Live From Salt Lake, It’s Domino’s Live!

Discussion
May 08, 2013

Five cameras have been installed at a Domino’s in Salt Lake City to enable online viewers across the world to see the making of its pizza, start to finish.

Viewers of Domino’s Live, which is streaming online through the end of May, largely see the location’s cooks kneading the dough, adding the toppings, popping the pies in and out of the oven.

Adweek wrote, "The footage is almost comically boring, but I suppose that’s what you get with ‘transparency’ — an inside look at a pretty tedious process in action."

"We’re proud of what we do in our stores and the ingredients in our pizzas," CEO J. Patrick Doyle told Forbes. "That’s why we’ve already been rolling out the ‘pizza-theater’ concept in our new stores, which already has been opening up our kitchen to our customers. Now, digitally, we’re doing the same thing with Domino’s Live."

[Image: Domino's LIVE]

Domino’s Live follows several other efforts by the pizza chain to increase its transparency. Beyond providing views of its kitchens with its "pizza-theater" concept, commercials over the past two years have openly addressed customer complaints, including its pizza tasting "like cardboard," that led to an overhaul of its pizza sauce and crust formulas as well as the introduction of new artisanal pizzas. As part of Domino’s Tracker feature, the names of actual pizza makers and delivery employees are attached to a pizza order.

Management is exploring whether the initial single-store pilot program with Domino’s Live will be extended beyond the end of May or to other stores. Mr. Doyle said, "We’ll try one store and see how it goes."

Are consumers looking for greater transparency from retailers? Is Domino’s Live an example of the type of transparency that will be increasingly expected by consumers?

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10 Comments on "Live From Salt Lake, It’s Domino’s Live!"


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Bob Phibbs
Guest
9 years 17 days ago

Saying, “we have nothing to hide” is like a hotel claiming they have “clean rooms.” It makes you wonder why they have to say that….

The genesis of this has to be the 2009 infamous Conover location video I covered here and the YouTube apology I covered here as well in 2010. Now it is three years later and we’re in Salt Lake City striving for transparency.

Pizza as theater began at Shakey’s back in the ’50s—except of course, the theater was the workers interacting with customers as they built their pies. I’m not seeing this content as a competitive advantage because there are too many reality shows on to keep customers from wondering what was behind the scenes—out of reach of the 5 strategic cameras.

I’ll give them this, they get great PR for the moment, though.

Max Goldberg
Guest
9 years 17 days ago

When a retailer like Domino’s has serious questions raised about the quality of its products, transparency is one of the best answers, provided that the quality has improved enough to make a distinction. Few retailers need to go as far as putting cameras in their production facilities. While that may seem like a sure-fire gimmick, it can also backfire if disgruntled or prank-loving employees hijack the process.

Retailers need to find a balance between letting consumers see how their processes work and running a business. The old adage, “Honesty is the best policy” is still useful today.

Steve Montgomery
Guest
9 years 17 days ago

Food is theater, or at least has an entertainment element. While this may work for Domino’s, I don’t see Target getting much viewership of its backroom operations.

Ryan Mathews
Guest
9 years 17 days ago

To some degree, I suppose everyone is looking for increased transparency.

In the case of Domino’s—or any food purveyor—the “open kitchen” concept is always good, whether digital or physical.

Of course, the real problems with food preparation often start in places where you are not likely to have cameras, like restrooms. On the other hand seeing people wash their hands before they start preparing your pizza may make you feel a little better.

I guess my issue with Domino’s program is that Adweek is right—it is boring.

On the other hand so is the latest episode of Swamp Gold Miners’ Pawn, Repo & Bounty Hunting Shoppe, so maybe the could make it into a new reality show.

Al McClain
Guest
Al McClain
9 years 17 days ago

Transparency is good — live cameras in a prep facility are bad. Even in the cleanest facility something occasionally goes wrong that you don’t want customers to see. And, if there are cameras on all the time, somebody will capture the video of anything that does go wrong and post it on YouTube. Even in the above 30 second piece I noticed the employee isn’t wearing gloves, which will bother some people. And I could swear I saw a fly buzzing around about half way through.

Doug Fleener
Guest
9 years 17 days ago

I think the whole thing is PR. Then again, maybe if they had video in my local Domino’s I would see my pizzas sit for 50 minutes waiting to go out for delivery. Ultimately, people want a quality product and a good experience. I’ve since switched back to the local pizza place without a camera.

Paul R. Schottmiller
Guest
Paul R. Schottmiller
9 years 17 days ago

This is getting some PR for now, but I can’t imagine it will be scaled across the chain or used frequently by consumers in its current form.

I will leave open the possibility that they may find a way to use this capability to create something more interesting and/or engaging. I have used and like their app that tells me the status of my order.

Lee Kent
Guest
9 years 17 days ago

I love that they continue to try things that allow transparency and interaction with their customers. This one sounds a bit boring and not worth taking too far for too long. But worth a try!

Karen S. Herman
Guest
9 years 17 days ago

I do not think transparency like this through digital media is the best way to sell Domino’s pizza and am curious whether Papa John’s “Better Ingredients. Better Pizza” positioning may be prompting this approach. I’m sure this will gain media and consumer attention in the short term, and maybe sales will bump up a bit, but am concerned that Domino’s Live will end up being seen as boring and repetitive. What matters to consumers is not how pizza looks as it is made, but how it tastes.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest
9 years 17 days ago

Are consumers looking for greater transparency? Well, no, they’re looking for quality goods/service and good prices. If this helps in that quest, then I guess people may support it, but this effort sounds yawn inducing; maybe not as boring as Sherwin Williams Live, but not far behind.

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