A few weeks back I read this article in USA TODAY about how Domino’s was actively implementing social media to promote their new pizza formula. This line caught my attention: “Domino’s will reach out to food bloggers and others who have criticized the brand in the past and ask them to comment live on the Domino’s website about the new formula.”
I tweeted a link to the article because several of my connections on Twitter are involved in studying the uses of social media for marketing and advertising. The people who run the Domino’s account on Twitter saw my mention of them and asked me to follow them, so I did as I was curious to see how they were using Twitter. They also were kind enough to send me a coupon for a free pizza so I could try the new pizza myself.
First of all, I will put it out there that it’s almost blasphemous that I’m reviewing Domino’s pizza here. I live in NYC, specifically in Brooklyn, which is known the world over for having amazing pizza provided by locally owned establishments. My favorites for whole pies are Lucali in Brooklyn and Two Boots in Manhattan. By the slice, my favorite place is a hole-in-the-wall joint near my office on W. 40th St. called Siena’s.
But every few weeks, my boss will order up a few pizzas from Domino’s for the office for people working late because there is one nearby. I figured I should see if the pizza was markedly improved since I do find it on my list of food options every so often. Also, a lot of my friends don’t live in a city with a lot of options when it comes to pizza but almost all of them have access to Domino’s. I thought they’d appreciate it if I tested it out for them.
So I ordered up a pie last night with pepperoni. After doing a little research, I saw that Domino’s truly made a commitment to rebuilding their pizza formula. Everything is new – new crust, sauce and cheese blend. The impetus behind the pizza makeover? 2010 marks Domino’s 50th year in business. I also think the nightmare earlier this year in 2009 with the gross video of their employees on YouTube (I’ll spare you the link) probably drove them to think of innovative ways to improve their image and their market share.
I got a kick out of using Domino’s Tracker to see where my pizza was last night. I didn’t know there was a franchise in delivery range of my apartment, so I learned something new because of all this. It took about 45 minutes for the pizza to arrive, which was inside the delivery time range they promised. The box clearly proclaimed the contents inside:
For starters, I never thought the “old” pizza was horrible. I’m very picky about pizza sauce and I always thought their sauce was fine. Based on the what the box was promising, I prepared myself for more cheesy, more spicy, more garlicky and then dove in. I had two slices to make sure I really got my tongue around what was going on there.
Verdict: The new pizza was good. Not amazing or a revelation, but good. It’s an improvement. I felt the biggest difference was in the crust. It is markedly more flavorful. Actually, it was almost TOO flavorful for my taste. I prefer thin crust anyway, so I wouldn’t typically be eating this style of pizza from them. The crust was soft and chewy and very garlicky and buttery. If you like saving all the crusts for last and dipping them in sauce, then this may be your perfect pizza.
Regarding the sauce, it is still good. I can’t remember the flavor of the old sauce well enough to say whether this new sauce is much spicier, but I still like it.
And as for the cheese blend, it does taste a bit more flavorful. I think the old pizza’s cheese was bland, but it was usually covered in a mix of veggies, so it wasn’t as prominent a part of the taste for me when I ate Domino’s. But here on the pepperoni pie, the more flavorful cheese was noticeable and appreciated.
So, there you have it. The new pizza is a better pizza and if you enjoyed Domino’s before, you will most likely like this one. If you didn’t like Domino’s before, I think you should give it another try and see if you like it now. Unless you live in NYC.
If you live in NYC, I think you should go support your family-owned shops and get a real New York slice.
Thanks to Domino’s for the opportunity to try the new pizza for free. I appreciate your efforts to use social media to reach out to people and let them know what you’re up to!!
So, what are your thoughts on pizza? Where is your favorite place for a slice or a pie? How many times do you order pizza for delivery. Leave me a comment and say hi!
More on Domino’s New Pizza:
Domino’s New Pizza Recipe: What Does it Taste Like? – Review on the Slice blog at Serious Eats
The Pizza Turnaround – Domino’s website with info on their new recipe and a display of live tweets on what people are saying about them.