18 stories

20 November 2018

We are now on the verge of a product manufacturing breakthrough.

For more than a year, the Dodo Pizza R&D team has been working on our own special pizza sauce. Pizza sauce is one of the key ingredients defining pizza flavor. Being a small chain before, we used to resort to a basic sauce that was rather bland, and our pizza flavor was strongly affected by it. Now that we have grown, we are able to create our own sauce.

Nowadays, they produce excellent mozzarella cheese in Russia, but alas, nobody makes pizza sauce here. You need a special kind of tomato for it that is widespread in Italy, Greece, Spain, and Turkey but not in Russia. So we approached Mutti, an Italian family business and one of the leading pizza sauce manufacturers in Europe. The Mutti company was founded in 1899, and it commands vast expertise in the field.

After a lot of experiments, tests, and focus groups, we created a pizza sauce recipe specially designed for our Russian customers. In August, our new sauce beat our main competitor’s sauce in blind taste tests. We are trying it out in 20 of our pizzerias, and again, it turns out that this new sauce is winning against competitors. Soon it will be adopted in all our pizzerias. And the most welcome news for our franchisee partners is that the new sauce is going to be 15% cheaper than the old basic one thanks to the better terms of our contract with the global supplier from Italy.

Perhaps you’re wondering, why cut prices for the franchisee partners when the franchiser could make money out of the price differential? Well, the key value of our company is openness. We are absolutely open with our franchisees. Unlike other international pizza networks in Russia, we don’t profit from the supplies delivery on principle.

For example, Domino’s Pizza makes its franchisees buy all their ingredients from the franchiser on account of standards compliance. As a matter of fact, Domino’s Pizza makes additional profit from the supplies delivery. And it’s not a secret; it is specified in the company public reports. But you can ensure quality control and standard compliance even without “corporate” supply delivery.

Dodo Pizza franchisees buy all their key ingredients from one logistics operator, the East West company. All our official suppliers deliver the ingredients to the East West warehouses, and then East West packs them into handy parcels and delivers them to our pizzerias. East West charges only for logistics and delivery, and Dodo Pizza doesn’t make a single ruble out of the supplies, though we are still responsible for delivery control, quality control, and standard compliance; incidentally, McDonald’s operates the same way. And because of this, our partners get the ingredients at lower prices than the franchisees of international pizza chains.

We profit from the royalties only. Why? First of all, it’s an honest and transparent method because it involves no hidden royalties. Second, profitable pizzerias are the foundation of our business. If our partners make more money, they are able to invest into the team, business development, marketing, and pizzeria upgrades more. In the long run, it makes the whole enterprise healthier and more sustainable. Above all, such openness builds real trust. And trust is a real strength; it creates a real team. And people united will never be defeated.


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Rate your pizza: Dodo testing its killer feature

17 October 2018

Rate your pizza: Dodo testing its killer feature

If you are our customer, we want you to trash us. Was your pizza a disaster? Say it. Waited for eternity? Say it. Did we mess up your order? Say it. You think we’re idiots? Please, say that too.

Negative feedback is pure gold for our business. It allows our team to learn from mistakes and grow. And as with any precious resource, this gold is hard to come by—harder than many people think.

Most customers don’t like giving negative feedback. Because it’s not fun. They don’t want to look like jerks—they just keep...

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First national Pizza Day turned out to be a stress test

28 September 2018

First national Pizza Day turned out to be a stress test

Some national holidays skyrocket pizza sales, but how can you outperform even the biggest of them? By holding your own celebrations.

Last Sunday, the Dodo Pizza website attracted 160,000 visitors—more than twice as much as it did on February 23 and March 8 this year (both dates are huge holidays in Russia).

On September 23, there wasn’t any nationally recognized celebration in the country, though. Or maybe there was: Dodo Pizza held its first national Pizza Day, selling Pepperoni pizzas for just 100 rubles (less than $1.50) in dozens of locations....

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21 September 2018

This Sunday, September 23, we’re carrying out the biggest event in our history—National Pizza Day. At most of our stores in more than 150 cities in Russia, we’ll be selling pizzas for just 100 rubles a pie (about $1.50).

On this day, most of our partners, managers, marketers, analysts, and other typical office inhabitants will be helping our teams in the pizza shops—taking orders or making and delivering pizzas. I’ll be lending a hand in our first corporate pizzeria in downtown Moscow from 11am to 2pm. Stop by at Novoslobodkaya 46 and I’ll personally make a pizza for you!

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22 August 2018

Dodo Meetup 2018: 5 key projects for the next twelve months

Many smart people refrain from making public promises—we at Dodo Pizza revere them.

Openness is a huge motivator: when a goal is public, failure is not an option. That’s why every summer, during the company’s annual meetup, Dodo Pizza’s managers go on stage and announce five key projects they commit to pull off within the next 12 months.

Dodo is probably one of the world’s most agile retail companies with more than $150M in system-wide sales. We update our plans every other month reacting to the changes inside and outside of the company. Some...

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