Dodo Pizza has taken the unorthodox step of publishing all monthly sales figures on its website. Maxim Kotin, the group’s head of global communications, explains why it’s all part of the brand’s commitment to radical transparency.

Every step towards radical transparency we took was dictated by the needs of our business.

Many people now appreciate that all of our kitchens are equipped with webcams that allow our customers to see online how their pizzas are being made. And we were basically forced to install these webcams.

The very first Dodo Pizza opened in Syktyvkar, Russia where delivery wasn’t widespread. So most potential clients felt leery about it. Launching a live web feed from the kitchen was a way to win their trust.

Another example. Every pizza shop in our chain is checked by mystery shoppers twice a week. Each time, they take dozens of photos and fill in a long checklist. Based on these data, we make a weekly quality ranking of all of our pizzerias. It’s striking for many people to learn that this ranking is public.

In the beginning, Dodo Pizza units were scattered across the country. The challenge of quality control seemed pretty acute. Making the results of mystery shoppers’ inspections public was a radical but effective measure to ensure quality. It also helped this system to gain some trust among our partners.

Now, the sales. Many other franchise chains keep their units’ sales secret, so you won’t even know how much another partner around the corner is making. The monthly sales of all of our pizzerias are also public.

Since day one, Fyodor Ovchinnikov, the Dodo Pizza founder, dreamt of building a global franchise. But how can one woo his first partners while having just one small pizzeria? Making its sales public helped a lot, especially when the first and second pizza stores performed beyond even the most optimistic expectations.

This fall, we’re taking our radical transparency policy to a new level. For sharing financial data, we used public spreadsheets on Google Sheets. It worked quite well until the Dodo Pizza chain grew to more than 390 pizzerias in 11 countries. The monthly sales spreadsheet is now so long that it takes ages to load.

So we decided to build an online dashboard and right on our website stream our key financial data. The dashboard is getting all the numbers through APIs straight from Dodo IS, our internal IT system that manages every aspect of our business and processes every order we get.

Now you can form the sales graph of any pizzeria in our chain in the local currency or in US dollars, as well as check out our system-wide sales for the last twelve months, the total number of pizza shops in the chain, and even the sales for the current month (updated every thirty seconds). And we plan to add more graphs and financial data to the dashboard at the beginning of 2019.

I mentioned only a few examples of our commitment to transparency. It manifests in many others ways. Openness has become one of the mainstays of our brand. Now, when we see an opportunity to make an internal process open to the public or our big community, we seize it.

There are four main benefits of transparency for business.

Motivation. When you make your goals public, you provide your team with a good injection of motivation. Everybody watches, so failure isn’t an option.

Decency. When your processes are there in the open for anyone to scrutinize, it incites you to do everything by the book, which in the long run, makes your business more secure.

Improvement. Corporate transparency provides your business with a never-ending stream of feedback which is essential for improvement.  

Trust. Radical transparency wins you trust. And trust is the most valuable resource.

Dodo Pizza is now one of the fastest-growing pizza chains in the world. Last time we checked our company grew 131% in year-over-year sales. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, the fastest-growing chain in the US, MOD Pizza, showed an 80% year-over-year growth.

There are many factors at play, of course, but we believe that one of the main ones is our commitment to transparency. In short-term, it might be scary, but in long-term, radical transparency builds trust and helps you attract talents, partners, and investors.