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11 Things You Might Not Know About Domino's

In the past 50 years, Domino’s has grown to become the second largest pizza chain in the country.

1. THE FOUNDER WAS A COLLEGE DROPOUT.

Tom Monaghan’s father died when he was just 4 years old. Unable to care for her kids on her own, his mother sent Tom and his brother to a Catholic orphanage for six years. After that, they bounced around to various foster homes. After barely graduating high school—he was last in his class—and a stint in the Marine Corps, Tom tried to go to college in Michigan. He briefly studied as an architect at the University of Michigan but, unable to pay tuition, he took his brother Jim up on an offer to go in on a small pizzeria that was for sale. They bought DomiNick's in 1960 with a $900 loan.

2. TOM MONAGHAN TRADED HIS CAR TO BECOME THE SOLE OWNER.

The original plan between the two Monaghan brothers was to trade off shifts so Tom could continue his studies and Jim could keep up his job as a mailman. But within eight months of buying the pizzeria, Jim decided to focus solely on his job with the post office. Tom traded him the Volkswagen they used for deliveries for sole ownership of the business.

3. THE CHAIN WAS ORIGINALLY GOING TO BE CALLED “DOMINICK'S.”

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It took about a year for Monaghan, who had no pizza-making experience, to get the hang of peddling pies. But he soon bought two more pizzerias in the same county, intending to create a mini-chain of restaurants all with the same name. The real Dominick of the original DomiNick's wouldn’t let Monaghan use his name for an expanded chain, so one of the delivery guys suggested they tweak it slightly to Domino’s.

4. IF THEY’D GONE WITH THE ORIGINAL PLAN, THE LOGO WOULD BE MASSIVE NOW.

The new name lent itself to a domino logo. Monaghan put three dots on the domino to represent the three restaurants he owned at the time, intending to add a dot for each new location. “You can see I wasn't thinking of a national chain back then,” he said in 2003.

5. WHEN MONAGHAN OWNED THE DETROIT TIGERS, THEY CELEBRATED WITH DOMINO’S PIZZA.

Domino’s the franchise was a huge success, making Monaghan a very rich man. After having grown up effectively an orphan, he initially spent the money in flashy ways—acquiring 224 luxury cars, amassing the world’s largest Frank Lloyd Wright collection, and even buying the Detroit Tigers in 1983. The following the year, the Tigers won the World Series and when rowdy celebrations in the streets stranded some of the fans and sportswriters inside the stadium, Monaghan flew in several hundred pizzas from Domino’s on his Sikorsky S-76. In 1998, Monaghan sold the company to Bain Capital for around $1 billion.

6. DOMINO’S MOCKED SUBWAY WITH FREE SUBS FOR “JAREDS.”

As part of their expansion beyond pizza, Domino’s started offering oven baked sandwiches in 2008. The chain recognized that in doing so, they were targeting a certain chain’s market. And rather than deny competition with Subway, Domino’s really went for it: They offered free sandwiches to the first 1000 “Jareds” to who came in, a direct hit at the popular Subway spokesperson. Any spelling qualified, so Jarods and Jerrods were also in luck.

7. IN 2009, DOMINO’S ACCIDENTALLY GAVE AWAY NEARLY 11,000 FREE PIZZAS.

Somehow, in March 2009, a clever customer stumbled onto a promotional code that had been created months before, but never green-lighted or publicized. News of the glitch went viral around southern Ohio and northern Kentucky. By the time the company disabled the code, almost 11,000 free pizzas had been redeemed.

8. DOMINO’S ADMITTED THEIR PIZZA WAS BAD—AND THEN MADE IT BETTER.

By 2010, the complaints about Domino’s pizza and the lackluster flavor had gotten too loud to ignore—even at the company headquarters. So rather than try to stifle the critics, Domino’s featured them in a national ad, and promised to do better. They revamped their entire pie, “from the crust up.”

9. DOMINO’S IS BIG BUSINESS.

As of 2013, Domino’s is the second-largest pizza chain worldwide, after only Pizza Hut, with 11,629 restaurants in total. Brits especially love Domino’s. It’s the number one pizza chain there and in 2015, there were an estimated 75 million pizzas sold in the UK.

10. THE ONLY VEGAN DOMINO’S IS IN ISRAEL.

Cheese is fairly integral to the pizza experience. But in Israel, where veganism is especially popular, activist groups were persuasive enough to convince Domino’s to begin offering a family-size pizza with vegetables and a soy-based cheese for about $20 starting in 2013. It was an exciting development for the 50 or so Israel outposts of Domino’s, but expansion beyond that seems unlikely.

"We'll be paying attention to [the vegan pizza in Israel], but it's not something we're working on here in the U.S.," Domino's spokesman Tim McIntyre said at the time.

11. DOMINO’S ROLLED OUT THE FIRST CAR DESIGNED BY A PIZZA COMPANY.

Domino’s estimates that their 100,000 deliverymen drive a combined 10 million miles a week and deliver 400 million pizzas a year. So it only makes sense that the company has recently developed a car especially designed for delivery. Domino’s DXP, a riff on a subcompact Chevrolet Spark, can carry up to 80 pizzas and includes a 140 degree oven to keep the pies toasty. Domino’s will spread a fleet of 95 DXPs around 25 markets throughout the country. Franchisees can purchase the particular vehicles for $25,000.

