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The Food service industry has experienced significant growth over the past few decades. This growth and development has been facilitated by the contributions of some of the innovative individuals in the industry. One person who has made considerable contributions to society’s food service management is Thomas S. Monaghan.
This great American entrepreneur has contributed to the hospitality industry field through innovations made by his successful fast food pizza franchise, Domino’s Pizza. This paper will set out to describe Monaghan with particular focus on his company, and the contributions that he has made to the hospitality industry.
Brief History of Thomas S Monaghan
Thomas S Monaghan was born in March 25, 1937 to his father who was a trucker and his mother who was a nurse. Monaghan’s father died in 1921 when Monaghan was four years old leaving the task of raising Monaghan to his mother. As a nurse whose job provided her with very low weekly wages, Monaghan’s mother was unable to provide for her two sons and they were soon taken into an orphanage in 1943.
While at the orphanage, Monaghan was under the care of nuns and this led to his deep devotion to the Catholic faith (Zuber 141). Monaghan and his brother stayed in the orphanage for the next six years and they were eventually taken back by their mother in 1949.
Monaghan served with the US Marine Corps from 1956 to 1959 when he was honorably discharged and after this, he returned to Michigan where he enrolled for a degree in architecture at the University of Michigan.
While in school, Monaghan collaborated with his brother to open a small pizza business which was expected to help pay for his education (Dicke 134). However, Monaghan ended up dropping out of school and running the business on a full time basis with great success.
Domino’s was started in December 1960 by the two Monaghan brothers, Thomas and James. The two bought a small pizza shop called Dominick’s in Ypsilanti, Michigan using the $900 loan they had obtained to start their business. Later in the year 1961, James Monaghan sold his stake in the business to Thomas who henceforth became the sole owner of the business. Monaghan adopted the official “Domino’s Pizza” name in 1965.
The first major development in Domino’s Pizza occurred in 1965 when Monaghan adopted the “simple menu” concept (Dicke 132). This concept essentially eliminated the subs and specialty pizzas, which increased the business’ workload. By making these eliminations, Domino’s Pizza was able to improve efficiency and therefore attain higher profits and sales.
The company started to experience significant growth in the late 60s owing to the popular new business model of franchising. Monaghan was able to expand across the Midwest and by 1968, the business had five franchise locations. Monaghan promoted internal franchising by encouraging the store managers to buy their own franchise of Domino’s (Zuber 141).
This approach was highly successful since it ensured that the Domino’s culture was carried on by the new owners who were already familiar with the operations of the company. Domino’s Pizza has been a strong player in the US and international pizza market for decades. The company operates in 65 countries and has more than 9300 locations internationally (Hitt and Ireland 2108).
Monaghan’s long and successful involvement with Domino’s Pizza ended in 1998 when he sold a controlling 93% stake in the company to Bain Capital, a Boston-based private equity investment firm.
This sale was made at $1 billion and following the sale, Monaghan ceased active involvement with the company he had founded in 1960. Zuber reveals that Monaghan disengaged himself from Domino’s so that he could devote himself full-time to a number of Catholic charities (140).
Contributions to Foodservice Management
A Monaghan’s company also focused on customer satisfaction, adopting a philosophy of “Total Satisfaction Guarantee” in 1993. Hitt and Ireland reveal that this philosophy has been a cornerstone of the Domino brand for decades (2108). To ensure customer satisfaction, Domino’s engaged in customer surveys and ensured that best practices were adopted.
During the 1980s, Monaghan adopted a policy of taking the best practices from one franchise and applying them to the rest of the operation. Hitt and Ireland reveal that by taking the best practices of one location and applying them to all, Domino’s was able to ensure continuous improvement of quality (2108).
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Monaghan put in a lot of effort toward refining the pizza making process. Dicke reveals that by the end of the 1960s, Monaghan had visited numerous pizzerias all over the state to gain knowledge on more efficient methods of operation (133). From these experiences, Monaghan was able to refine his pizzeria by restructuring the interior and rearranging counters, coolers and work areas.
These modifications improved the flow of work in all phases of the operation therefore leading to greater efficiency. Monagham also made some innovations including the dough trays that ensured that losses from damaged crust were significantly reduced (Zuber 139).
Monagham also developed the corrugated pizza box that ensured that the pizzas were able to retain their heat for longer. This innovation made it possible for customers to enjoy hot pizzas even after a 30-minute delivery time.
Monaghan is credited with promoting uniform quality in the food service industry. To him, the production process of Domino’s was a unified whole that required standardized materials and a detailed division of labor (Hitt and Ireland 2108). The end product was required to be of a good and uniform quality.
Even as Domino’s expanded through franchising, Monaghan took responsibility for remodeling, equipping, and training the owners of the new outlet. This ensured that the quality of Domino’s remained consistent even as major expansions occurred.
The Domino’s franchise is well known for delivering its pizzas in a timely manner. Monaghan’s company is the market leader in pizza delivery and it enjoys a market share of up to 20% in this segment (Hitt and Ireland 2108). This can be credited to Monaghan’s concern with improving service time in addition to offering quality customer service.
Domino’s has been able to establish a niche for itself in its ordering and delivery processes. Tracy argues that if a business is able to increase the speed at which it delivers the specific results that the consumers want, it will be able to increase the value of its products (140).
This paper set out to provide a brief history of Domino’s Pizza founder, Thomas Monaghan and describe his contributions to foodservice management. The paper documented that Monaghan started with a single pizza store in 1960 and expanded over the years. Monaghan contributed to the service industry by improving store efficiency.
Monaghan was able to show that efficiency and speed of delivery could be achieved without sacrificing on the high standard of food quality that the customers expected. Due to his contributions through Domino’s Pizza, Monaghan will remain to be one of the most influential figures in food service management for generations.
Dicke, Thomas. Franchising in America: The Development of a Business Method, 1840-1980. North Carolina: UNC Press Books, 2002. Print.
Hitt, Michael and Ireland Duane. Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases: Competitiveness and Globalization. NY: Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.
Tracy, Brian. Create Your Own Future: How to Master the 12 Critical Factors of Unlimited Success. Boston: John Wiley & Sons, 2002. Print.
Zuber, Amy. “Tom Monaghan: Domino’s Pizza Founder sees great things for the Chain on the Horizon.” Nation’s Restaurant News 12.3 (2004): 139-144. Print.