How bad is the state of U.S. infrastructure? Apparently bad enough that Domino’s Pizza, sick of potholes putting its handcrafted pizza at risk, has decided to do something that Congress can’t seem to be bothered to do.
The largest pizza chain in the country has decided to spend its own money on fixing roads across the country. It’s definitely a marketing ploy. But it’s the best kind of marketing ploy, and hopefully one that will shame the federal government into doing some paving of its own.
With the tagline, “Bad Roads Shouldn’t Happen to Good Pizza,” Domino’s has launched what it calls the Paving for Pizza campaign. The program has already assisted four cities—Bartonville, Texas; Milford, Delaware; Athens, Georgia, and Burbank, California—in repairing roads. Now, the company is asking customers to log on to pavingforpizza.com and nominate their own town for a shot at being the next lucky municipality that gets its roads fixed.
The latest Infrastructure Report Card from the American Society of Civil Engineers, released in 2017, rated U.S. roads as a ‘D’, calling roads in the country “often crowded, frequently in poor condition, chronically underfunded, and are becoming more dangerous.” Not great. To fix the problem, ASCE says funding from all levels of government and the private sector (Hello, Domino’s!) need to be increased, and the federal motor fuels tax needs to be raised to provide the Highway Trust Fund with ample cash. You can read our full rundown on that depressing report by clicking here.
“Have you ever hit a pothole and instantly cringed? We know that feeling is heightened when you’re bringing home a carryout order from your local Domino’s store. We don’t want to lose any great-tasting pizza to a pothole, ruining a wonderful meal,” says Russell Weiner, president of Domino’s USA, in a statement accompanying the press release announcing the paving program. “Domino’s cares too much about its customers and pizza to let that happen.”
Weiner’s statement is such a disorienting blend of blatant advertising and downright common sense that it’s hard to fault the company when it, two paragraphs later in the press release, suggests that customers “celebrate smooth roads” by ordering a large three-topping pizza for only $7.99. Pizzas that, by the way, can be ordered on the Domino’s app. (Did you know Domino’s has an app? They do!)
Who knows how far Domino’s plans to take this road repair crusade. One thing is for sure though, let’s hope there’s not some fine print that requires each chosen city to mark every patched pothole with a Domino’s logo.