Domino’s Founder to Try Burger Delivery BizBy Todd • Sep 29th, 2011 • Category: Burger Blog
Would you order a cheeseburger from this guy?
Tom Monaghan is hoping so. The 74-year-old founder of Domino’s Pizza is getting into the burger business, according to reports out of Naples, Florida… and he’s bringing with him the revolutionary right-to-your-door delivery model that changed the world of ‘za.
That’s Monaghan on the right in that photo from Lexey Small and the Naples Daily News. On the left is Adrian Martinez, who’s been tapped to manage the new venture, reportedly to be called Gyrene Hamburger. (More on the name in a moment.) “Hamburgers are more popular than pizza,” Monaghan has said. “My bag is delivery. So I thought I had something there… But there’s no guarantee it’s going to work.”
The Gyrene menu will be astonishingly stripped-down: a classic double bacon Angus cheeseburger with ketchup, mustard, and pickle… or a deluxe which adds lettuce, tomato, and mayo. That’s it. Really. Just two $6 burgers. No substitutes, no sides, not even beverages will be offered. The stores will have no seating and no drive-thru window. That’s because all orders (two-burg minimum, please) will be delivered to within 1.5 miles of the store… within 15 minutes or less. “The speed will be in the store, not on the road,” Monaghan gushes. “It’s going to be a real gung-ho atmosphere.”
That’s where the name comes in. “Gyrene” is military jargon for a Marine, thought to be a compounding of the term “G.I.” and the title “Marine.” (Monaghan spent a few years in the Corps back in the ’50s. It made quite an impression on him; he started a private Catholic college- and an entire town surrounding it- near Naples called Ave Maria University whose athletic teams are called the Gyrenes.)
And Monaghan plans to run with that “Semper Fi” theme throughout his new burger biz. Each prospective Gyrene employee will undergo “burger boot camp” before being issued their official camouflage uniform. Monaghan promises the stores will be “as clean as barracks,” customers will be saluted and addressed as “sir” or “ma’am,” and drivers will jog your order the last few steps to your door.
Gyrene Hamburger is set to open its first 800-square-foot location within the next two months, and may expand nationwide or even internationally beyond that, with Monaghan predicting that the concept could eventually become bigger than the 6,000-store pizza empire he made so famous (and then sold in 1998).
For more on Gyrene Hamburger and Tom Monaghan, check out Laura Layden’s in-depth article on the Naples Daily News website.