Don Meij, CEO of Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd (Domino’s), first entered the pizza industry during his university studies in the late 1980s as a delivery driver for Silvio’s Dial – a – Pizza, a small Brisbane business which pioneered pizza home delivery services in Australia.
Don quickly became a successful store manager, before becoming operations manager and shareholder in the business. In 1993 Silvio’s acquired the Australian franchise for Domino’s, then a struggling business, and the two businesses merged in 1995. Don’s first store opened in 1996 and his portfolio soon expanded to 17 stores.
In 2001 when Domino’s had become the third largest pizza chain in Australia, Don exchanged his franchised stores for a significant stake in the company and within 12 months became its CEO. It was listed in 2005 and in 2006 acquired the Domino’s operations in three European countries. Domino’s is now the largest pizza chain in Australia with over 600 stores and the largest franchisee in the world for US based Domino’s Pizza, Inc. Its operations extend to more than 2,200 stores in seven countries: Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Japan, and Germany, and is the market leader in each. Between them, Domino’s and its international network of franchisees employ approximately 60,000 team members.
The extraordinary growth of the business is largely attributable to Don Meij’s drive, bold innovation, relentless focus upon delivering positive customer experiences, intensely developing its people and constantly looking over the horizon for the next growth opportunity. Don’s long-standing and mutually beneficial relationship with major shareholder and Non-Executive Chairman Jack Cowin has also been a cornerstone of the company’s success. With the Board’s backing, Domino’s has invested heavily in digital innovation which is now firmly embedded in the firm’s operating culture. Market leading digital initiatives have transformed customer choice and experience while generating impressive financial and brand outcomes. Artificial intelligence, robotics and drone delivery technologies now form part of the company’s digital agenda.
In less than 20 years since its listing in 2001, Domino’s has grown from less than 200 stores in Australia to more than 2,000 internationally while its market capitalisation has soared from $120 million to more than $4 billion. The keys to successfully running a single pizza outlet acquired by Don Meij 30 years ago continue to this day to be the guiding principles of Domino’s rapidly growing international food business.