While restaurants across the country have seen sales plummet into negative territory during the COVID-19 pandemic, Domino’s has managed to remain in the black.
The company reported Monday afternoon that same-store sales at domestic stores (6,126 units) grew 1.6 percent in Q1. That marks the 36th straight quarter of U.S. growth. This includes 3.9-percent growth at company-operated units (345 units) and a 1.5-percent uptick at franchises (5,811 units). In the period from February 24 to March 22 (the timeframe when the U.S. outbreak began) comp sales grew 5 percent at corporate stores, 0.8 percent at franchises, and 1 percent in U.S. stores overall. As of March 22, 35 stores opened in Q1—31 franchises and four company-owned stores.
A majority of U.S. stores and all supply chain centers are open. CEO Ritch Allison said domestic sales were similar to Q4 in January, but the numbers began to take a hit in February and March.
“U.S. sales were impacted by many factors, which have varied in magnitude across the cities and towns we serve,” Allison said in a statement. “Shelter in place directives, pantry loading, university and school closures, event cancellations, and the lack of live televised sports have all impacted our business in ways that we cannot yet fully quantify.”
The brand is completely closed in 14 international markets and partially closed in 23 more. In total, 1,400 units have temporarily shuttered internationally. Most of those are in France, Spain, New Zealand, and Panama. International same-store sales (10,933) grew 1.5 percent in Q1. Comps dipped 0.2 percent in the period from February 24 to March 22. As of March 22, 143 stores opened internationally in Q1 and 104 shut down, for a net of 39.
Domino’s borrowed the remaining availability of $158 million under its credit facility to boost its cash on hand to more than $300 million.
Allison said in a letter that Domino’s has provided enhanced paid sick leave for employees at supply chain centers and corporate stores. It also plans to give additional compensation for hourly workers during the crisis.
The brand previously announced that it will hire 10,000 employees to meet increased demand. The list of jobs include delivery drivers, pizza makers, customer service representatives, managers, and drivers for supply chain centers.
“I remain highly confident in our strategy and optimistic about the opportunity and potential of our business,” Allison said in a statement. “Our solid, resilient business model and strong financial position will continue to serve us well in these challenging times. I thank our franchisees across the globe for their continued fight and passion in supporting their store team members and customers during this difficult period. I firmly believe that there is no system, no team and no brand better equipped to face today's challenges than Domino’s.”
According to Datassential’s recent report on guest sentiment, 63 percent of people said they wanted pizza. That was followed by burgers and sandwiches at 51 percent. Fellow pizza chains Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, Hungry Howie’s and Jet’s Pizza all said they plan to hire more employees, as well.