If you’re running a company like Domino’s, it’s important you believe in it and its products.
So, it’s quite unusual for the new boss to come out and publicly say the product is garbage and needs to be massively improved.
These conversations take place in private but for the new CEO of Domino’s to say publicly its main product – its pizza – is “terrible” is quite a move.
Patrick Doyle took over Domino’s in 2010, and the first thing he did was admit the food was awful.
He went even further, posting comments from focus groups on the company’s commercials, saying things like “worst pizza I ever had” and “the crust takes like cardboard.”
As part of the campaign, Doyle promised to work “days, nights and weekends” to improve the product.
Speaking at the time, Doyle said:
“This is a company that had built the whole brand around fast and reliable delivery, and … we realized that everyone in the world who wanted fast, convenient pizza was already buying from us, and the people who wanted a great pie simply were not.”
It was an audacious move – and it worked.
Sales increased by 10.4 percent between 2009 and 2010.
As well as the advertising campaign, Doyle insisted on a training program for all staff and gave them the power to fix complaints with free food, vouchers, or extra topping.
The company also invested in in-car pizza warmers, a better website, and new apps.
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Doyle stepped down in 2018, having presided over an impressive turnaround.
In 2013, he revealed the secret behind the success.
“Fess up, own it”
He said: “Fess up, own it, and if something isn’t going well, admit that you’ve got the issue, do something about it, and people will react to it.
“If it didn’t work, I might have had the shortest tenure of any CEO in the U.S.”