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This Just In
Target Expands Its Clothing Options to Fit Kids With Special Needs
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Target

For kids with disabilities and their parents, shopping for clothing isn’t always as easy as picking out cute outfits. Comfort and adaptability often take precedence over style, but with new inclusive clothing options, Target wants to make it so families don’t have to choose one over the other.

As PopSugar reports, the adaptive apparel is part of Target’s existing Cat & Jack clothing line. The collection already includes items made without uncomfortable tags and seams for kids prone to sensory overload. The latest additions to the lineup will be geared toward wearers whose disabilities affect them physically.

Among the 40 new pieces are leggings, hoodies, t-shirts, bodysuits, and winter jackets. To make them easier to wear, Target added features like diaper openings for bigger children, zip-off sleeves, and hidden snap and zip seams near the back, front, and sides. With more ways to put the clothes on and take them off, the hope is that kids and parents will have a less stressful time getting ready in the morning than they would with conventionally tailored apparel.

The new clothing will retail for $5 to $40 when it debuts exclusively online on October 22. You can get a sneak peek at some of the items below.

Adaptive jacket from Target.
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Adaptive apparel from Target.

Adaptive apparel from Target.

Adaptive apparel from Target.

[h/t PopSugar]

All images courtesy of Target.

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Pop Culture
How Jimmy Buffett Turned 'Margaritaville' Into a Way of Life
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Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Few songs have proven as lucrative as “Margaritaville,” a modest 1977 hit by singer and songwriter Jimmy Buffett that became an anthem for an entire life philosophy. The track was the springboard for Buffett’s business empire—restaurants, apparel, kitchen appliances, and more—marketing the taking-it-easy message of its tropical print lyrics.

After just a few years of expanding that notion into other ventures, the “Parrot Heads” of Buffett’s fandom began to account for $40 million in annual revenue—and that was before the vacation resorts began popping up.

Jimmy Buffett performs for a crowd
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“Margaritaville,” which turned 40 this year, was never intended to inspire this kind of devotion. It was written after Buffett, as an aspiring musician toiling in Nashville, found himself in Key West, Florida, following a cancelled booking in Miami and marveling at the sea of tourists clogging the beaches.

Like the other songs on his album, Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, it didn’t receive a lot of radio play. Instead, Buffett began to develop his following by opening up for The Eagles. Even at 30, Buffett was something less than hip—a flip-flopped performer with a genial stage presence that seemed to invite an easygoing vibe among crowds. “Margaritaville,” an anthem to that kind of breezy attitude, peaked at number eight on the Billboard charts in 1977. While that’s impressive for any single, its legacy would quickly evolve beyond the music industry's method for gauging success.

What Buffett realized as he continued to perform and tour throughout the early 1980s is that “Margaritaville” had the ability to sedate audiences. Like a hypnotist, the singer could immediately conjure a specific time and place that listeners wanted to revisit. The lyrics painted a scene of serenity that became a kind of existential vacation for Buffett's fans:

Nibblin' on sponge cake,
Watchin' the sun bake;
All of those tourists covered with oil.
Strummin' my six string on my front porch swing.
Smell those shrimp —
They're beginnin' to boil.

By 1985, Buffett was ready to capitalize on that goodwill. In Key West, he opened a Margaritaville store, which sold hats, shirts, and other ephemera to residents and tourists looking to broadcast their allegiance to his sand-in-toes fantasy. (A portion of the proceeds went to Save the Manatees, a nonprofit organization devoted to animal conservation.) The store also sold the Coconut Telegraph, a kind of propaganda newsletter about all things Buffett and his chill perspective.

When Buffett realized patrons were coming in expecting a bar or food—the song was named after a mixed drink, after all—he opened a cafe adjacent to the store in late 1987. The configuration was ideal, and through the 1990s, Buffett and business partner John Cohlan began erecting Margaritaville locations in Florida, New Orleans, and eventually Las Vegas and New York. All told, more than 21 million people visit a Buffett-inspired hospitality destination every year.

A parrot at Margaritaville welcomes guests
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Margaritaville-branded tequila followed. So, too, did a line of retail foods like hummus, a book of short stories, massive resorts, a Sirius radio channel, and drink blenders. Buffett even wrote a 242-page script for a Margaritaville movie that he had hoped to film in the 1980s. It’s one of the very few Margaritaville projects that has yet to have come to fruition, but it might be hard for Buffett to complain much. In 2015, his entire empire took in $1.5 billion in sales.

As of late, Buffett has signed off on an Orlando resort due to open in 2018, offering “casual luxury” near the boundaries of Walt Disney World. (One in Hollywood, Florida, is already a hit, boasting a 93 percent occupancy rate.) Even for guests that aren’t particularly familiar with his music, “Jimmy Buffett” has become synonymous with comfort and relaxation just as surely as Walt Disney has with family entertainment. The association bodes well for a business that will eventually have to move beyond Buffett’s concert-going loyalists.

Not that he's looking to leave them behind. The 70-year-old Buffett is planning on a series of Margaritaville-themed retirement communities, with the first due to open in Daytona Beach in 2018. More than 10,000 Parrot Heads have already registered, eager to watch the sun set while idling in a frame of mind that Buffett has slowly but surely turned into a reality.

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