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July, 2021

Can Domino’s (DPZ) Defend its Fortress?

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Can Domino's (DPZ) Defend its Fortress?

According to LikeFolio data, Domino’s holds this largest piece of the Pizza pie, commanding ~46% of all demand mentions in the past 90 days. 

This is in line with external consumer spending reports.

How has the company maintained this market dominance? 

A strategy DPZ execs refer to as “fortressing“. This strategy essentially means instead of expanding delivery zones and placing pressure on services (like delivery), the company is focused on serving customers close by, better. 

“How do you provide great service? By getting as close as you can to the customer. We do that at a lower cost which enables delivery drivers to make more deliveries and make more tips. Then they’re happier, the customer is happier, and it drives all of that growth.”

Dominos is infamous for being skeptical of third-party delivery and has opted to manage this in-house: “In 60 years, we’ve never made a dollar delivering a pizza. We make money on the product, but we don’t make money on the delivery.”

But one area the company is optimistic about moving forward is carry-out. 

Dominos rolled out a Carside Delivery 2-Minute Guarantee at the end of June. It is promoting the service in an interesting crossover with DraftKings, where consumers can predict the over/under on carside performance.

LikeFolio data shows momentum in the Carryout segment in the past month. Carryout mentions are significantly outpacing overall delivery mentions from a 2-year growth perspective: +15% vs. basically flat.

Looking ahead, we’ll be monitoring competition from inside and outside of the Pizza delivery segment.

Externally, generic food delivery continues to show more robust growth rates vs. pizza delivery.

Within the pizza universe, Papa John’s (PZZA) is actually showing signs of a comeback.

PZZA Happiness has improved by more than +8 points YoY, thanks to elevated Shaq branding and the launch of new products like the epic stuffed crust pizza and papadias. 

But for now, Domino’s still holds the crown.

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