, Japan
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APAC CEO Josh Kilimnik, DPE Group CEO and Managing Director Don Meij and Domino’s Koto Furuishiba Store Manager. /Domino's

Domino’s opens 1,000th restaurant in Japan

The brand is owned by Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd.

Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd (DPE), Domino’s biggest franchisee outside of the US, is opening its 1,000th restaurant in Japan. This officially makes Japan the group’s biggest market by restaurant count.

The event was commemorated at the Koto Furuishiba restaurant in Tokyo today with DPE Group CEO and Managing Director Don Meij, APAC CEO Josh Kilimnik, CEO of Domino's Pizza Japan Martin Steenks and honoured guest, Domino's Pizza Japan Founder Ernest M Higa, all present at the official ribbon-cutting ceremony.

DPE first bought the majority stake in Domino's Pizza Japan in 2013. According to Meij, the acquisition was considered a risky move at that time as pizza in Japan is largely seen as a premium meal only for holidays and special occasions and not for individual or regular customers.  

“We knew Japan was an opportunity like no other, but pizza purchasing behaviour was quite different to our other markets. At the time, Domino’s only operated in 17 of Japan’s 47 prefectures and only 43 of its 259 stores were franchised. We could see we had extremely experienced operators, but without the means to grow,” Meij said.

Meij said DPE was able to leverage its operational, franchising and marketing expertise to help unlock the country’s potential, while also developing a local strategy to provide a truly Japanese customer experience. 

By 2018, Domino’s had expanded to 550 stores in Japan, increasing to 900 last year and a little over 18 months later, 1,000. 

Domino’s now operates in all 47 prefectures in Japan and is the biggest pizza chain by store count in well over half (30) of those. 

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