Why Pizza Hut/Domino's are so bad in Australia?

Hey guys, I've had Dominos and Pizza Hut in different countries and Australia's is by far the worst. Don't get me wrong, it's still bread and cheese so it's not terrible, it's just very bland and boring, not to mention the ridiculous size of the pies down under.

I can't really tell what is it, don't know if it's the dough, the sauce or what else but if you've ever had a slice of american pizza hut/dominos it's a whole another ball game. I mean, just google a picture of their pizza and see it by yourself.

Not being raised in Australia I wonder if that's just them adapting to the local market or something else? Maybe that's UK influence? Never had UK pizza but I've seen in videos that at least the size looks the same.

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Comments

          •  

            @Cheaplikethebird: Whaaaaaa? I use Hulu a lot and when the Dominos ads come on they're all about the $5 three topping pizzas (that look far more appetising than Australian Dominos) - where did Metro fabricate that list from?

  •  

    No sausage crust option

  • +3 votes

    I disagree with the fundamental premise. I think generally dominos pizzas are fine. Not like a traditional woodfired pizza place, but also not as expensive.

    As others have said, there can be significant variation between stores. All the dominos near me are great

  • +1 vote

    About 10 years ago Pizza Hut North Sydney was really good, almost every time pizzas used to look just like the ads, crispy crusts and base, perfectly placed toppings. Kind of went downhill for a bit, more miss than hit, but has started to improve again recently, almost back to it's best. 👍

    This was in Feb, it's not as perfect as it used to be, but pretty good IMHO.

    https://files.ozbargain.com.au/upload/190487/87531/20210209_...

    • +2 votes

      Interstate, Pizza Hut was still good back in 2010. I don't think it ever really dipped in quality, but as I said that was interstate (Victoria).

      Here's one I had recently, it was damn good. https://imgur.com/a/ymlgkWj

    • +8 votes

      1993 Pizza Hut was the bomb. $5 all you can eat, mainly dessert bar to be honest, followed by a early screening of Jurassic Park then a whole bunch of Daytona at Timezone.

  •  

    Domino's here is more like really dirt cheap option that you can order and have deliveries on.
    I used to live on Domino's pizza because it was dirt cheap during my uni years.
    And more importantly, I kinda liked them. I don't think I was alone in this since the business there was good from what I can see.

    At least back in my home country, Domino's pizzas were far more expensive than here. Even though if you consider purchasing powers and such, you'd expect them to be cheaper.
    They target more premium market. They use fancy? weird? ingredients that I want to try just out of curiosity.

  •  

    Large Domino 's pizza in Japan is around $45

    • +4 votes

      That's RRP though…oh wait, RRP and real deal are the same thing now in this place.

  • +3 votes

    True, the best pizzas I've had have been from small family-owned places, they make the big franchises look terrible.

  •  

    I had domino’s in Orlando a year ago. It was nothing special.

  •  

    Overheads here are crazy, need to make a profit somehow. Rents in NSW are insane.

    That said isnt bad. I mean I get their pizzas for $7 pickup. Other places are $16 and up, not twice as good IMO Id prefer the cheaper option, for the price they aint bad.

  • +2 votes

    The markup on pizzas is pretty huge, they are much cheaper to make per meal than just about any other kind of food. That's why they can sell them so cheap. Selling them so cheap does hurt store owners who don't get a lot of volume. The recipe for Dominos pizza is kind of prepared ahead of time, you can't add twice as much cheese because then the ovens will be the wrong temperature and the pizza will come up too heavy. Whereas a pizza place that uses deck ovens they can easily control how long the pizza is cooked, they can make nicer pizzas if they want to. Dominos have to adjust their whole menu to fit their oven temperature and conveyor speed. Just about everything on the menu has to pass through the same oven so compromises in quality have to be made.

  • +3 votes

    Nah Pizza Hut is decent

  •  

    I watch 'Thereportoftheweek' on youtube, their pizzas always come with fun extras like dipping sauces etc,
    Wish we had that

  • +7 votes

    Most comments here are speculation.

