Claim: Domino’s Pizza ended its “30 minutes or it’s free” guarantee because a speeding delivery driver hit and killed a child.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, 2006]
When I was managing the local Domino’s pizza (in Washington state) the rumor for why we dropped the
Origins: Domino’s, a multi-million dollar chain of pizza restaurants, began in 1960 with a $500 investment by two brothers in a Ypsilanti, Michigan, pizza parlor called DomiNick’s. From those humble origins the company has grown into an international chain, now operating thousands of outlets in more than fifty countries.
During its formative years, one of the ways Domino’s sought to increase its market share among the U.S. pizza-buying public was to offer a guarantee on the speed of its delivery, thereby enticing consumers to order from Domino’s in preference to one of its many competitors. That guarantee, which began in 1979, was
In 1993, in reaction to multi-million dollar settlements arising from car accidents involving its delivery drivers, Domino’s ended its delivery guarantee. While the pizza maker never admitted its drivers drove unsafely in their efforts to beat the
That perception was fueled by a couple of key lawsuits against Domino’s. In 1992, the company agreed to pay
Yet it was a case ruled upon in 1993 that rang down the curtain on the
driver in 1989, led to an award of $750,000 in actual damages and
Available information indicates that Kinder did not receive the full $78,750,000 awarded to her but instead chose to settle for
Human nature being what it is, the accidents that resulted in the demise of the guarantee are now recalled in a way that better suits them to serve as fodder for an explanatory tale: The deceased 41-year-old woman and the severely injured 49-year-old woman are transformed into a small child, and their accidents (which involved vehicles colliding with other vehicles) become an instance of a pizza delivery driver running down a youngster who had been walking alongside the road or attempting to cross the street. In this way, the horrific is made even more horrific; the mind’s eye is left contemplating the lifeless body of a little kid lying in the road. In this manner, the essence of the reason for the guarantee’s having been rescinded becomes far easier to grasp than it does when stated in more nebulous terms of lawsuits settled out of court and open questions of who really was at fault.
Domino’s still offers its customers a guarantee that they will be satisfied with the product, but it is a quality guarantee rather than a time-dependent one. Says the company’s Total Satisfaction Guarantee: “If for any reason you are dissatisfied with your Domino’s Pizza dining experience, we will
Barbara “I’ll tell them my dining companion was a poor conversationalist and demand a refund” Mikkelson
Last updated: 21 July 2014
Bryant, Tim. “Angry Jury Hits Domino’s Pizza Chain for $79 Million.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 19 December 1993 (p. A1). Faust, Fred. “Settlement Could Be in Order in Domino’s Pizza Case.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 28 March 1994 (Business Plus; p. 4). Fernandez, Maria Elena. “Buford Man Files $40 Million Suit Against Domino’s.” The Atlanta Journal and Constitution. 15 September 1994 (p. J1). The Oregonian. “Domino’s Reaches Settlement with Family of Dead Woman.” 12 May 1993 (p. E1).