Domino’s Pizza a farmer’s friend (Editorial)
In 2017, Domino’s Pizza made a bold move.
Speaking to agriculture-focused Brownfield News, a spokesman said when it comes to animal welfare, farmers know best.
“We will never tell a farmer how to farm. We will never tell a rancher how to raise his or her animals,” said Domino’s spokesman Tim McIntyre. “What we believe is they’re the experts. They have the most vested interest in raising their livestock. It’s not just a job, we recognize that. It’s a life and we appreciate that — and we’re not afraid to stand up and say it.”
The comment quickly spread through farming circles online with plaudits for the company’s unabashed support of agriculture and likely redoubled pressure from animal rights groups’ to shame the company into aligning with their views on raising animals or dropping meat from its menu altogether.
Domino’s also won agricultural praise in 2012 for not succumbing to activist pressure to move away from farms who use gestation crates in pork production.
A few years prior, Domino’s was rated at the bottom of the list among the big pizza chains and launched a campaign that took ownership of their shortcomings and totally revamped its menu, recipes and fully embraced digital ordering platforms and data collection.
It could have easily coupled a new stance on meat and animals in its revamp to fall in line with the raft of other companies who made changes to their animal welfare policies seeking activist group approval. But instead it did not. It took a stand, putting faith in farmers.
In the meantime, Domino’s has dominated the pizza market. Since its revamp in 2010, sales have doubled from $3.1 billion to $6.6 billion in 2018. In 2017, it passed Pizza Hut in U.S sales with about 2,000 fewer locations in the country. Globally, the company projects $25 billion in sales by 2025.
We are not crediting Domino’s recovery with its stance in support of modern agriculture.
It surely generated some sales in farm country at harvest time or other hurried points in the farming year as farmers loudly proclaimed them their pizza of choice.
But at less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, other companies have found that farmers aren’t that costly to alienate.
Domino’s success comes from not being afraid to scrap what it had been doing, adopt a new model and track how it was performing with data enabled by new technology.
That’s no different than a farm that brings in precision instruments with a plan to increase production an reduce inputs to make itself more efficient.
While Domino’s ardent support of farmers may not have been the leader in its rise to dominate the pizza landscape, it’s quite evident that it didn’t hurt it, either.
Other companies feeling the pressure from activist groups may want to take note.
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