The accelerating development strategy is backed by double-digit leaps in sales. Comps in the fourth quarter rose 10.1 percent year-over-year, and 15.3 percent on a two-year basis. For the full year, same-store sales increased 8.4 percent, or 10.3 percent on a two-year stack.
Even with Omicron, labor has been more than manageable. Overall costs and the ability to keep normal operating hours were stable in Q4 and into 2022. The chain had less than 1 percent downtime during the fourth quarter. That number rose slightly in January, but quickly decreased in February. With stores clustered together, Dutch Bros drew from a pool of cross-trained employees to fill in if one location had a shortage relative to another.
In Q4, shop-level turnover was 56 percent, an improvement from Q3. As for regional operators, turnover is “virtually nonexistent,” Ricci said.
“Which we attribute to our unique people-first culture, along with the significant career development opportunities and financial incentives that we provide to our employees,” Ricci said. “Dutch Bros has always been a people- and culture-first company, focused on providing meaningful development opportunities to those who want them. As we increase our shop development target, we open up even more leadership and growth opportunities for our people.”
In addition to expansion, one of the chain’s biggest priorities is the Dutch Rewards program, which debuted in 2021 and has grown to 3.2 million users. That’s about 6,000 customers per shop. In the fourth quarter, the program added 500,000 members. In the past six months, average ticket for rewards customers was 3 percent higher than non-loyalty consumers.
Thanks to the growth of the program, Dutch Bros ended the year with digital mixing more than 60 percent.
“As more customers load funds to their accounts, we believe it can reduce transaction times, speed up our lines, and free time to create meaningful lasting connections,” Ricci said. “Through the app, we also have the ability to remember each interaction with all of our Dutch Rewards members.”
“We can leverage this knowledge to generate custom offers and thoughtful messaging to personalize our members' Dutch Bros experience,” he continued. “We're in the early innings of this work, and we're excited to continue unlocking value for our customers and our brand.”
Total revenues for 2021 grew 52.1 percent to $497.9 million, compared to $327.4 million in 2020. Company-operated shop gross profit increased 41.1 percent to $85.2 million and adjusted EBITDA lifted 17.7 percent to $82.1 million.