, from received, to prep, baking, and delivery.
One of their long time promotions was the pizza would be delivered in “30 minutes or it is free,” but ultimately, this proved to present some danger to drivers and pedestrians alike, so it was dropped.
At present, they have a deal where you can get two or more menu items at $5.99 each. They add a delivery charge, cautioning buyers this does NOT go to the delivery man, implying you should tack on some more dough for the pizza schlepper.
Since they now offer sandwiches, pasta, and chicken, they have dropped the word “pizza” from their name, and they are now simply “Dominos.”
I haven’t had their product for years, so in the interest of keeping you, dear readers, informed, I ordered a pair of the $5.99’s, one with “hand-tossed” crust, and one with “crispy thin” crust. Both were topped by two different processed pork products.
According to said “Pizza Tracker,” I placed my order at 11:01 AM and “Patrick” left the store with my pies at 11:17 AM.
He arrived at 11:45.
A few years ago, Dominos touted that they were completely re-inventing their pizzas, which did have a reputation for not being all that tasty. There were a lot of jokes about not being able to tell the difference in taste and texture between the pie and the box, and so on. So the company said a change was needed.
Today’s product is the result of those changes.
I have to tell you, both pies were pretty awful. Similar in taste to low end frozen pies, like Totinos, or Tonys. The hand-tossed one had two types of Italian sausage, chunk and sliced, and the thin crust was pepperoni and salami. Except they forgot the salami. Sausage pie was cut in sliced, pepperoni in squares.
While I am usually a fiend for thin crust over any other kind, I actually preferred the hand-tossed today.
But neither have any distinctive flavor, in their toppings, sauce or cheese. At the low end of the price point schedule, i actually preferred the bacon wrapped deep dish from Little Caesar’s recently.
If you’re drunk, don’t care, are cheap, have to feed somebody else’s kids, or are hosting relatives or people you don’t like, it may well be Dominos is your best choice.
Morning after, cold pizza test: Hand tossed, sausage pie is slightly better, thin crust, pepperoni, slightly worse.