In many ways, pizza is the canary in the coal mine when it comes to the US economy. Americans order pizza to celebrate a child’s birthday, to mark the departure of a coworker, or as something to eat when we don’t have the time–or the money–for anything more elaborate. Through good times and bad, pizza has been there for America.
Domino’s built an empire on our appetite for pizza, as did its many competitors (Pizza Hut, Little Caesars, Herman Cain, etc.)–and our supermarket aisles filled with frozen cheese pie brands. So when a juggernaut like Domino’s implements a major change in its relationship to the public—such as emphasizing services in its brick-and-mortar stores—we know something big is happening. Here it is: A growing trend shows that many Americans would rather pick up their pizzas than have them delivered. The first question any PR expert would ask is “Why?”
As this article explains, primary contributing factors include our current economic malaise and a general shift in distribution paradigms. It’s strange to imagine that a population that once thought it was OK to take out a loan on a house they clearly couldn’t afford is now tightening their budgets to the point they are willing to pick up their own pizzas to save a few dollars. How far we have come, indeed.
Domino’s is ideally situated for this evolution because the company doesn’t offer anything resembling an actual restaurant experience, and the public is OK with that—tipping is tipping, after all—but its locations do have some room where customers can wait until their pizzas are ready. In fact, thanks to its large number of stores, Domino’s is more sensitive to its customers’ demands than ever before. By adding big screen TVs, seating options and counters that serve side dishes to its stores, Domino’s looks to boost its revenues while rolling out a new logo and “feel.”
Now the public just has to wait to see if the brand launches a series of commercials admitting to how bad its previous stores were.