Need to Know
- More than 75% of Domino’s orders are now made through digital channels, up from 70% pre-pandemic.
- Global sales for the company were up 16.7% year-over-year, the company revealed in its first-quarter earnings call this week.
- CEO Ritch Allison says he does not believe the company’s customers will be returning to phone orders.
Domino’s reported a 16.7% spike in year-over-year sales, driven largely by an increase in digital ordering during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an interview with CNBS on April 29, Domino’s CEO Ritch Allison revealed that more than 75% of Domino’s sales are now coming through digital channels. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, that number was closer to 70%.
“As we look forward, those are the kinds of movements that happened during Covid that we don’t believe are going back,” Allison said in an interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer, on the program Mad Money. “Once customers shift to digital ordering, they don’t go back to calling restaurants on the phone.”
Domino’s was well-positioned to weather the spike in digital orders and contactless pick-up and delivery challenges faced by the restaurant industry overall during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company debuted such innovations as GPS order tracking well ahead of the pandemic.
In February, Domino’s introduced Pie Pass, which allowed customers ordering online to bypass the line and head straight to the counter for speedy, contactless pickup; months later, the company launched ordering platforms on Google Home, Facebook Messenger, Amazon Echo, and Twitter, in addition to its own Domino’s Hotspots, when the pandemic hit.
Earlier this year, Domino’s partnered with artificial intelligence platform Datatron, with plans to “automate and standardize the deployment, monitoring, management, governance, and validation of its AI models for workflows in areas such as in-store operations and customer experience.” I
n the April earnings call, Allison also noted that the company has begun piloting autonomous order delivery in Houston, in partnership with robotics company Nuro — a pilot that Allison says will inform Domino’s digital strategy going forward.
“We’re going to learn a ton” about how customers interact with autonomous delivery vehicles, Allison said, adding that the company will also better understand from the Houston pilot “how to weave [autonomous ordering] into the fabric of our stores.”