1983 Domino’s launches with home delivery

The first Australian Domino’s store opened in Springwood, Queensland, in 1983. Domino’s home delivery service gave it an advantage over the rival Pizza Hut. Despite this, the chain was not successful until the master franchise was acquired by Australia’s pioneers of home-delivered pizza, Silvio’s Dial-a-Pizza, in 1993.

Like other major fast-food franchises, Domino’s Pizza was American, tracing its origins to ‘Dominick’s Pizza’ in Ypsilanti, Michigan which opened in 1960. In 1963 the store was acquired by two brothers: Tom and James Monaghan.  Tom Monaghan bought his brother out, opened two more stores and, in 1965, renamed them Domino’s.

In 1967 the first franchised Domino’s Pizza store opened and by 1978 the company had expanded to have 200 stores in the USA. International expansion began in 1983, with stores opened in Canada and Australia. The Brisbane store was eventually followed by stores in Sydney and Perth.

Domino’s set out to challenge Pizza Hut which, at that time, was the major pizza chain in Australia. Initially, the stores struggled, despite the point of difference offered by home delivery. Many franchisees failed and the business was virtually defunct when the master franchise was acquired by Silvio’s.  It was originally intended to operate both brands but all the stores were finally converted to Domino’s.

Pizza Hut had meanwhile moved into the home delivery business, acquiring Dial-a-Dino’s in 1989. It was the beginning of the decline of the Pizza-Hut eat-in restaurants.

In 2001, two large franchisees merged their stores into the Domino’s corporate network.  At this point the chain had a total of more than 175 stores across Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia and began a move into Victoria and New Zealand. In 2005 the company was listed on the Australian stock exchange.

Domino’s Pizza Enterprises, based in Australia, now holds the exclusive master franchise for the brand in Australia, New Zealand, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Monaco, Japan and Germany. The company is led by Don Meij, who began his career as a delivery boy for Silvio’s Dial-a-Pizza. Early in 2018, the USA company announced that Domino’s had surpassed Pizza Hut to become the largest pizza company in the world (based on sales).

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