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Posted on Wed, Sep 15, 2010 : 10:51 a.m.

Domino's Pizza CEO says calorie counts in health care reform bill present 'difficult' task

By Nathan Bomey

Domino's Pizza is actively communicating with federal regulators to determine how to meet guidelines established by the health care reform bill that require chain restaurants to post calorie content to their menus, the company's CEO said this morning.

The health care bill stipulation means that Domino's, which does not have typical fast-food-style menu boards at many of its 4,910 stores in the U.S. and 4,126 foreign stores, may have to install menus at its stores to comply with the law.


Domino's Pizza may have to post calorie content figures to its in-store menus under federal regulations tied to the health care reform bill.

Photo courtesy of Domino's Pizza

"There are 33 million ways to sell a Domino’s Pizza, so coming up with a way to put calories in a menu for 33 million varieties is a little bit difficult," Domino's CEO J. Patrick Doyle told this morning after speaking at an Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber of Commerce event. "So we’re still working on that."

The Food and Drug Administration last month issued proposed guidelines detailing how the menu regulations would be enforced. The guidelines said that restaurant chains with at least 20 different locations must post the calorie content of their menu items by March 23.

Doyle said Domino's is meeting with regulators to discuss how the company can comply with the law. He wouldn't say whether Domino's had assessed how much it might have to spend on new menus to comply with the law.

"Clearly we’re going to have to do something," he said. "We’re still talking to folks in Washington. I was there last week, I’m going there next week to talk to them about the way we do it."

Doyle suggested that the Domino's online ordering system, which accounts for a quarter of the company's orders, would be "the best way" to deliver nutritional information.

"It’s actually very effective to do it there," he said. "As people are ordering and they're making changes, they can actually see how the calorie count is changing based on how they’re ordering there. That’s probably the best way."

Patrick Doyle 2.jpg

Domino's Pizza CEO J. Patrick Doyle

Photo courtesy of Domino's

Whether the bill will hurt sales for items like Domino's 580-calorie MeatZZa Feast Brooklyn Crust Extra Large Slice -- which is one of the most unhealthy slices of pizza in the country, according to The Daily Beast -- is unclear.

But health activists believe that forcing restaurants to put calorie content on menus will prompt consumers to make healthier choices.

Asked whether he thought the law was fair, Doyle said: "Yeah, it’s certainly reasonable. If they’re doing it for restaurants, then we should be included. It's really more about coming up with a method of complying with the law."

Domino's, which employs about 500 workers at its headquarters in Ann Arbor Township, reported same-store sales increase of 8.8 percent in the fiscal quarter ended June 20.

The company is benefiting from a wave of interest in its redesigned core pizza recipe, which was introduced in December along with a major marketing campaign to bring in new customers.

The TV advertisements during the campaign featured Domino's employees acknowledging that the company's previous pizza recipe was subpar.

"We told people how bad the old pizza was and it broke through in an unbelievable way, and we’ve been on an absolute tear," Doyle said. "We’re pretty pleased with where we are, and we really love what we did with our brand and our company."

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.


Chris Holmes

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 1:03 p.m.

Put nutrition information on a tablet or two at each restaurant and let customers have the option of seeing exactly the counts on what they want. They could even place orders on it. Just be innovative in making sure they aren't stolen! Boom, done. Send Check.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

Alright, here's the thing; it's great to have the nutritional info so as to best control your diet. But do we have to have the government mandating that each and every restaurant make this information available? We just continue to give over to the government little bits of our freedom because something is nice to have, doesn't cost US anything or only affects or costs someone else. Wouldn't it be better to let the market control things such as this? If customers demanded such info and one restaurant began supplying it and another didn't, customers should give more business to the one providing what the customers want until the other restaurant sees that and begins offering the same service to woo its customers back. That's the way free markets work. That's the way FREEDOM works. When you encroach someone else's freedoms with more government mandates and more government regulations, ALL of us suffer a diminution of our freedom. To say "This is nice to have, doesn't cost me anything, so let the government force that other guy to provide it" doesn't impact us on the surface, but as we let this government gain more and more power over us one day we will wake up and find we are living in a strait jacket with an unchecked government that can do anything it so desires to us.

Tony Martellini

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 12:02 p.m.

