Domino’s Franchisees Raise More Than $1 Million to Help Workers
Shane Casey, chairman of the Domino's Franchisee Association, operates three stores in San Diego and says an online auction to support the brand's foundation shows "the generosity of the system."
Established in 1986, the Domino’s Partners Foundation has granted more than $21 million in financial assistance to team members across the system, helping workers in the aftermath of natural disasters, with medical bills or perhaps with funeral expenses following the death of a family member.
When Domino’s bi-annual Worldwide Rally, “normally a significant fundraiser for the Partners Foundation,” said Ken Peebles, was canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Domino’s Franchisee Association stepped up.
“We were brainstorming and decided to do an online auction,” said Peebles, CEO of the franchisee association that represents 92 percent of Domino’s 6,126 domestic stores and about 775 franchise owners. “We set a lofty goal at the beginning of raising $100,000.”
Franchisees and other partners donated auction items such as lakeside weekend getaways, NFL game packages, autographed sports memorabilia and even a Porsche driving school experience—which sold for $8,300—to raise money. The auction quickly hit $250,000, said Peebles (pictured below), and later crossed the $1 million mark.
The funds will continue to help the foundation assist anyone who wears the Domino’s uniform or who supports someone who does, said Mairin Watson, the Domino’s Partners Foundation executive director. About 40 percent of the requests for assistance are the result of medical emergencies, Watson noted, and because many medical facilities and hospitals were overwhelmed in the early weeks of the pandemic, “team members didn’t have access to routine procedures and care.” She said now funds are going to everything from a knee replacement that was postponed to appendectomies and myriad other needs.
Shane Casey, a Domino’s franchisee with three stores in San Diego and chairman of the franchisee association, noted the majority of Domino’s workers are part time and typically hold a second job. Many are now facing economic constraints because of the pandemic, he said, and the foundation is one source of relief.
“I joined Domino’s in 1989, I was a driver. My wife, we both came through the stores, and an overwhelming majority of franchisees started in an hourly role,” said Casey. “Owners are truly tied to their team members. We’re also a wildly competitive company … we’re competitive about everything and I think we saw that in this effort. The generosity of the system, it really showed.”
About 80 percent of the foundation’s funds come through payroll deduction contributions, but a team member doesn’t have to be an active contributor to the program to be eligible for assistance.