An area of concern for all fast-food establishments, including pizza stores, is the growing health-minded customer, as well as the growing pressure from government agencies to label all products with nutrition information. There have been battles between the restaurant industry and government agencies for many years, but much like the tobacco industry (in respect to labeling its products). It appears the war is close to being lost for the restaurant industry. Domino’s itemizes nutrition information on its website, but forces the customer to add the calories for crust, sauce, cheese, and topping, and then divide by the number of slices to derive the total calorie count per slice. After doing the calculations, one large slice of hand-tossed pepperoni pizza for example has 300 calories and 12 grams of fat, and there are 8 slices in a pizza. To complicate matters for restaurants such as Domino’s, it is difficult to provide accurate nutrition labels when there can be an almost endless combination of ingredients on a pizza. For example, someone may order a large sausage pizza with onions and olives whereas someone else might order extra cheese and tomatoes. Having to print out nutrition labels for all these combinations would be quite costly as opposed to a restaurant like McDonald’s where it can print the nutrition label on the Big Mac because there is uniformity in ingredients and the label is understood to be for the base item. However, Domino’s PULSE system could possibly be adjusted to resolve this potential issue.
Chipotle Mexican Grill claims to only use meat and dairy products from free-ranging cattle, as opposed to cattle injected with growth hormones. Domino’s Pizza markets its pizzas as having gluten-free crust. This is an attempt to win over health-conscious customers, comply with government regulations, and make current customers feel a little less guilty about eating pizza. The tug of war between customers, governments, lawyers, and the restaurant industry on health issues is likely to continue for some time.
In response to these challenges, many restaurants have opted for healthy menu options. Wendy’s, for example, has promoted several meal combinations that contain less than 10 grams of fat. All of these items were originally on its menu, just not marketed in that manner. Wendy’s has added side salads and fruit to help cut down on calories, fat, and sodium. Subway is also famous for marketing its products as healthy alternatives to other fast-food options. Domino’s, and many pizza competitors, offer few to no menu options for the health-conscious consumer.