Having worked for Domino's as multi store Mgr, I can honestly say this a nonsensical law pushed by her highness the HEAD MOOCH Michelle Obama. While she munches down on lobsters, shrimp and mexican fare, she wants us to "EAT PEAS". Each pizza is weighed while being portioned for $$ and calorie control. That have people who want double portions, half portions, half side portion etc etc. A pizza is not like a set "BIG MAC"..that has a single "build". Furthermore, Calorie content is changed during cooking believe it or not,,to a significant extent. So what is the answer? People don't order a pizza,,because it's a DIET thing, it's pleasure thing, to enjoy, otherwise I predict we will all be restricted to soda crackers and water.

Clean Fun

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 8:25 a.m.

A client, a young boy, had been kept in a closet his entire life. His language consisted mainly of grunts, growls, and a few single words. Before he was rescued, his main source of food was cardboard. When I see people fussing over their calorie intake, I want to vomit. If they could see all the things they've been sheltered from, things going on in their own towns, they just might see exactly how distorted and twisted their view of reality is, how backwards their priorities are, and how shallow they are.

sick of fascists

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 7:33 a.m.

suck it up? posting nutrition information? what is wrong with you people? have you given up your freedom? what's next? what you eat at home? what you buy at the store? what you cook on the stove? you're all just rolling over and giving in so you can get your freebies and i find you sickening.

Saltine Cracker

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:58 a.m.

what is it with these pizza CEOs not falling in line with this administration who was overwhelmingly re-elected? I say BOYCOTT Domino's! That means I am going to have to go to CiCi's Buffet and eat all the pizza I can. They need to get on board so I can get my healthcare paid for by the 49%...oh, I mean the 1% - oops again, it's 2% this week.

Don August

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 2:32 a.m.

Josh Budde - If I remember correctly, Obamacare requires the caloric/nutitional value or EACH individual item sold. That would REQUIRE them to list the value for each and every possible combination, at each size. This is simply just one more of those "unintended consequences" that is prevelant within this mis-Administration's policies! Is it any wonder that Doyle is concerned on how to handle this? Maybe Obama can have a brain fart and give him an answer!


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 1:27 a.m.

I find it amusing that those who claim people are to ignorant to know what a healthy food is. Are quick to run to government to cure the problem they imagine. And they have no issue with a government that is run by people. How many couch potatoes are government employees? These same ignorant people might just be working in the same government that was praised. These government lovers ignore evolution. Mankind is predisposed to seek out fatty foods. It's not about being lazy, it's about survival. If you are genetically coded to seek out the foods that make you fatter to survive winters of low resources then you seek out those foods. I have no doubt these same people who claim government is the answer and use "code words" like couch potato and lazy are no doubt proud of their views on diversity and tolerance. Nice job people. You show your lack of reasoning and intellect with your thoughtless comments. By the way. I'm American Indian we have troubles in my tribe with diabetes and obesity. It's because we are genetically programmed to want to eat fatty foods. My weight fluctuates from spring to fall. Every spring I lose weight till summer. Every fall I put on weight. Usually about 20-30 lbs. Sometimes more, sometimes less. So thanks to all the posters who made thoughtless and myopic comments. I wish you could walk in my moccasins for a few years.

Sandy Kelley

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 12:33 a.m.

Pizza!!!!!! Four food groups!!!! Good for you!!! Don't believe this tripe. It is garbage.

Sandy Kelley

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 12:27 a.m.

Eff this Marxist government! Time Americans took back control of their government AND their lives. I would support a MASSIVE march on the White House. Ride that Communist out of town on a rail. Tar and feathers work, too! Yeah, that should do it!


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 12:21 a.m.

I keep getting my comments deleted for stating that people should be smart enough to know that heavy cheese, carb, and meat laden products are bad for them....

sick of fascists

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 7:35 a.m.

i agree that deleting your comments is bad, but cheese and meats are good for you.

Sandy Kelley

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 12:31 a.m.

...and who cares? I am 65, have eaten junk all my life. Continue to do so. Will sometimes eat four french cream horns in a day, or an entire pizza. Love sugar and cheese. Bring it on. AND...I am in perfect health, no pills.....great shape. Look terrific. You idiots who are listening to Obama tell you what to eat are just that!


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 12:17 a.m.

