Domino’s Pizza is back. The chain’s same-store sales went up 12.2% in the fourth quarter of 2016. That number was tops in the US restaurant business for the period. For the most part, the final three months of 2016 were not kind to restaurant operators. Factors such as low grocery prices, bad weather, and decreased retail traffic negatively impacted many restaurant companies’ quarterly earnings.
Increased Use of Technology
One secret to the resurgence of Domino’s could be its technology. The company has adapted to using modern restaurant technology very effectively. In fact, Domino’s has become a tech company almost as much as it is a pizza company. Customers can now order a pizza from Domino’s from nearly anywhere.
May I Take Your Order?
Domino’s came back from the brink of bankruptcy to become one of the most technologically advanced companies in the restaurant industry. Several years ago the company implemented a single-store point-of-sale system that it operates in-house. The in-house POS system enables Domino’s to fully embrace and adapt to technology in ways that many other restaurant chains are not able to. In addition to facilitating orders through the Domino’s mobile app, the system allows Domino’s customers to place “no touch” orders via Twitter, watches, televisions, the Amazon Echo, or by texting an emoji. The chain’s customers can also monitor the progress of their delivery or carryout order.
Domino’s business has also improved because of effective marketing communications in recent years. The company has been able to get the word out about its use of better ingredients. Its store remodel program revived the enterprise’s carryout business. The marketing programs have been so effective, many consumers that had not tried the chain’s pizza in years or had forgotten about Domino’s altogether have become customers again.
Another pizza chain that has taken advantage of technology to fuel its sales is Papa John’s. The company’s sales grew 3.8% in the final quarter of 2016. Like Domino’s, Papa John’s has been effective at convincing customers to use modern technology to improve the customer experience.
About 60% of Domino’s and Papa John’s orders now come through digital channels.
Michael McLellan covers the business of restaurants, marketing, media, technology, and more for D&B and Hoover’s. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin’s Radio-Television-Film program.