    Pizza isn't magic. Use fresh ingredients and it will usually taste awesome.

    Some of the best pizza's I've eaten came from a Domino's. The store's manager was a former chef, cross trained in bistro and functions. He had the same ingredients as every other store, he just managed the supply chain properly, keeping stock fresh.

  • +1 vote

    What country are you from?

    I've had Pizza Hut in Brazil, Japan, Indonesia and India and they've all been pretty poor. Maybe I'm just used to the bad quality here.

    • +1 vote

      Same here, Aussie dominos are pretty good compare to the price point.

      Most of the international Domino's are lack in ingredients, specially cheese. It would be a problem ,OP used to the shitty pizza.

      Then again Macca's, HJ (Burger King), KFC got better varieties overseas and much better flavours.

      • +1 vote

        Do people remember pizza hut back to the 90s?. as a kid i use to have pizza that looked like the ads, now they seem to skimp on toppings

        •  

          yeah but in 90s pizza more expensive than now. I remember paying $20 per pizza hut pizza, that's lots of money based on the time.

  •  

    A couple in my extended family run 3-4 franchise Dominos stores in regional NSW and are absolutely killing it financially wise, seems to be very lucrative if you can get the right location.
    Anyway the pizzas taste like doughnuts regardless of topping, just gross. Last time we ordered some on movie night I had to take a break between movies to do a quick session on the spin bike because I felt so nasty.

  • +11 votes

    I actually quite like Dominos and Pizza Hut pizza.

    But I get irrationally angry when Americans call pizza a “pie”

    • +3 votes

      This is what I came here to say - wtf is with that?

    • +1 vote

      And you pay extra for ever topping except cheese. And don't get me started on tipping.

    • +1 vote

      Or when they call spaghetti noodles!

      •  

        How is spaghetti not noodles?

  •  

    We love the Garlic Prawn premium pizzas, especially at $7.

  • -2 votes

    pie

  • +3 votes

    I find that Pizzas in Australia seem to be lacking the cheese pull factor.

  •  

    Same with KFC! But Maccas is much better here.

  • +12 votes

    My daughter has worked for both and she found that it had a lot to do sometimes with whether the store is "corporate" so owned by the company or "franchise" so owned by an individual but still has the company name, logo, pizza etc. She found the franchise stores could be hit and miss and relied heavily upon the skills of the franchisee and the staff they chose, whereas corporate stores are not only accountable on an individual store level, but they are also accountable to a local area manager, a regional manager etc up the proverbial "food chain" so there is a lot of potential for accountability (not just the financial kind if you don't run the place properly) if you aren't keeping up standards and customer expectations. At a corporate store, my daughter said that when customers order online and provide feedback once they receive their order, that feedback goes directly to the store manager and the staff can all see it pretty much straight away. That can be good motivation as well for staff if they can see in real time when customers are really happy with their order or can amend any issues quickly if they aren't.

    The freshness of the ingredients is also absolutely key as someone else mentioned above and again, whether that aspect is up to par relies heavily on the store manager knowing their stuff, being on top of stock rotation, excellent food safety and handling knowledge and the like and ensuring staff also know how to do these things so it is consistent. All it takes is for someone to be lazy with an ingredient and it can screw up pizzas for hours or longer until somebody realises or somebody complains.

    In terms of value, it's pretty hard to beat, especially if you have kids/teens or family/friends who eat big. I wouldn't live on the stuff but plenty of people do and sometimes the price has to be the top consideration. My daughter's Dominos had a customer appreciation day this week and there were periods where they had 130 pizzas lined up on the make screen. The fact that they could manage those numbers of orders at all in any kind of reasonable timeframe is good and from what I heard, their manager still expected the quality to be the same standard so no going light on the toppings or cheese etc, sticking strictly to the recipes even though the prices were ridiculously cheap ($3 value, $5 traditional and $7 premium). Very hard to compete with that for value especially when the staff make decent money for their age, they get Sunday loading and public holiday penalty rates as well, which plenty of other countries don't offer.

