Domino's Pizza: The Real Life Crisis

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Domino’s Pizza had faced the situation of crisis due to the unwanted behavior from their own staffs in the product that is to be delivered to one of the customer. The company appoints the key spokesperson to handle this situation of crisis. The key spokesperson will find the cause of crisis and with the help of communication skills overcomes the situation. It is the manager or the key spokesperson who is capable of doing this tasks from effective communication, leadership, planning and monitoring. The focus is given to external and internal communication to overcome from the situation.


Crisis is a time or situation where one gets affected with very serious problem. The crisis could be professional as well as professional. The personal crisis is the personal problem that an individual will suffer. It is a unstable period of time that an individual is going through. Similarly, the professional crisis is denoted for the company as a whole. In this crisis, a company will suffer from unstable or emergency situation that might threaten the stability of any business organization. Every manager or leader will face the crisis once in his or her tenure. Some can solve the crisis and some are unable to do so. As seen in the crisis management, leaders who are good communicator are able to overcome the crisis. Such a crisis was faced by a reputed Pizza center namely Domino’s Pizza.

Domino’s Crisis

Domino’s pizza is a well-known brand and second largest franchised chain of pizza in United States. They have stores in five thousand seven hundred and one cities worldwide with twenty-eight hundred on United States. Two brothers; James and Tom Monaghan started this brand firstly by purchasing the Michigan pizzeria named as Dominick’s. Among two, James decides to sell his shares for second hand car and Tom decided to continue the business and purchase two more pizzerias. Because the original owner of Dominick’s restricted him to opening the branch, he decided to change the image and changed the name as Domino’s Pizza in 1965. Tom wants to add one dot in each branch he opened but this idea was unsuccessful because the company spread very fast. Now, there are 16,000 outlets of Domino’s throughout the world. They brought one of the concepts as fastest pizza delivery service. They take only thirty minutes in delivering the pizza to their customers. As we can study and watch in various social media website, this company had also faced some critical time before reaching and achieving the level of success they have today. Among some of the crisis they faced, in April 2009 they faced one crisis, which happened due to their own staffs. The two staffs of North Carolina’s store posted a video on YouTube where they performed revolting thing with pizza ingredients that have to be delivered to one of their customer. The video got viral in the social media, YouTube, and various personal blog of the writers. The people who previously love Domino’s pizza starts hating and saying not to eat Domino’s pizza because of the incident that was done by their own staffs. If I were the spokesperson and had to perform the major role in communicating and handling this issue I would have used verbal and non-verbal communication activities to resolve the issue and take the company in as it was previously. Being a spokesperson, I will have many responsibilities where I have to constantly deal with. I have to take care of company reputation, brand image and retain the customers’ attention in our product.

Research on reality or a prank

The definite problem arise in the case of Domino’s Pizza was the miss behavior conducted by the own employees. Myself as a spokesperson had to first prove the products that we are providing to customers are hygienic. Since, this crisis to happen, the help of social media is taken. They had posted video on YouTube and the video was viewed by one million viewers just in two days. I will look on the video to prove that whether it is hoax. If it is proven that the video is real, then it is time to take the action. The research methods that I will use were primary and formal where the staffs from various department were included. The formulation of team will be effective to solve any problem that occurs in any organization. I will start communicating internally and externally. All the members and management team of the company who are relevant to solve the crisis will be included like social media people, senior management team, department heads and head of security.

After precise and formal discussion with all the department, I will communicate in understandable form to the team that were formed to resolve this crisis. I will make sure that each and every member in the team understand my views so that we can give the best result to the organization. The primary research will be conducted to know the actual situation happens due to the video and at the same time secondary research which is termed as feedback research is also conduct to know the current brand image and position of company among general public. The task given to the secondary team are answering phone calls, gently hearing the complaints of customers and keeping track of customer opinion. The customers are loyal towards the company since they had long standing relationship with Domino’s. Apart from this, one major factor that is to be considered is media. The news media in various channels acts as the vital intervening the customers. They might take this issue for increasing their TRP. So, this problem arises from YouTube which is a media and to eradicate this issue, it will be best if we use the strategy of using media to bounce back. Thus, from the discussion with management team, we decided to fight media with media. It is impossible to communicate with each customer. So, it seems to be only the possible way of intervening public and use any social media like YouTube, twitter and relay message from company to general public (Young, 2012).

The best practice of incorporating social media to solve the problem arise from social media is the management policy which incorporates the social media itself while scanning the environment, could be the part of rumor and it helps in communicating with the customers and providing updates to them in interpersonal manner (Aula, 2011). It is seen that the online communication which is a social media communication was perceived to have positive and direct implication to stand with structure and advantages of reputation of any company and these are directly dependent to each other. Moreover, social media communication will help in generating the reputation that might lost once and helps in strengthening the customer relationship which further helps in building social capital for the company (Aula, 2011).

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Based in the customers’ reaction, we now have to respond. We can use the four steps model to respond the general public or the stakeholders: observing the events, understand information to convey them for truth and relevancy, generate various alternative strategies and choose the best one and implement the solution (Joanne E. Hale, 2005).

