As an American fast food chain with plenty of competitors, Domino’s Pizza has an interesting new marketing strategy: Taking over the duties of local governments in cites starved for tax revenue.
On Monday, Domino’s Pizza rolled out its “Paving for Pizza” campaign, in which customers can nominate a city to receive road repair funds from the pizza chain, which will then pave pothole-ridden streets while prominently displaying its logo at the same time.
“Potholes, cracks, and bumps in the road can cause irreversible damage to your pizza during the drive home from Domino’s. We can[t stand by and let your cheese slide to one side, your toppings get un-topped, or your boxes get flipped,” the Paving for Pizza website reads. “So we’re helping to pave in towns across the country to save your good pizza from these bad roads.”
— Yahoo Finance (@YahooFinance) June 11, 2018
It comes as no surprise that in all four of the four towns Domino’s Pizza showcased in its Paving for Pizza ad campaign — Burbank, California, Bartonville, Texas, Milford, Delaware, and Athens, Georgia — severe cuts have been made to road repair budgets in recent years. This is likely why the pizza chain’s customers in these cities nominated their municipalities to get road repair funding from the fast food company.
The road and bridge budget for Denton County, Texas — which includes the town of Bartonville — was slashed by approximately $200,000 between Fiscal Year 2017 and Fiscal Year 2018. In the Los Angeles suburb of Burbank, local officials are having to make double-digit budget cuts across the board due to a structural deficit projected to last roughly five years.
The Capital for Additions and Improvement budget for Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, which houses Athens, was cut by approximately seven percent between last year and this year. And a 2014 report from the Newark News Journal showed that the Delaware Department of Transportation delayed multiple road repairs due to funding concerns, including U.S. 113 in Sussex County, which is one of the main thoroughfares in Milford.
While conservatives and libertarians might see this as an example of what a small government utopia could look like, with private businesses and corporations taking on the duties of government, it’s important to remember that Domino’s Pizza is still getting its money’s worth. A 2017 report in the Sydney Morning Herald showed that Domino’s Pizza was revamping its brand to be more focused on quality, as a means of justifying its pizzas becoming smaller and more expensive.
If the public relations boost the Paving for Pizza campaign is banking on pans out, Domino’s Pizza is likely to see its sales numbers continue to increase, meaning the pizza chain would easily recoup the money spent on filling potholes in a handful of cities.
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.