    I consider both PH and D's to be the "low end" of fast food because there are absolutely some great options out there from local family owned pizzerias, but you know what the standards are like at each and you have to decide with your wallet what you're willing to pay for.

  • +8 votes

    I feel this is someone just trying to tell me their shitty 30 dollar bread with no topping pizzas are somehow better.

  •  

    I think, 10 to 20 years ago McD's in Australia were way below other asian countries. Most of the time the burger buns in Australia had grease all over them.

    Last time I had a Dominos pizza was 4 years ago, and it was also dripping with grease. That and the salt almost killed me. Never again.

  •  

    I pay extra and get it from the local pizza shop, double the size and the all the toppings are way better. It’s an American style pizza shop with Napalese doing the cooking. The local Italian place would be good if they didn’t burn the shit out of it. Dominos just slap tomato paste and put pretty rubbish ingredients on top, I distinctly remember it being much better in the early 2000s. It’s even shit when you are smashed. Pizza Hut is a mixed bag. For a chain, crust is good enough for me if it’s nearby, can get a bit greasy though

    •  

      I think the other part about dominos is they are on a production line and have strict timing, got teenagers making the pizza and cooking everything for minimum times just to get it out the door on time, they probably get in trouble if they were bothered putting pizzas back in to cook more etc

  • -1 vote

    No American that should be taken seriously eats Pizza Hut or Dominos.
    No American that should be taken seriously would call them a good pizza.

    So many better choices for food (and Pizza's) that are on offer in the US, never once while in the US has anyone ever suggested either of the two as there is always something better!

    •  

      If that was the case, why are there so many stores in the US if no one there buys them.

      •  

        Just like here, because its cheap eats nothing more. Doesn't mean they're good or anything special just cheap.

        •  

          If that was the case, that they are truely awful tasting, no one would buy still.
          Yes they are cheap but they are OK for the $5 price.
          Anyone saying “go to a real pizza place” etc are not comparing the same. Our local great pizza joint, they cost around $25 for the same size… so just not comparable to Dominos $5 pizzas at all.

  • +3 votes

    Just be thankful that at least they aren't as greasy and bad as American pizzas. But what can you expect here for the price, you are buying bargain basement food at rock bottom prices, they make a lot of compromises. If you want a good pizza don't go to domino's or pizza hut (that doesn't just apply in Australia either).

  •  

    Ooh, if you want a culture shock you need to know about pizza hut in China. It's for some reason really high class. Like "romantic first date" nice.

    You can have such things as lobster on pizza, King prawn on pizza, and other luxury ingredients. They also serve banquets and you can have a 4 or 5 course meal there, with soups, deserts, steak, pasta, and elaborate drinks. Expect to spend been $20-30 aud, so it's actually more expensive than the Australian one although of course quality doesn't even compare.

    • +2 votes

      Wait until you hear what they call a Big Mac in France. It'll blow your mind :)

      •  

        Thanks you made me curious
        Big Mac - Le Big Mac
        Quarter Pounder - royale w cheese

        French really know how to named their burgers

    •  

      I had breakfast at a Chinese Pizza Hut. It was the only thing open and at the time no pizza was available on the menu.

  •  

    I've had Dominoes twice, both times the food was close to inedible and way way too salty. I was up all night drinking water after the last one. Never again.

    Similarly only twice at Pizza Hut, once in Oz and once in the UK. Don't remember how it was as was too long ago.

    I eaten a few times at La Porchetta and found them to be ok, but of course more expensive.

    The best pizzas ever for me are the ones my partner makes. He makes the dough in about 10 minutes, leaves it to prove till we are ready for dinner. We can have heaps of toppings and whatever we like on them, it takes hardly any time to make and cook them. We make two 8 inch pizzas and they leave us full and sometimes we do not even manage to finish them.

