Domino’s is taking American infrastructure into its own hands.
The pizza chain announced on Monday that it would partner with American towns and cities to fix their potholes, ostensibly to provide a smoother ride home for takeaway pizzas. So far the company has partnered with four towns: Bartonville, Texas; Milford, Del.; Athens, Ga.; and Burbank, Calif.. The paved-over potholes are emblazoned with Domino’s logo and the company’s catchphrase, “Oh yes we did”.
Believe it or not, Domino’s (DPZ) is not the first fast food chain to try this tactic. In 2009, Kentucky Fried Chicken selected five American towns to receive between $3,000 and $5,000 to fix potholes. Their fixed potholes also carried a KFC logo in chalk that washed away after the first rainfall.
But not everyone was behind KFC’s efforts. In Petaluma, Calif., a town that applied for and won KFC pothole funding based on the city’s “dual reputation for chicken farming and tire-flattening potholes,” the local government ended up in a fracas with PETA over the collaboration with KFC. The animal-rights group told the local paper at the time, “We think people would be upset to learn road repairs were a direct result of cruelty to chickens,” to which then-mayor Pamela Torliatt responded that she would not participate in a “game of chicken over our pothole paving.”
The Domino’s publicity stunt comes at a time when the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates the U.S. would need to spend $4.5 trillion by 2025 in order to fix its ailing infrastructure; $2 trillion of that is for roads and streets alone. President Trump’s plan to fix America’s infrastructure addresses some of that, but it’s faced difficulties getting through Congress and relies heavily on tolls and local funding rather than providing federal dollars.