May 8, 2012
I JUST received notice that my local Domino’s is featuring the chain’s new line of “Artisan Pizzas.” Last year, when they were introduced, CEO Patrick Doyle said, “We have never launched anything that showcases our quality ingredients and craftsmanship quite like Artisan Pizza.”
This is interesting. Mass retail has led to such stunning ugliness and uniformity that it now uses that calamity for its own purposes. The mere mention of the word “craftsmanship” or “artisan” is capable of obliterating the physical reality of Chicken and Bacon Carbonara Pizza in favor of an imaginary vision. That’s how powerful words are. People are now buying Domino’s pizza because they crave something it can never provide.
The Associated Press reported last week that Domino’s first-quarter profit fell 24 percent. But its restaurants are still going strong. Among those open for at least a year, business increased by two percent in the U.S. and almost five percent abroad.
Domino’s can do many remarkable things with its stores around the world, but the one thing it positively cannot do is create anything artisanal. To be artisanal, something must bear the stamp of an individual human being. Mass retail is like mass government, it creates drones. It produces a state of such stupefying dependency and uniformity that the dream of craftsmanship can be awakened with a charred Domino’s crust.