The “Paving for Pizza” program handed over cash to municipalities across America, cities repaired cracks and potholes, and the Domino’s logo was spray-painted onto some of the newly smoothed streets.
The feedback and publicity was overwhelmingly positive, and as a result, last week, Domino’s drastically upsized the effort. Through its Paving for Pizza website, it encouraged submissions — in some cases, city council members and officials nominated their own cities — and promised to choose one city or town in every state to benefit from $5,000 to be used for road repairs. Some new beneficiaries were also announced, ranging from the 1,000-person town of Marion, Texas to larger cities like Milwaukee and New Orleans.
Most city councils had to vote to accept the money as a gift of some sort, and as Motherboard noted, cities had to fill out contracts, manage logistics, and field media requests related to the Domino’s program. For their efforts, the actual repairs were pretty minor. In Bartonville, Texas, Domino’s $5,000 bought 75 tons of asphalt that filled eight potholes, and helped repair another three roads. In Athens, Georgia, it paid a dozen workers for three hours of work on 150 square yards of road.
Participating cities were free to choose which streets would be repaired, meaning the pizza chain did not ask them to repair streets around their own stores. Plus, Domino’s did not require the cities to plaster its logo over the repaired streets, although stencils for this were supplied, and some opted to do that.
But beneath the surface, the willingness for cities to take this money is indictment on the state of American infrastructure funding. Several mayors suggested that getting the money to keep streets in good condition was a major challenge, in some cases blaming a lack of funding from states, or the general difficulties of raising enough tax money to keep roads from falling apart.