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.

12 comments on “Hitting the Road: Domino’s Pizza HQ in Ann Arbor, Michigan

  1. Rachel says:

    I LOVE spinach, and I like feta cheese and roasted red peppers too. I can’t remember the last time I ate Dom’s pizza. Are those standard topping options for Domino’s stores, or just stuff they had in the lab?

  2. DHL says:

    I see Adam Kuban from Slice/Serious Eats in those pictures! First picture has him behind the company rep that is talking.

  3. DHL says:

    It’s cool how you started where FFC left off over a year ago and you are on the various Fast Food Corps radar. It makes it feel that our input on this site is actually being listened too. Cool!

  4. Raiders757 says:

    I’m not a fan of baby spinach, feta cheese, or black olives, but I gotta say, that pizza you made does look tasty.

    I think this post answered one reason why Domino’s lacks in so many ways. I can only imagine their pizza would be better if their dough was made fresh in the stores. When I worked at a Pizza Hut back in the 80’s, they used to make their dough the day before. I’ve heard they have moved to factory made dough as well, which explains a lot about why their just not nearly as good as they used to be. Although I did try a Big Italy the other night, and it wasn’t too bad.

  5. J.B. says:

    I am going to be honest, watching the dough made in a giant ball in the factory and then cut up, frozen/chilled and put on trucks to be shipped out made me sick.
    I want my pizza fresh.
    Never have I been more jealous of New Yorkers than when I watched that.

  6. Jessica Leigh says:

    I’m so sad about the new Domino’s pizza… it’s just not as good…

  7. jared says:

    i just waited an hour and a half for a domino’s pizza and it came and the deliverer didn’t have enough money to make change…
    Very poor service

  8. ken flint says:

    very much improved pizza… the new crust is great.

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