Domino’s top pizza company

By Frank Witsil - Detroit Free Press

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (McClatchy) — Domino’s Pizza claimed the title of largest pizza company in the world this week, passing Pizza Hut.

The company, in its fourth-quarter earnings report, said its self-proclaimed No. 1 ranking is based on global retail sales.

Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Domino’s edged out Pizza Hut of Plano, Texas, which had been the largest pizza chain, with $12.2 billion in global sales for 2017. Pizza Hut — which is part of Louisville, Kentucky-based Yum Brands as are Taco Bell and KFC — had sales of $12.03 billion.

In the past few years, the brand has touted digital innovation, such as apps to track orders and testing driverless pizza delivery. Meanwhile, Pizza Hut, analysts said, has been losing younger customers.

Domino’s reported the company reported a $277.9 million profit for its 2017 fiscal year.

In fiscal 2017, the company said it opened 1,045 stores, of which 216 were in the U.S. and 829 were international stores.

Domino’s started small in 1960 with one store in Ypsilanti. Back then, it was called DomiNick’s. Brothers Tom and James Monaghan bought it for $500 and renamed it. There are now more than 14,400 Domino’s stores around the world.

J. Patrick Doyle, who has led Domino’s as president and CEO for eight years, announced this year that he is stepping down in June. He will be replaced by Richard Allison, president of Domino’s International. At the time, he said he wanted Domino’s to be the top pizza company in the world.

By Frank Witsil

Detroit Free Press