It pays to be honest. Just ask Domino’s. Last year, the pizza franchise admitted that its crust tastes like cardboard and its sauce stinks. It was a risky move, mostly because consumers are so accustomed to being lied to. They’re not sure what to do when companies actually tell the truth. Of course, Domino’s startling confession was really just a way to get curious customers to try their new and improved pizza. And guess what? The ploy worked. It really, really worked. Last week, the company reported that fourth-quarter sales more than doubled to $23.6 million, up from $11 million a year earlier. But here’s the question: now that people have tried Domino’s revamped recipe, will they come back for more? “When a restaurant company radically changes their menu, usually there’s a curiosity bump involved in the results,” says one analyst. “But it’s too early to tell if that’s going to be sustainable for a long time.”
How convenient. If the mountain won’t come to Quiznos, Quiznos must go to the mountain. Or something like that. The sandwich chain wants to be everywhere its customers are. That’s why it is aggressively expanding into convenience stores, reports the Wall Street Journal. In these recessionary times, trips to the convenience stores are on the rise, while restaurants visits fell 3 percent last year. Quiznos says it plans to open about 700 of these mini restaurants by 2012. Convenience store owners who bite on the offer will have to pay an upfront fee to remodel their locations, as well as cough up associated franchise costs. “Their return on investment is a lot greater than having an aisle full of dusty mayonnaise jars,” says one Quiznos exec.
Green submarine. In other Quiznos news, the company has just launched its new ‘Eat Toasty, Be Green’ environmental campaign. The name isn’t particularly clever or original, but that’s not really the point, is it? The company will start doing a number of things to reduce its ecological footprint. Drinks will be served in compostable wax-coated paper cups that break down more easily in landfills, and napkins will be made from 100 percent recycled material. All fine and good, of course, but as far as eco-efforts go, it’s pretty run-of-the-mill stuff. And then we saw this: all Quiznos employees will be decked out in new uniforms made completely from recycled soda bottles. Each hat worn by a staff member saves about six bottles from being dumped in a landfill, and each apron saves 25 bottles. Talk about a fashion statement.