Saturday, May 07, 2016

Domino's Hairy Pizza

Q - What is worse than finding a worm in your apple?
A - Finding half a worm!

I can attest from personal experience that this is absolutely true. A few years back, I was biting into a "Maharaja Mac" at the Noida outlet of MacDonalds when I spied something green and wriggly in the lettuce. It was half a catterpillar.

Not too keen on making a scene at the ongoing McD kiddy birthday party, I quietly went up to the counter, showed it to the floor manager. He held my half-eaten burger with an expression bordering on surprise and amusement, confirmed that it was indeed a creature that blended nicely into the green lettuce, apologised profusely and replaced it with a fresh burger.

I have often wondered what would have happened if I was carrying a camera or smartphone, or if I had called my journalist friends before handing in the incriminating evidence against MacDonalds India.

This question was partially answered last week when I had a similar experience with Dominos India. A quiet Friday evening dinner at home was interrupted by a shout from our five-year-old son - "Yuk! There is a hair in my pizza!"

Sure enough, there it was - evidence of a careless, hairy Dominos staffer firmly embedded in the pizza base.

This time I not only had a smartphone at hand but also a WiFi access to WhatsApp and Twitter. First I called up the Dominos outlet in Noida to log a complaint but nobody was picking the call. I sent a message to the manager (+91  99108 29258). This time he preferred to see the message (the blue double-tick!) and not respond.

The response on Twitter <@dominos> was marginally better with some show of concern ("not acceptable!") and a hint of possible redressal.

A week later, I am still waiting for a response from the local Domino's outlet.

India is now the second largest market for Domino's outside USA. Two years ago, it was already selling more than 120 million pizzas every year from nearly a 1000 outets spread across ~200 cities. I guess customer satisfaction is no longer a priority when you are already King Kong in the fast food market.

So there you are - Dominos India now serves fresh human hair with its pizzas. It pretends to be concerned, but, quite frankly, couldn't care a damn.


* Rana, Preetika (2016): THIS IS HOW DOMINOS PLANS TO WIN THE PIZZA WAR IN INDIA, WSJ, 5 Feb., 2016, URL -


NOTE: The problem with hairy discoveries is that it encourages you to be more careful while eating packaged food. A few days after the "Hairy Domino's Pizza" episode, I found myself biting into a hairy Spinach Lavash Crisp from "Miss Chhotee's" manufactured in Delhi by India Cuisine Foundation PL.  The strand of long, thin hair was, of course, not among the ingredients listed by the manufacturer. 

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