Hitting the Road: Domino’s Pizza HQ in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Earlier this week I participated in a “Blogger Day” event over at Domino’s headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Included with the visit to the headquarters was a stop at the warehouse facility known as the Domino’s World Resource Center. Think of the World Resource Center as the “dough factory” because that’s where you’ll find people and machines at work whipping together balls of dough for future pizza creations.
The basic ingredients in the pizza dough are water, flour, yeast, oil, sugar and salt. If you’re thinking about the new recipe Domino’s pizza, just know that the garlic butter is applied at the very end, after the pizza has been cooked. Personally, the new recipe Domino’s pizza suffers from the garlic oil mixture and it’s good to know you can get it without. I’d rather have some control over the amount of garlic butter (like Papa John’s) rather than just have it standard. To each their own though and I think I might be in the minority with that opinion.
Anyway, should I get back to the dough? There are 16 of these dough making factories across the country that supply local Domino’s shops. Giant machines mixing ingredients and molding balls of dough which are flung onto conveyor belts and pass through an X-RAY machine for inspection on their way to sit in dough buckets. These “dough buckets” chill in a refrigeration room (sucks to stand in for more than a few minutes). The refrigerated dough then makes it’s way to refrigerated trucks for delivery. This “dough factory” is also a hub for supplies for local Domino’s such as plastic utensils, napkins etc. Take a peak at this little video I put together:
I shouldn’t forget the actual headquarters building. Lots of Q&A with Domino’s folks and a chance to hit the test kitchen to make a pizza of my own.
I really wanted to be able to flash my genius and make a Domino’s Buffalo Chicken Kickers pizza. A ranch white sauce topped with mozzarrella, roasted red peppers and diced up Buffalo Chicken Kickers. It would’ve been magic. Since only standard toppings were at my disposal, I went with a Meditteranean-style pizza and added some grilled chicken to the mix.
The ingredients I used: tomato sauce, cheese, fresh baby spinach, feta cheese crumbles, roasted red peppers, black olives, diced tomatoes and grilled chicken. I must admit, I think I found my new go-to combination of toppings. We also had a chance to jot down our thoughts on the Pacific Veggie Pizza in a Sensory Panel booth.
Overall, it was a cool experience and I’m glad I had the opportunity to go. Special thanks goes out to Phil Lozen, Jamie Chiriboga, Sean Carroll and everyone involved for giving us an inside look into the world of Domino’s.