Domino’s accidently gives away 11,000 free pizzas

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 3rd April 2009

Domino’s Pizza has provided their own “bailout” package to their customers, albeit after an internet error, which led to outlets in the Cincinnati area providing nearly 11,000 free pizzas in a single day.

The company had devised an online campaign that would provide one free pizza when consumers used the codeword ‘bailout’, but the promotion never received the green light from head office. However, while the codeword had never been officially approved it was active and one person stumbled upon it on Monday and word quickly spread across the internet. By Tuesday morning at 11 a.m., when it was deactivated, 11,000 pizzas had been given to customers for no charge.

“I started getting calls at about 10 a.m. from managers asking what was going on. I said I had no idea,” John Glass, who owns 14 Domino’s stores in Greater Cincinnati, said, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. “I called corporate, they had no idea at the time. No one seemed to have any idea, everyone was scrambling. It all kind of snowballed.”

The company had promised to reimburse store owners for the cost of the promotion and suggested there were postives to come out of the mistake.

“Silver lining: we learned some things, like the power of viral marketing, the power of the word ‘free’ (although we already knew that), and it drove thousands of people to our online ordering website that might not have otherwise gone there,”  Domino’s Tim McIntyre told CNBC.