The American restaurant chain, Domino’s Pizza, is reopening stores in Peru one year after withdrawing from the market following a sanitation scandal.
The pizza company suffered a reputational crisis in January 2015 when a Lima journalist posted a photo online of a cockroach baked into a pizza from a local restaurant. The incident prompted a barrage of scrutiny and criticism over its sanitation policies, forcing the corporation to close all its Peru restaurants in February 2015.
The company announced on Monday, more than a year later, that it will reopen under new management “with a renewed proposal, devised and designed to generate a unique experience in flavor and service.”
The iconic brand will be managed by a new franchise company, DPP Corp. The previous management company was headed by Barbara Boloña, the daughter of Alberto Fujimori’s finance minister, Carlos Boloña.
“Is it back, or is it new?” reads a billboard in Lima announcing the company’s return. The franchise will drive its marketing push behind the slogan, “How you wanted it, but better.”
After the photo of the pizza with a cockroach went viral, the previous franchiser’s response and subsequent events aggravated a public outcry. When the customer tried to obtain a refund, the local branch refused him because he had not returned the entire pizza. He only returned the one slice with the cockroach.
In an interview on RPP in the wake of the scandal, Barbara Boloña defended the local restaurant for following the correct protocol in approving a refund.
Peru’s health ministry began conducting inspections into the franchise’s hygiene standards. They discovered multiple cases of cockroach infestation and rat droppings. The location in Lima’s Pueblo Libre denied access to the inspectors, forcing the store’s immediate closure.
Domino’s decided to shut down all national outlets, promising a system overhaul by a “specialized and independent institution to provide greater assurance about our products and services for the time of reopening.”
Domino’s Pizza has more than 12,600 restaurants in over 80 countries around the world. The company earns income on royalties of local franchisees’ net sales as well as food, equipment and other supplies it sells to its franchisees. For markets like Peru, the company grants exclusive rights to one franchiser, which opens stores across the country and may sub-franchise to other prospective managers.
Domino’s Pizza regresa oficialmente al Perú tras escándalo (La Republica)
Domino’s Pizza Corporate Facts (official website)