Domino's Founder Testing Burger Delivery Concept

Gyrene Hamburger will offer only two menu items, with no sides, drinks

Tom Monaghan

NAPLES, Fla. -- Domino's Pizza founder Tom Monaghan is launching a new delivery concept that will bring burgers, rather than pizza, to customers' doorsteps, reported the Naples Daily News.

He said that he hopes to open Gyrene Hamburger in Naples, Fla., within two months. The 800-square-foot store could become the prototype for a national or even international franchise, said the report.

"Hamburgers are more popular than pizza," Monaghan told the newspaper. "My bag is delivery. So I thought I had something there. We will franchise, but not immediately. This first store is a test."

He said that he thinks the business could be even bigger than Domino's. He has kept the new concept simple, based on what he learned from past mistakes at Domino's, which he sold in 1998 after building it into a vast pizza empire with more than 6,000 stores. Gyrene Hamburger will only sell hamburgers, which will make the operation run more efficiently and speed delivery. There will be no sides and no drinks.

There will be two hamburger choices, with each burger costing a little less than $6: The classic with ketchup, mustard and pickle and the deluxe with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. Both hamburgers will have double Angus beef patties, plus cheese and bacon.

"That's it. No substitutes," Monaghan said.

Asked how he would compete with the big hamburger chains, like McDonald's and Burger King, he said: "Our edge is delivery."

Monaghan said drinks don't bring in much money. Often, people already have what they want to drink at home or at the office anyway. Offering side orders would only take away from the focus--making great gourmet burgers and offering great service, he said.

At the store, there will be a quick turnaround so everything is fresh. Tomatoes will be shipped every day; the meat will never be frozen, Monaghan said.

According to the Naples Daily News, the stores will have no seating; there will be pickup, but not a drive-through; delivery will be free, requiring a minimum order of two hamburgers; drivers will only go 1.5 miles from the store, carrying only one order at a time and jogging the final steps to the customers.

Monaghan's goal is to deliver the burgers in 15 minutes or less, said the report.

Domino's Pizza used to have a 30-minutes-or-less delivery guarantee, but dropped it after discovering the policy caused its drivers to get into more traffic accidents. In the burger business, Monaghan will focus on safety, the report said.

"The speed will be in the store, not on the road," he said. "It's going to be a real gung-ho atmosphere."

He said that he expects the store to have 10 to 12 drivers and a half-dozen workers inside.

"Gyrene" is a nickname for a Marine, thought to have come from a combination of "GI" and "Marine." In the 1950s, Monaghan spent three years in the Marine Corps.