One key remedy is continuing the fortressing strategy, which helps Domino’s capture incremental carryout business, as well as lower relative costs, better service, and higher economics for drivers.
“As I look this year and ongoing, fortressing is going to continue to be a big part of that strategy to gain share,” Allison said. “As we've talked about in the past, we are still relatively underpenetrated in terms of share in the carryout business specifically. And fortressing gives us an opportunity to go out and grab that largely incremental carryout business.”
The foundation is already there. Domino’s has 27 million active members in its loyalty program, and the figure continues to grow. The company sees strong and steady frequency among these guests, as well. Going forward, Allison said there will be opportunities to “turn the volume back up” on new customers.
Domino’s arsenal includes an advertising war chest to drive customer awareness and acquisition. It allows Domino's to gather sales trends and “put a little bit more muscle against things" when and where it needs to. A good example of this came earlier this week. Domino’s announced a national TV campaign highlighting its relationship with Nuro, a robotic delivery company. As part of the advertisements, Domino’s brought back “The Noid,” a character the chain first used in the 1980s. Allison said the campaign is already “generating incredible buzz around the Domino’s brand.”
“It's stuff that we think about all the time because the vast majority of the dollars in that advertising fund are franchisees dollars,” Allison said. “So we spend it with great care. We talk a lot about how we use analytics to make decisions at Domino's. It's an area where we've got terrific analytics in terms of understanding the return on spending those dollars across a range of different channels or opportunities that we have to invest them on the part of our system. And so, we are constantly looking at that and managing the dials to use that investment for the greatest return for our system.”
The marketing and advertising efforts will include carside carryout, which is a “critical weapon” in cranking up awareness toward the carryout business, Allison noted.
“We brought that forward to address the safety concerns that customers had around picking up their food in a COVID environment,” Allison said. “But over the long-term, that's really a great tool for us as we compete for carryout business against the drive-thru lanes of other [quick-service restaurant] concepts.”