For Domino’s, combatting the restaurant industry’s current labor shortage means adopting more tech to make operating procedures more efficient. Speaking on this week’s earnings call, CEO Ritch Allison said his company is “absolutely working on technologies and operating procedures to help us run our stores more efficiently, and with less labor.”
One major development relates to the delivery drivers themselves. Allison noted that Domino’s is currently “trying to take a lot of things off of their plates that cause them to do anything other than being in a car, delivering a pizza or on a bike, delivering a pizza to a customer.” A non-tech example he mentions is removing the task of pre-folding pizza boxes from their workload. More than 2,000 Domino’s locations in the U.S. no longer use this method, which frees up delivery drivers’ time.
More tech-related are the efforts Domino’s has made around integrating more GPS software to its processes and making it available to drivers on their own phones. Allison said that in the “old days,” it might take a driver two to three months to really learn a geographic area and be able to navigate it quickly and without mistakes. GPS speeds up this process.
The company started expanding its GPS-tracking system back in 2019. As time has moved on and third-party delivery services like DoorDash and Uber Eats have gotten bigger, GPS has become a priority for Domino’s partly as a way to stay as fast and efficient as those services.
Allison also noted on the call that Domino’s is now using machine learning to predict sales at a store and “more appropriately matching the number of team members at the store at the times when we need them.”
Despite staffing issues this past quarter, Domino’s second-quarter U.S. sales were up 3.5 percent. International sales were up by double digits. International sales were up by double digits. “COVID’s strong sales, the accelerating economic growth and ongoing government stimulus continue to result in one of the most difficult staffing environments that we’ve seen in a long time.”
He added that in addition to the above changes, Domino’s expects to see some wage increases in the future, too.