The statistics are mind-blowing.
Close to 93% of Americans eat this cuisine every month. More than 3 billion units are sold yearly in the United States alone, an annual revenue stream of $32 billion. There are 70,000 U.S.-based restaurants that serve this dish, yet a full 65% of the restaurants are small and independently owned. Clearly, this leaves a huge upside for corporate chains to exploit this enormous market.
If you haven’t guessed, I’m talking about pizza. Yes, the humble pizza pie produces a gigantic revenue stream and is loved by millions worldwide.
Everyone has their favorite pizzeria and type of pizza. In my case, my favorite remains Fiori’s Pizzaria in Pittsburgh. This hole-in-the wall restaurant truly has the best pizza on earth. I don’t know if it’s the water, the heaps of mozzarella cheese, the slightly sweet crust, or a combination thereof, but something really makes this pizza stand out of from the crowd. I know each time I make a trip to the Steel City, it’s on my list of must-dos.
While my favorite pizza is a craft-made masterpiece by Pittsburgh’s finest pizzaria, I have also had quite a few pizzas from the chain restaurants. Many pizza connoisseurs dismiss these pizzas as being too bland and predictable. However, one of the leading chains is making serious inroads toward a very respectable pizza.
I am talking about the world’s second-largest chain, Domino’s Pizza, Inc. (NYSE:DPZ).
In college, I ate too much Domino’s pizza, since it was one of the few places that delivered to my school and always had specials for poor students. Keep in mind, this was in the late 1980s when Domino’s truly tasted like cardboard compared to good pizza. For a starving student who was tired of the cafeteria, however, it tasted like a slice of heaven.
After tiring of it in college, I avoided Domino’s for years. But as a traveler, I would order Domino’s every so often, usually when it was the only pizza available late at night. Over the past five years, I have noticed a distinct improvement in the quality and taste of Domino’s. Domino’s pizzas have progressed from bland, lifeless pies to ones bursting with flavor, taste and texture. While it will likely never rival the Pittsburgh masters in my book, Domino’s can hold its own against nearly everything on the market.