I guess my comment was deleted because I accused 'less-intelligent' people who don't know that pizza contains a lot of calories of being less intelligent. I apologize to the moderators of this site, and I will offer to give my learned advice about food...such as pizza=fattening...big mac = fattening, salad with no croutons and lite dressing=less fattening. Please contact me and I will be happy to do what I can to save you from diabetes and obesity. I'm sorry If I offended any readers by assuming more than a room temperature IQ.

sick of fascists

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 7:36 a.m.

actually, you're wrong on the salad. the lite dressing has more sugar in it so it's bad for you. fat is not the enemy.

Roger Bouws

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 2:06 a.m.

this is just another Big Daddy telling us what to do....Robots

Kevin Bond

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 12:01 a.m.

.."health activists believe that forcing restaurants to put calorie content on menus will prompt consumers to make healthier choices." We hear daily that there is an obesity epidemic despite having more food labels than ever. Clearly people see the labels and ignore them. So what purpose do they serve other than to justify the existence of federal bureaucracies and their inflated budgets?


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 4:09 a.m.

Let's see, In this article, Doyle was able to: Show the size of Domino's Pizza Show that they offer variety in millions of ways. Concede that the law is fair Offer a possilbe solution(the online ordering system) Advertise the MeatZZa(the light in which it was represented is irrelevant) Show that sales have increased Show that the new recipe is working He may even have gotten more in that I didn't see. Corporations will often use seemingly negative events as a reason to get into the news for promotional reasons. This was a fairly effective use of that strategy. I would like to see a frequency distribution for the 33 million ways as to what is actually ordered as combinations. I think most of the combos would be way off in the tails.

Don August

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 2:51 a.m.

It doesn't matter! ALL possible combinations in each size MUST be listed in accordance with this miserable Obamacare piece of garbage!


Thu, Sep 16, 2010 : 1:33 p.m.

For those that ask why the government needs to mandate the posting of calories, it's because the common man is not bright enough to know what's good to eat or not. If the government doesn't provide the information, the common man will eat garbage and increase medical costs that we all pay. That said, the question is whether people will change their eating habits based upon the information provided. Given the propensity of America to be fat couch potatoes, it's pretty obvious that it won't make any difference. Studies have shown that companies that have provided nutritional information in the past have used every possible means to not tell the truth. Witness even Kellogg's getting caught REPEATEDLY. Companies are run by human beings. Human beings cannot be trusted to do the right thing if there are no penalties for doing the wrong thing, as has been shown time and time again. Therefore, government must be involved.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Thu, Sep 16, 2010 : 11:07 a.m.

zowie... "There are 33 million ways to sell a Dominos Pizza, so coming up with a way to put calories in a menu for 33 million varieties is a little bit difficult," jurst think of the problems crazy jim;s blimpy burgers woeuld have!! (ok, ther aren;t 20+ blimpys.. yet!).. menus might ahve to come with a calculator attached!.. oh, while gummint is at it, on those menus, annotate that if bmi>x, buying is prohibitred.


Thu, Sep 16, 2010 : 9:37 a.m.

Most books on food that I have seen list approx calorie content of Dominoes. Like EAT THIS NOT THAT they also have a book on eating out which shows you what to order or not.Otherwords I don't think Dominoes is worried about the calorie content coming out. Besides they have other items besides the pizza. Sandwhichs for one. If they were to have to list all the variations that are toppings alone that would require one huge wall to accomodate.

Don August

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 2:45 a.m.



Wed, Sep 15, 2010 : 8:39 p.m.

It is sooooooooo absurd that multi-billion dollar corporations claim that they can't figure out a way to tell us how many calories are in the products they sell multiple thousands of times every single day. It's very simple Dominos, I'll help you: A small cheese pizza has 1050 calories. Add pepperoni, 250 calories. Add extra cheese 400 calories. Add sausage 400 calories. Add onions 25 calories. This isn't rocket science. Pizza makers count their pepperonis, they weigh their mushrooms and sausage. Dominos already knows exactly how many calories are on a medium pepperoni pizza with mushrooms and double cheese. They already know this! Why are they lying? Why are they ducking the issue? Because they know that when people figure out that their meals contain enough calories to feed a family of three for one day, then people will make the right decision and stop buying the future cardiac arrests that America's fast food restaurants serve every single day.

