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Domino’s Pizza: Two Brothers Founded Pizza Place; Only One Became a Billionaire

Domino’s Pizza: Two Brothers Founded Pizza Place; Only One Became a Billionaire

Reported by Liku Zelleke

Domino’s Pizza is probably one of the most recognized brands in the world – even in countries where it doesn’t have a branch. The distinct logo is pretty hard to forget.

The company has a firm grip on the US with what seems like a franchise on every other block. Domino’s Pizza employs over 220,000 people in 73 countries worldwide. A pepperoni pizza can be delivered in “30 minutes or less” in about 5,700 cities around the world.

As of 2014, it was estimated that there were nearly 11,000 Domino’s Pizzas. Most of them can be found in the US, UK and India. Annually, the company makes $35 billion and it is a major contender in the pizza market.

The Domino’s Pizza Empire was started in 1960 when the two Monaghan brothers, Tom and James, purchased a pizza restaurant called DomiNick’s in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Tom and James bought the place with a $500 down payment and a loan of $900. They originally planned to split the work evenly between themselves but James soon found that he couldn’t keep up his end of the bargain as he already held a full-time position as a postman.

So, before their first year together as partners ended, he traded in his share of the business to his brother and took a Volkswagen Beetle for his troubles.

The restaurant prospered under Tom’s management, and by 1965 – when the name was officially changed to Domino’s – he had two more pizzerias.

Within a decade, there were 200 pizzerias. Five years later there were a thousand pizzerias. Soon after, the first international pizzeria was opened in Winnipeg, Canada.

In 1998, after Domino’s had become the largest pizza company behind Pizza Hut, Tom sold his 93% share of the company for $1 Billion dollars.  After reading a passage about the dangers of pride written by C. S. Lewis,  Tom decided to live a humble and philanthropically fulfilling life.

We assume his brother is still entitled to free pizza for life.


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