As it moved to combat COVID-19 with contactless delivery and social distancing measures, Domino's reported on Thursday (April 23) that its global retail sales grew 4.4 percent in the first quarter. The quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain registered U.S. same-store sales growth of 1.6 percent and international same-store sales growth of 1.5 percent.
Domino's CEO Ritch Allison said in an earnings call with analysts that under 20 stores in the company's U.S. business are encountering temporary closures, but all other locations are still open and serving diners. But he noted that the U.S. business model has adapted to the new environment and its procedures have “changed considerably” over the last two months.
Delivery And Supply Chain
Allison said the company has moved to a “100 percent contactless delivery model across the country.” He also said that the company has made its contactless drive up, carry out technology available to all U.S. stores.
The executive also said the company has “temporarily banned customers from sitting and eating in our stores” and it is “asking our customers to practice social distancing when they visit us to pick up their carry out orders.” Allison noted that the company also put social distancing protocols into place in its stores and supply chain.
Allison also pointed out that the company opened its newest supply chain center on March 29 in Columbia, South Carolina. And he noted that the company is working “very closely with our suppliers to maintain a safe and stable flow of product into our stores.”
Bonuses and Health Benefits
Domino's has committed to paying additional bonuses to corporate store and supply chain hourly workers during a 10-week period spanning from the middle of March to the last pay period in May at a minimum, according to Allison.
Allison also said the company is offering “enhanced sick pay benefits” to its hourly corporate store and supply chain workers through a minimum of the end of 2020. He said, “At Domino's, we don't want anyone to have to choose between their health and their paycheck.”
New Store Openings
The chain opened 178 gross net new stores and 69 net new stores, composed of 39 net new international stores and 30 net new U.S. stores. Its net store growth includes the closure of the South Africa market, which the company said was not related to the coronavirus.
Domino's reported revenue of $873.1 million and diluted earnings per share of $3.07 for Q1 compared to analyst estimates of $868.7 million and $2.32. The company, however, withdrew its two- to three-year outlook “due to the current uncertainty surrounding the global economy and the Company's business operations considering COVID-19” per a release.
Shares in Domino's were down roughly 5.5 percent at just after 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
The earnings report comes as Americans have purchased $275 million worth of frozen pizza, marking a jump of 92 percent from the same time in 2019. With the high demand, some retailers have limited quantities of frozen pizza that consumers can purchase.