As I’ve grown older I’ve developed a collection of personal philosophical tenets, which I hope to capitalize on once I figure out how to break into the cult business. While I am not willing to change all your lives for the better without some sort of payment (preferably cash), for the sake of this very important restaurant review, I am willing to share one of my most sacred discoveries: The Domino’s Theorem.
Humans have the tendency to set unrealistic standards for many of the things that inhabit the world around us (our neighbors, ourselves, our pizzas). I have lived a very fortunate life, and I have tasted some of the finest pizzas ever crafted. But should that be allowed to ruin all lesser slices for me? Consider Domino’s, which, according to my Italian-American palate, makes a terrible pizza. Yet I have enjoyed many Domino’s pizzas, because I do not consider them “bad pizzas” but rather “good Domino’s pizzas.” It’s rare that things are exactly what we want them to be, but you cannot let that stop you from appreciating them for what they are.
All that being said, Domino’s has decided to overhaul its entire chicken wing menu by adding a few new sauces and ostensibly improving the wings’ overall quality. The chain didn’t make a big fuss about them, and I probably wouldn’t have even noticed there were exciting chicken wing developments afoot had I not read the company’s Q2 earnings call transcript, which is the sort of thing I do for fun. I have never paid much attention to Domino’s wing game, but my interest was piqued by the lack of pomp and circumstance around a product meant to compete in one of the restaurant industry’s fastest growing categories, as well as the CEO’s admission on the call that, historically, Domino’s wings have kinda sucked.
And so, on a warm early August evening, I ordered every single new-and-improved wing on the Domino’s menu. I ate them on their own, I ate them drenched with dipping sauce, I ate them in the silence I require to commune with whatever food I am evaluating. I take my responsibilities seriously, and in the grand scheme of wings, I did not stray from my core values. I knew this chicken would not come close to the best wings I’ve ever tasted, and I didn’t expect it to try. Just like Domino’s pizza, Domino’s wings are Domino’s wings, and should be appraised as such. Here’s how they rank, from worst to best.