While delivery same-store sales remained significantly above 2019 levels, the channel did decline relative to 2020. Allison believes the winding down of stimulus and staffing challenges both had a “disproportionate impact” on the delivery business. To boost the channel, Domino’s launched an advertisement denouncing surprise fees instituted by third-party aggregators. During the campaign, the pizza chain is distributing “surprise frees” by giving away a free item for one out of every 14 digital orders. Domino’s and its franchisees plan to offer $50 million worth of free items to delivery customers.
As for carryout, the channel experienced positive same-store sales in Q3 as the brand continued to build awareness for its Carside Delivery. Stores have consistently met the two-minute guarantee, with some locations running under one minute. Allison said carryout will be a priority, especially since each transaction requires a significantly lower amount of labor.
“When we look at our carryout order counts, we are still not quite back to where we were two years ago on carryout order counts despite having positive carryout same store sales in the third quarter,” Allison said. “But it continues to be a focus for us and an area where we continue to see strong opportunity to continue the long-term growth trajectory of that side of the business.”
Amid such an inflationary environment, Allison said the brand is continuing to test price points and find the range that drives long-term profitable growth for franchisees, meaning Domino’s $5.99 and $7.99 platforms are not untouchable.
“While we are wedded to value, we are not specifically wedded to any individual price points,” the CEO said. “And if a better price point yields better long-term profitable growth for our franchisees, that's where we're going to go.”
U.S. same-store sales were mostly dragged by company-run units, which declined 8.9 percent compared to a decrease of 1.5 percent at franchise stores. Parrish attributed the spread to heavily urban and higher income footprints of corporate locations relative to a more diverse franchise base, and the fact that company units have been more aggressive with fortressing.