Joana Mendes has been named the World’s Fastest Pizza Maker by Domino’s in a milestone moment for the world’s largest pizza chain. Mendes is the first woman to win the annual competition, which has been running for more than 40 years.

Mendes, an assistant manager at a Domino’s location in Ipswich, England, claimed the title by making three large pizzas in a record-breaking 39.2 seconds and won $5,000 in prize money. The annual competition took place on May 8 at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.

“This title means everything to me,” Mendes said. “For the past two years I have been training very hard and became the first female to win the United Kingdom’s Fastest Pizza Maker competition. From there, my goal was to take it to the next level and be the World’s Fastest Pizza Maker. I had the best people by my side to show me the process and have now achieved one of the biggest goals in my life.”

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Mendes started working for Domino’s as a customer service representative in 2015. She currently works for Domino’s Pizza Group (DPG), Domino’s master franchise in the United Kingdom. Mendes was mentored by Pali Grewal, one of the largest franchisees under DPG, who was previously crowned the World’s Fastest Pizza Maker in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

World’s Fastest Pizza Maker finalists assemble from Domino’s stores across the globe to compete in what the brand calls “a riveting showcase of pizza-making mastery.” Finalists prepare three large pizzas—one pepperoni, one mushroom and one cheese—by hand-stretching dough, saucing and placing toppings as quickly as possible.

While speed is important, it’s not the only piece of the pie in determining the World’s Fastest Pizza Maker. Quality is closely scrutinized as two highly qualified judges in Domino’s pizza-making practices grade participants on three criteria: dough/sauce, portioning of toppings and placement.

“The World’s Fastest Pizza Maker competition celebrates our Dominoids who have taken their pizza-making skills to unparalleled heights,” said Frank Garrido, Domino’s executive vice president/chief restaurant officer. “The awe-inspiring speed and precision these competitors demonstrate is a testament to Domino’s focus on delivering exceptional results. Our franchise owners employ some of the greatest pizza makers in the world, and we are so proud to name Joana as our 2024 World’s Fastest Pizza Maker.”

Domino’s began the World’s Fastest Pizza Maker competition in 1982 to honor pizza makers who “best exemplify the company’s philosophy of keeping efficiency in the store to allow sufficient time for safe, timely pizza delivery.”

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