    So why waste time AND MONEY on inferior rubbish. They're not hard to make and surely within the skills of most ozbargainers here. All you need is a bowl to make the dough, a chopping board, a knife and a tray to cook them on. Don't even need a rolling pin, just use a bottle. Ingredients wise, you can buy everything you need at Aldi - or David Jones for the upmarket ozbargainers. Just watch the Aldi shredded cheese though, it can be a bit salty.

    •  

      I fine I get thirsty even after home made pizza. Must be the MSG in the tomatoes and cheese.

    •  

      Making pizza at home isn't cheap though. Those quality ingredients aren't cheap you know.

      •  

        Rough calculation, ours would come in at $2.00 - $2.50 each, if that. Maybe a smidge more if I buy a few grams of shredded ham to put on mine (partner doesn't eat pork, ham etc).

        •  

          Lol I find that hard to believe unless you put very little topping on it. How do you come up with 2.50 pizza? I would love to know how you calculated it and what ingredients you are using.

  • -1 vote

    I once ordered a pizza with extra toppings, pizza arrived. I can't if they added it or not, looks the same as usual.

  •  

    I don't know how to check on Domino's tax info but I remember reading an article a while ago about how Subway was reclassified in the US as a non-primary producer for tax purposes because of the amount of sugar they use in the food they produce (eg. the bread rolls).

    The US regulators changed how a food company can be classified as a primary or non-primary producer based on how "pure" they make their bread, so Subway lost some tax benefits in the US when forced to changeover.

    Maybe in the US Domino's add a lot more sugar into their bread and sauces compared to here, making them taste a lot better. Also, I imagine raw ingredients would be a lot cheaper due to the sheer difference in population/consumer market size, so they can add more cheese and toppings.

  • +1 vote

    Mostly I think it’s just that Australian style pizza kind of sucks, so there was never a high bar here for Domino’s or Pizza Hut. It’s changing now as more and more places are doing Neopolitian style pizza (or at least borrowing some elements of it) but traditionally Aussie pizza’s had thin cardboardy or thick focaccia bases, bland tomato sauce, cheap tasteless cheese, and all the focus was on how many toppings were jammed on and not what any of them actually tasted like.

    Pizza Hut should have pivoted into being a better quality chain years ago, but Domino’s has completely cornered the budget pizza market so I can’t see them making big changes.

    The US is just way way more into pizza in terms of caring about how it’s made, whether that’s NY style, Chicago deep dish etc. so there’s just much higher expectations.

  •  

    Had Pizza Hut in Brazil in 2012 - One pizza was $30!!! The AUD vs BRL wasn't great at the time but Pizza Hut was like a proper restaurant set up.
    (wife wanted it, sick of the local food).

  • +2 votes

    Could be Australian health regulations like with acceptable quantities of sugar or other ingredients in take-away meals
    Or thye just suck ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • +1 vote

    I find that Dominos do simple pizzas like Pepperoni/Hawaiian well but the more creative options on their menu aren't great.

  •  

    The price of pizza in UK was much higher when I was there
    And not significantly better products…

    • +1 vote

      Yes, like at least double/triple the price.

      When we were there, years ago, with the $ exchange rate a large pepperoni pizza cost us $36aud! Bought it for friends that hadn’t had one for ages other wise I wouldn’t have paid that much.

  • +1 vote

    I had a pepperoni in Canada from Dominos and was wetting my pants thinking it was going to be so good. Turned out pretty bad compared to what I get in Aus and more expensive.

    •  

      Pizza in the US (and Canada) in the chains is generally even worse than Australia, loaded to the roof with Sugar and greasy enough that if you rubbed it on a brick wall you could see through the wall. having said that they do have some italian places that do great pizza.

  •  

    I've had Dominos and Pizza Hut in different countries and Australia's is by far the worst.

    Cant speak for dominos or PH, but kfc sure is terrible here in VIC. They only have bland original recipe all year around and sell the hot n spicy chicken once a year on special 🤷‍♂️

    •  

      KFC at Victoria Gardens has Hot & Spicy all year round… at least before COVID hit, not sure if they're still open. But yes the fact that all KFCs doesn't have Hot & Spicy all year round is a joke. Australia is no longer a nation of only white people who can't handle spicy food.

