Domino's delivery drivers across the country will soon be cruising in style.
The pizza chain announced Monday that it's deploying more than 100 custom-branded 2023 Chevy Bolt electric cars at franchise and corporate stores in November. Another 700 will be added in the coming months. At this scale, Domino's would have the largest electric vehicle delivery fleet in the U.S. Currently, there are 112 electric cars across the country, but by the end of 2023, there's expected to be roughly 855.
Domino's CEO Russell Weiner called it another step in the brand's evolution, including the Volkswagen Beetle in 1960, a custom-built delivery car in 2015, and recent tests of robotic delivery.
"Domino's has always been on the cutting edge of pizza delivery and electric delivery cars make sense as vehicle technology continues to evolve," Weiner said in a statement. "We've made a commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and this is one way we can begin reducing our environmental impact, one delivery at a time."
Delivery has been a struggle for Domino's as of late because of labor shortages. The channel's same-store sales declined 7.5 percent in the third quarter, but that's an improvement from drops of 11.7 percent and 10.7 percent in Q2 and Q1. Comparing top 20 percent stores (fully staffed) with the bottom 20 percent (staffing issues), there was an 8 percentage point gap in delivery performance in the third quarter. Still though, that's better than the 11-point gap in the second quarter and the 17-point gap in the first quarter.
Weiner even suggested earlier this year that Domino's may be more open to third-party delivery, something the pizza chain has heavily criticized in the past.
“Nothing is off the table, but I have a lot of faith in the Domino’s system,” Weiner said in April during the chain’s Q1 earnings call. “We have quintiles that are doing [third-party delivery]. “But like I said, our job is to fulfill the demand that customers have for us. Luckily, we don’t have a demand problem right now.”
Domino's is hoping to leverage the sleek, new vehicles to attract more workers. Additionally, the cars have enough battery life to be on the road for days, come with no tailpipe emissions, and feature advanced safety features and lower average maintenance costs.
"We're excited that Domino's has chosen the Chevrolet Bolt EV to build their electric pizza delivery fleet in the U.S.," Ed Peper, vice president of GM Fleet, said in a statement. "Both companies are committed to bettering our environment. GM plans to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new U.S. light duty vehicles by 2035. With an affordable price, fun driving characteristics, and a 259-mile range, the Chevy Bolt EV is the future of Domino's electrified deliveries."