Domino’s Pizza is one of the most recognized fast food brands in the world. For several years they were famous for their “We deliver in less than 30 minutes or it’s free” guarantee, which they had to suspend in the United States due to traffic accidents.
But the story behind Domino’s Pizza’s identity isn’t just that successful promotion. There is something to tell about the brand name and logo, especially about the domino figure.
How did Domino’s Pizza start?
Brothers Tom and James Monaghan led a difficult life. They grew up in orphanages after their father died when they were children and their mother had a hard time supporting them.
When he was of legal age, Tom wanted to study architecture, but to pay for his studies he needed a job. Since he had no luck finding one, he joined the army…or so he thought. By accident he joined the United States Marine Corps.
He stayed there until 1959 and returned to Ann Harbor, Michigan, still determined to become an architect but still short of money. He reached an agreement with his brother Jim, who worked as a mailman, to buy a pizza restaurant in Ypsilanti, another city in that state. If they took turns at the pizzeria, Tom could continue studying.
They took out a $900 loan and bought the restaurant called DomiNick’s Pizza from a man named Dominic DiVarty.
A short time later, Jim preferred to return to his life before the pizzeria. He sold his share of the restaurant to Tom in exchange for the Volkswagen they used for home deliveries. Tom resigned himself to the fact that he would no longer be an architect, but an entrepreneur.
Tom invested a lot of time and money in keeping the business going, and it did well enough for him to acquire other locations and start a chain of pizza restaurants. However, when he thought about what to name it, it turned out that the man who sold him the first store, Dominic, forbade him to use his name for this chain. One day in 1965 one of Tom’s delivery guys came up with the idea. Change the name “Dominic” to “Domino’s”. Tom liked the sound of it and stuck with that name.
Why are there three circles on the domino?
When Tom developed the identity of his pizza chain, it seemed appropriate to use a domino, which has dots on each side. Tom thought of putting a dot on one side and two on the other to represent the three branches he had open, and each time he opened a new branch, he would add one more dot.
Obviously at that time he was not thinking big, nor did he imagine how fast his business would grow.
Domino’s Pizza gradually became a national, and then global, restaurant chain. It would have been impossible to keep up with the domino for each new branch opened.
According to Statista for the year 2020 in the world there are more than 17 thousand branches, of which 779 are in Mexico.
And that is the detail that many do not know in the Domino’s Pizza logo.