      •  

        KFC at Victoria Gardens has Hot & Spicy all year round… at least before COVID hit, not sure if they're still open

        I went there couple months back, and h&s wasn’t on the menu. Disappointing.

      •  

        That's Yum Brands being crap. The KFCs owned by Collins Foods (QLD) have Hot and Spicy all the time. Not sure about the ones owned by Restaurant Brands NZ in NSW.

  • +2 votes

    We're not as fat therefore as demanding giant sized pizza.

    Economy of scale… even in our CBD our population density is significantly smaller

    Then theres the whole issue of living wage, vs relying on tips

    Italians influence has more been on Pasta and Coffee

    Same question can be asked why yankee coffee is so bad, with its extensive Italian history

    Another yanks complained about how our Chicken was so expensive… ignoring the fact that the USA has 3rd world standards when it comes to farm animal care.

    •  

      Italians influence has more been on Pasta and Coffee

      In Italy it is 1 Euro for a good expresso shot. Here at $4 it is still crap.

      Same question can be asked why yankee coffee is so bad, with its extensive Italian history

      Half if New York claims to be Italian or Irish. Claims don't stack up just like their coffee.

  • +3 votes

    I disagree, Dominos in Australia is better quality and cheaper than most other countries. Dominos in europe costs at least double. Dominos in India is almost triple the cost. Subway is another chain which is better in Australia compared to OS. The subway menu in Australia is far better in terms of quality and variety of ingredients.

  • -1 vote

    Because consumer still flocks to their bad pizzas. Why fix something when people are still buying a tonne of them?

    •  

      Why fix something when people are still buying a tonne of them?

      Welcome to Australia where the pizza market tracks closely with the housing market.

  • +1 vote

    Dominos are fine. They're always ok and never vary in quality. The rest, not so much.

  • +1 vote

    Because I want good quality pizza at discounted price. Face it, they are cheap so don't expect amazing ingredients & topping. But between Pizza Hut & Dominos, I prefer Dominos any day.

    •  

      Not to burst your bubble.

      I am sure there is some value based pricing out there. Unfortunately cost of accommodation, rent, insurance, new iphones and Euro brand cars don't give anywhere the level of discounts.

  •  

    I spoke to a franchise pizza shop owner years ago when they first introduced $5 pizza. They never made money on it. As for US pizza's, it's all dough and heaps of cheese with sparse toppings.

    •  

      I spoke to a guy selling pizza for $6.99 large. They make 50c a pizza. The profit is if you buy drinks or add ons. Just look at how hard Domino's app is pushing add ons you'll know.

      •  

        I thought some of the Pizza Hut guys were actually losing money for every single pizzas that they sell unless the buyers also bought garlic bread, drinks, deserts etc. I suppose there's a fine line between loss leaders or loss leaders that bite into the store owner's piggybank.

  • +3 votes

    bugger me, if you want a decent pizza dont goto the ceapest one. No different to hookers and drugs

  • +5 votes

    I'm one of those people that think pizza hut pizza tastes worlds better than dominos.

  • +1 vote

    OP called it a "pie"…pls no

  •  

    I remember when I was in Japan a few years ago and was interested to try the local dominos. The pepperoni was a lot different witb super doughy base, tastless sauce, very little toppings and heaps of cheese which drowned everything. It also cost around $25 takeaway. The $5 pepperoni here is actually my go to. Has crispy pepperoni and just the right base and cheese and is 5 times cheaper. But I agree it is franchise and who is making it on the day dependent.

  •  

    Australians’ standards for food is pretty average, so why would they make them better than they need to be when most Aussies don’t care anyway?

    •  

      most Aussies don’t care anyway?

      They do care.

      Unfortunately with the cost of living (housing in particular) anything that is not microwaved ready meals is a bonus. Beggars can't be choosers, until the day when those bricks on the house turn into lobster money.

