1983 Domino’s launches with home delivery

The first Australian Domino’s store opened in Springwood, Queensland. Unlike the rival Pizza Hut, they offered  home-delivered pizza. However, they were not the first to do so, having been pre-empted by Silvio’s Dial-a-Pizza and the Pizza Oven Family Restaurants, also in Brisbane.

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 Dial-a-Pizza in 1993.

Silvio’s Dial-a-Pizza was founded in 1978 by Silvio Bevacqua and his brothers in the Brisbane suburb of Red Hill. The company pioneered the home delivery of pizza in Australia.  According to Silvio Bevacqua, the intention, after the acquisition, was to convert the Domino’s stores to the Silvio’s brand. However, two years later, all stores adopted the Domino’s brand.

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 now holds the exclusive master franchise for the brand in Australia, New Zealand, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Monaco, Japan and Germany. Early in 2018, the USA company announced that it had surpassed Pizza Hut to become the largest pizza company in the world (based on sales).

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