Thursday, July 23, 2009

Domino's assesses damage from YouTube prank

The infamous YouTube video shot by two Domino’s staffers cut the chain’s comp sales for the first quarter by 1 to 2%, CEO David Brandon explained during the pizza company’s conference call yesterday with analysts. However, the chain was able to collect $2 million from a business-interruption insurance policy, he added.

The clip showed an employee of a franchised unit in North Carolina fouling the ingredients of a sandwich. After being posted on the internet, the spot became a viral hit, spreading quickly and apparently scaring Domino's patrons.

The chain initially waited for the brouhaha to blow over, then realized its mistake and jumped into action. It filmed its own YouTube video, featuring company president Patrick Doyle blasting the two knuckleheads and apologizing for the food-safety lapse. He assured consumers that such shenanigans are not tolerated by the brand.

Brandon noted yesterday that the culprit and his colleague, the woman who held the camera, are being prosecuted.

“If the stupid incident down in North Carolina wouldn't have happened, we'd be here reporting significant traffic uptick,” he told the analysts.

Brandon was asked if the damage might've been more severe than a $2-million drop-off in business. Brandon indicated that the chain wanted to move quickly and put the incident behind it, so apparently didn't dicker over the settlement.

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