Don August

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 2:44 a.m.

Obamacare does NOT allow for the listing of the basic product with the individual ingredients listed separately. EVERY variation of the product AS SOLD MUST be shown. How many combinations is that, and for each size? This is an unreal requirement and will seriously hinder some operations and kill others, completely!


Wed, Sep 15, 2010 : 8:33 p.m.

Ya know, I see they have these new fangled things called computers. When you call Dominoes they have no problem giving the price based on EXACTLY what you buy. How about when you punch in a medium, cheese, pepperoni, mushroom, half green peppers, half bacon, there is a SPEC RECIPE that Domino's uses. If the nutritional data is in that same computer guess what you have> ALL THE INFO REQUIRED. The reason Dominos does not want this is it proves how non-nutritious their pizza is.

mike from saline

Wed, Sep 15, 2010 : 5:46 p.m.

It aint health food. wasn't meant to be. What Domino's Pizza should be concerned about is Jet's Pizza! Build a better pie, and the world will beat a path to your door!


Wed, Sep 15, 2010 : 5:24 p.m.

I think what Domino's is really worried about is when people find out just how many calories are in one slice of pizza.

Michigan Reader

Wed, Sep 15, 2010 : 4:52 p.m.

Domino's had gross revenue of over one billion dollars even going back more than ten years. It was a good recipe then, just better now.


Wed, Sep 15, 2010 : 3:25 p.m.

How absurd! Dominoes Pizza was great when David Brandon was the CEO. That is why the company is so huge today. It's called dollar voting. The federal government mandating companies to put the health information on products is absolutely ridiculous and I'll tell you why. 1) For many restaurants, the product isn't uniform. When 8 people order the same pizza, they don't all get the same thing. There is variability. One cook doesn't make it exactly the same as another. Dominoes ISN'T McDonald's. 2) Putting the calorie content for every type of pizza isn't feasible. There are literally 30 million combinations of toppings. 3) Why does the federal government NEED to establish this law? Who is going to enforce it? Why can't the states do this individually at the local level? That way individuals can have a say in how their food industry is run and enforcement of this law can be done at a local level. The federal government is FAR too large. The federal debt is out of control and we are wasting our time and money on making sure restaraunts have calorie information on EVERY menu? Change I can believe in?! NOPE... just more of the same.

John of Saline

Wed, Sep 15, 2010 : 2:54 p.m.

It would seem to make sense to just tell what each topping is and let the customer add it up, as others suggested. But perhaps the federal regulations don't allow that for some reason.

Don August

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 2:35 a.m.

When have federal regulations EVER been straight forward and easy to implement?

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Sep 15, 2010 : 11:37 a.m.

The TV advertisements during the campaign featured Domino's employees acknowledging that the company's previous pizza recipe was subpar. "We told people how bad the old pizza was and it broke through in an unbelievable way, and weve been on an absolute tear," Doyle said. "Were pretty pleased with where we are, and we really love what we did with our brand and our company." It should be noted that the CEO at Domino's during a time they sold millions of "subpar" pizzas is now the athletic director at UofM. Here's hoping he pays more attention to the product in his current job than he did in his previous one.

Josh Budde

Wed, Sep 15, 2010 : 11:01 a.m.

This is very disingenuous on their part. No one is expecting them to list 30 million different combinations. They just want them to post things like: Dough=x calories for small, x for medium, x for large Cheese= x calories for small, x for medium, x for large Pepperoni=x calories for small, x for medium x for large etc etc Dominoes needs to suck it up and just do it like all the other big players are. The thing they're afraid of is that when they release the nutritional info for their pizza and people can see in a cut and dry way just how awful their pizza is for you that they'll stop ordering.


Wed, Sep 15, 2010 : 10:26 a.m.

there are calorie counters on other fast food sites, so you can build your own burger and figure out what something is without such and such ingrediants. Seems all you have to do is post what the ingrediants calories are for a given size. off hand one should figure 10-15% margin of error on the counts. of course it is fairly simple for me, I don't eat nor would I ever eat or support dominos.


Wed, Sep 15, 2010 : 10 a.m.

I am thankful Cottage Inn has been posting their nutrition information for quite a while on their website. It really helps people who are trying to be healthy.