By Christy Strawser
CBS Detroit Managing Editor
(CBS Detroit) Thanksgiving traditions are wonderful, with generations of friends and family gathered around the perfectly set dining room table, sharing memories over piping hot boxes of pepperoni pizza.
Not a tradition? Domino’s Pizza could change that by staying open on Thanksgiving. They’re joining the likes of retailers Target and Walmart, which are opening for the first time to offer Black Friday deals Thanksgiving evening.
Domino’s restaurants will have limited hours for carryout and delivery on Thanksgiving, with hours varying by location, so if you’re up for pizza in lieu of turkey, call ahead. Some franchises will stay closed.
“The stores that do decide to be open are there because they want to be there for the people who want Domino’s on Thanksgiving,” said Chris Brandon, a spokesman for Domino’s, adding he didn’t know exactly how many would stay open. “If customers want Domino’s on Thanksgiving and it makes sense for the store (they’ll be open.)”
It’s notable not only as a back-up for epic turkey fails — but also because Domino’s founder Tom Monaghan is an ardent Catholic and supporter of traditional family values. Monaghan, who sold the pizza chain about 20 years ago but still owns Domino’s Farms, pledged in 2010 to hand over half his fortune to charity.
After Monaghan’s departure, the chain is still going strong. Domino’s latest financial filing in October showed the company had a “healthy same store increase” of 3.3 percent, with 121 new stores internationally, including an outposts in Nigeria and Macedonia.
Thanksgiving is not necessarily a big day for pizza sales, Brandon said — but it’s bracketed by what’s become a couple of their biggest sales days of the year — Thanksgiving Eve and Cyber Monday.
“Thanksgiving Eve is one of our top five days of the year, and it kind of helps give people a break,” Brandon said. “The night before (Thanksgiving) they have to cook for, oftentimes, super large families, with all the stresses of that, we like to give people a break from that.”
Employees at several local Domino’s declined to discuss how working on Thanksgiving affects their family plans, except for one worker at a Detroit franchise who said she “didn’t mind.”
Domino’s is also running a charitable campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital until January 1, letting customers order a “St. Jude bundle” including two medium pizzas, parmesan bread and a 2-liter of soda for $19.99 with $1 going to St. Jude. Customers also have the option to text “PIZZA” to 50333 to donate $5 to St. Jude.
Domino’s is matching dollar-for-dollar all customer contributions up to a total of $250,000.