  • +3 votes

    Pizza Hut in Aus is the worst lol..

    I grew up in China and Pizza Hut is considered as premium food. The pizzas are amazing there (and exxy).

    I remember when I came here, my friend took me to an all you can eat Pizza Hut and I was so excited until I tasted the pizzas…:(

    • +1 vote

      The best Pizza Hut I tried was in Malaysia. It tasked like Pizza Hut used to taste in Australia back in the 1980s and 1990s. I'm sure there have been changes in the recipe and/or ingredients in Australia, which have made them far less tasty compared to the old days.

      I imagine China has great quality Pizza Hut like in Malaysia.

  •  

    This will irk some Italians: Just eat them with tomato sauce aka ketchup and they will all taste (more or less) the same (and better). And don't forget to sprinkle the fake grated parmesan cheese on top of it :)

  • -2 votes

    Pizza Hut and Dominoes are horrible in the USA as well. So is McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, Subway. The only decent fast food is In-N-Out Burger.

  •  

    I love em!

  •  

    Great question. Glad someone asked.
    No real good answers. Mystery.

  •  

    Had Dominos in Hawaii, totally different experience to here. Not as cheap, but the pizzas are larger, more toppings and better quality it seemed. You wouldn't even think it came from a Dominos if you'd only had Australian Dominos.

  •  

    I was in Canada and was surprised at how expensive pizza at the major chains were. That being said, I was happy to just buy slices of pizza instead of the entire (huge) pizzas they had there. Australian pizzas seem to be sized so that one person can finish a box themselves over an entire night, whereas in America I think you're expected to eat only a few slices per person. But obviously they get used to the huge portions and it all goes to their waists instead.

    Little Caesar's opened up here in Sydney a few years back and the pizza was GOOD. Pretty much the same price as Dominos, but much better IMO. Unfortunately they sold the pizzas for too cheap (literally identical prices here as they were selling in the USA without accounting for an exchange rate…i.e. a US$5 pizza was sold here for AU$5), opened too many restaurants and eventually the franchise owner fled the country owing millions.

    Personally I avoid Dominos and Pizza Hut nowadays and go to the known good local pizza shops who do a much better pizza (even though it's more expensive). There are independent shops that I avoid, though - they sometimes have Dominos quality at a premium price. It's just a matter of trial and error figuring out what's what.

  •  

    The only junk food I've had in AUS compared to US on a same brand basis which has turned out to be worse in AUS are pizzas. Both pizza hut and dominos were decent in California in terms of toppings, crust and size. Although the cost was definitely more. Around $20 before tips and delivery each. Like here you could find specials as well but it didn't turn to bread with cheese like it does in AUS.
    Definitely down to overall cost and probably not as much volume in sales over here compared to US.

  •  

    Yeah, you have no idea what you're on about. I've had Dominos and Pizza Hut in other countries, and Australia's manages to be some of the best - and cheapest (for comparing Dominos/Pizza Hut).

    Better crust and better cheese than most other countries, easy.

    UK, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia - all much worse.

    Now, interestingly, you mention the USA.

    The USA is good (better) NOW. Dominos USA used to be absolute garbage. So bad they completely changed their entire everything about 10-11 years ago.

    Here is Stephen Colbert absolutely slaughtering them (SEASON 6 E 3 • 01/06/2010): https://www.cc.com/video/h3mxst/the-colbert-report-alpha-dog... (You will need to VPN for that link)

    •  

      Japan pizzas are much more expensive. Cheese is more expensive, and pizza is a luxury food. I can't comment on the quality of the toppings.

      https://www.dominos.jp/en/menu-pizza

      I'd rather make my own pizza. The more often you make it, the better you get. IMO its the sauce that ruins a franchise pizza. Sickly sweet and overtakes all other flavours on the pizza. When making my own, i just blend a whole tomato with some garlic and herbs. The sauce should be an extra ingredient, not a helping of salt and sugar.

      I do miss smashing a $7 pizza from dominos.