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Domino’s Transparent Pizza

Recently, Domino’s started a campaign that threw open the world of food photography and showed why the food you get at the restaurant rarely (never?) seems to resemble the amazing looking food you see on TV.

At, they asked for their customers’ pizza photos.

In short order, they’d received 13,000 photos.

At least one showed cheese stuck to the top of the delivery pizza box (We’ve all gotten one of those).

Rather than leave it buried in the other 13,000 photos, Domino’s Pizza CEO Patrick Doyle shows the photo in a recent television ad, names the town (and thus by association, the Domino’s franchisee) and make it clear that kind of performance will not stand.

How’s that franchisee feel about his town being named on national TV? Hopefully it feels like a target on their back.

If I’m the Domino’s CEO, I don’t really care so much about how it makes the franchisee feel (and I suspect they were warned before the ad appeared). Meanwhile, I suspect a number of the Domino’s customers in that town are nodding their head as they see the commercial and thinking “Yep, that happened to me.”

Rather than pretend it didn’t happen (or spin it), he steps right out, shows the photo to the world and says (more or less) “This will not stand and we will do better.”

A great lesson for every small business owner, whether you sell pizza, knitting supplies or software: The world already knows what you screwed up. Your customers talk about it, blog about it, chat about it at the grocery store, at the water cooler and in the yard.

How you face – and fix – what you screwed up is often far more important. We have enough image control and spin in our lives. We don’t need it from the businesses we deal with.

4 replies on “Domino’s Transparent Pizza”

Mark, you are 100% correct, it’s how you deal with the problem in the customers eyes that shows your true worth. A few years ago I had a pizzeria and was the only operator in town that offered a 100% money back guarantee. Everyone thought I was nuts because I put the printed guarantee on the front of the takeout menu. On only two occasions in three years did I have someone with an issue about the pizzas. I simply asked them exactly how I can make it better and what would it take for them to be completely satisfied. And you know what, they told me and I did it! They continued to be loyal customers and raving fans referring me to all their friends for the great way I handled their particular customer service issue. And all I did was ask them how they want me to make it better. Simple!

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