Role of key spokesperson

The alternatives that were collected were executed in the form of strategies. After the stories of Domino’s in the sandwich product starts becoming viral all over the world, courtesy of news channels and social media everywhere, the only goal that strikes my mind was to restore the trust and credibility among the customers (Young, 2012). The only thinking as a key spokesperson at this time was to bounce back the company as it was previously. There are many objectives to be fulfilled before reaching in the previous position. I have to formulate the strategies and execute it to solve the problem of the company. As a spokesperson, I and my team have to be prepared to talk to the media person. I have to play various role as the key spokesperson. The role might be representative role, mediatory role and the problem solving role. I have to devote the considerable attention to media and have to maintain good relations. I will provide the guidance to my teams regarding handling the media during crisis using the internal communication activities. The widely used internal communication medium is writing memorandum.

This is to inform you that our company is facing some type of negative publicity in the market. It has come to my attention that many employees of our company is facing the problem due to the recent scandal that was gone viral in the social media. This is the incident done by our own and trusted employees.

We are really surprised and shocked with the video that gone viral in YouTube. I request to all of you not to be panic and face the situation honestly and sincerely. This incident has aroused doubt in customers’ mind in purchasing our product. We will certainly overcome this difficult situation and company will be in normal position as it was previously. I hope we will be together to solve this issue. I am expecting the help from all of you. We will rise again. Just have faith on ourselves.

As soon as the internal communication is done with the help of official memo, now it’s time for external communication with customers, media representatives and the impacted parties. We have identified the communication channels to tackle the crisis through social media in discussion with the management team and head of departments I will use some principles which will guide public relations practitioners’ action.

  1. Tell the truth: This is the major thing that should be focused during the crisis. As a spokesperson of the Domino’s Pizza I will response with the stakeholders. The communication channel to be used will be social media. The account of company in social media like YouTube, twitter, facebook will be handled actively. The key of success in managing crisis is to reveal the truth to customers, company employees, team members and the media. I will speak through the various social media during the first day and tell the truth regarding the staffs have done this for the purpose of prank. I would be communicating in media stating the incident was a reprobate performance of two employees who thought they want to be funny in the social media.
  2. To be honest, open and sincere: Every organization should be honest and open. I want to be honest and sincere to overcome from this crisis. Being the spokesperson of the company, I will take the responsibility to communicate with the internally and externally that has happened. Internal communication includes the management team, head of departments and all level of staffs. External communication includes the customers, media persons and impacted parties like franchisers and branches. Taking the responsibility might create problem in the brand image of the company. Thus, it should be communicated effectively which will not hamper the brand image.
  3. Response the crisis: in the face of national and international crisis, the communication offers the means of response to the unexpected and unwanted (Bell, 2010). The crisis happens all of the sudden. Thus, responding the crisis is an essential part of communication. In Domino’s after admitting the mistake is done by their own employees, there should not be any hesitation in responding. The delays in response might create the vulnerable situation where the customers will start doing the negative comments. The way of communication in the media will remain in the authority of company. So, without delaying and breaking the situation the response should be provided to customers.
  4. Listen to customers: The end users are the customers for any products. So, company is compelled to listen to the customers and in accordance to that the social media plan has to be executed. In this case also the external communication has to take place. It is necessary for the company head which might be CEO or Chairman or President should come in front for the apology. I will suggest to thank the online community and the customers for bringing this issue in attention so that we could overcome the mistake. This is the decent strategy for fighting viral against viral from the use of social media which will help the company not to lose the brand image rather to cull user-generated content and restrain its own original position.
  5. Action taken for not repeating the mistake: This is another strategy or the stage which focuses on the ability to manage crisis tomorrow. The strict action should be taken so that the employees should know that intentionally done mistake will have to pay. I will communicate with the human resource department to push the internal circular to fire those employees from the job. This is the harsh action to be taken so that it might not happen in the future. The customers also need to be convinced and assure that company had taken the strong decision against the mistake.

Personalized Clo Applied Learning Assignment

Communication is the integral part of any organization. Once in the history of any company they had faced the difficult situation. To overcome from this situation, the company had to appoint the leader with good communicator skill. While hiring the leader the company should look after his/her communication skills. For any good leader it is compulsory to take responsibilities, creating and managing value system and finally to support and motivate their staffs. This helps to flow of information to the appropriate stakeholder in the right time. The information provided by the leader should be correct, informative and focused which should be implemented in right time. Right communication skills if used in the right time will help to overcome from any type of crisis that the organization is facing. Various level of communication always helps in growth of the organization. The leader should not only have capability of communicating with in the company rather they should have skills to present the company with outsiders like media, customers and other parties who are directly and indirectly involved. The team will appreciate the values of leader because they are considered to be the first graded communicators (Dahiya, 2015). The leaders should have certain set of values which helps in achieving the organization goal and this is the reason that the team members will follow and appreciate them.


In any organization, leaders should be confident while communicating with others either in the time of crisis or normal situation. While communicating during crisis, the effective communication should be chosen so that the right message could be received by the audience. The leadership and communication are interlinked with each other. So, we can say that any leaders will never be effective until they are good communicator. In the case of Domino’s Pizza, the leader which is termed as spokesperson which is should have effective communicating quality so the crisis that happened due to the silly mistake of their own staff was resolved within three days. And, in next year of crisis, the company was able to rise in online sales by 40%.

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