This month in (financial) history.
In November 1960, Tom Monaghan and his brother, James, took over the operation of a small pizza restaurant chain in the US state of Michigan called DomiNick’s. Until then, the chain was owned by founder Dominick DeVarti. The deal was secured by a $500 down payment. The brothers then borrowed $900 to pay for the store. By 1965, Tom purchased two additional pizzerias. He wanted the stores to share the same branding as the original, but the original owner forbade him from using the DomiNick’s name. An employee suggested the name “Domino’s”, and so the iconic Pizza chain was born.
The three dots we see today on the logo and the pizza box represent those three stores owned in 1965. Tom Monaghan originally planned to add a new dot for every new store. But Domino’s opened its first franchise in 1967 and by 1978, the company had over 200 stores. So they kept just the three dots.
Tom and James originally planned to split the work hours evenly, but James didn’t want to quit his job as a full-time postman. In 1961, James traded his half of the business to Tom in exchange for the Volkswagen Beetle they used for pizza deliveries. That proved to be an expensive mistake for James. In 1998, after 38 years of ownership, Tom Monaghan announced his retirement. He sold 93 percent of the company to Bain Capital for about $1 billion, and ceased being involved in day-to-day operations of the company.
The ASX listed Domino’s Pizza Enterprises is separate from the US head office. Domino’s Australia own the rights to operate and franchise branches of the chain in Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Japan, Germany, Luxembourg, Denmark and Taiwan.
Vaguely interesting facts.
- Baby porcupines are known as porcupettes.
- Chinese checkers was invented in Germany.
- There is one member of ZZ Top without a beard. It’s the drummer. His name? Frank Beard. *
- When Disneyland was opened in 1955, “Tomorrowland” was designed to look like a year in the distant future: 1986.
- Staff members of the Slovak and Slovenian embassies meet once a month to exchange incorrectly addressed mail.
Source: mentalfloss.com, wikipedia.com.
* Though Frank does not sport a beard, he has variously been spotted with a moustache, a goatee and a mullet.
And finally…don’t be like Larry
Crypto exchange FTX unravelled very quickly earlier this month. We won’t know the full story for a while, but it seems they used customer deposits to prop up an associated hedge fund manager and it went spectacularly wrong. A lot of people have been caught up in the collapse. It’s reported more than 30,000 Australian crypto investors have been impacted, with the Australian subsidiary entering administration on 11 November.
So far as we can tell, the only good thing to ever come out of FTX was this January 2022 Superbowl ad for the company, featuring comedic genius Larry David. Given what’s transpired this month, the ending has perhaps a different meaning to what was originally intended by FTX.