10 of the Wildest Domino’s Pizza Controversies

10 of the Wildest Domino’s Pizza Controversies

Unless you’re arguing over what toppings to get, ordering pizza is generally a pain-free American pastime that brings people together. But for one very popular fast pizza chain, this hasn’t always been the case. When they’re not serving up piping hot ‘za in 30 minutes or less, Domino’s has been embroiled in its fair share of scandals. Scandals like…

Domino’s Has a Leak

Plenty of people don’t think twice about giving Domino’s their personal information as part of the transaction. But a handful of customers in Australia discovered that their names, places of residence and email addresses fell into the hands of some very nefarious characters through a phishing scam. While the restaurant insisted that no financial information fell prey to the leak, customers were naturally aggravated that the chain didn’t inform them of the hack earlier. 

Rat-Infested Domino’s

The chain had to bail out its Scandinavian franchises after a televised investigation caught multiple rat-infested Danish locations employing workers with poor hygiene and a penchant for relabeling expired food. One location was described as being covered with “rat paw prints and (a) massive amount of excrement.”

Domino’s and the FTC

No, not the Federal Trade Commission. After one Domino’s customer complained about her order being wrong, an unruly employee left a message on her receipt that read “f*** this c***.” Domino’s resolved the issue by firing the employee.

Avoid the Noid’s Rage

The Noid was a freaky little villain created by Domino’s to physically manifest the challenges of delivering a pizza in 30 minutes or less (a challenge, of course, that the chain sought to overcome). But The Noid saw a tragic end when a Georgia resident named Kenneth Lamar Noid believed that the mascot was created to antagonize him specifically. This Noid took matters into his own hands, with a .357 Magnum in one of them, and held two employees hostage for over five hours.

‘Anything But Chinese’

Friendly jabs at your competitors are usually a surefire way to get a few customers through the door. The operative word here is “friendly,” and a 2020 Domino’s ad out of the U.K. was seen as anything but. It featured three women deciding what to get for dinner, to which one responds, “Anything but Chinese.” Critics viewed the ad as tone-deaf, especially as xenophobia and racism against East Asian people reached staggering new highs during the height of the pandemic.

Pizza Topped With Visas

While many fast-food restaurants have been caught using their operation as a front to funnel illicit goods, an Australian-based Domino’s was caught exploiting immigrants by charging them exorbitant fees for visa sponsorship. 

One More Pizza Topping

Back in 2017, an English couple was caught on a security camera having sex as an unwitting Domino’s employee prepared their pizza. The couple, who claimed their “exuberant spirit got the best of them,” were criminally charged for their indecent act after the 18-minute video was shown in court.

No Means Yes?

When rolling out four new artisan pizzas in 2012, Domino’s didn’t allow for their preset ingredients to be adjusted. While this sounds innocuous enough, critics lambasted the restaurants’ use of the tagline “No is the new yes,” which seemed woefully similar to the anti-rape slogan “No means no.”

Red-Handed Potato Wedges

Back in 2014, a U.K.-based Domino’s was caught with its hands in the potato-wedges jar when it sent a uniformed staff member to buy bags of frozen potato wedges from Aldi, which they then passed off as their “Bakin’ Hot Potato Wedges.” When caught, the restaurant claimed that the bags were for personal use before later admitting the truth: It was the only way for them to meet the item's high demand.

Disgusting Domino’s People

The internet is a powerful place, a lesson two Domino’s employees from North Carolina learned the hard way. Michael Anthony Setzer and Kristy Lyn Hammonds posted a YouTube series called “Disgusting Domino’s People," which featured Setzer contaminating ingredients with various body parts and fluids and alleging that these ingredients would be used in customers’ orders. Five videos and millions of views later, the pair were charged with a felony for food contamination, leaving the pizza chain with yet another snotty mess to clean up.

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