Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
A range of “disruptive digital initiatives” has helped Domino’s to a record double-digit increase in network sales, pre-tax and net profits for the full year.
The pizza maker reported a 32.7 per cent increase in network sales to $1.96 billion for the 12 months to 3 July 2016, along with a revenue jump of 32.4 per cent to $930.2m. Off the back of this, Domino’s saw a 43.6 per cent increase in underlying net profit after tax (NPAT) to $92m.
The group attributed the results to significant organic growth across same store sales, which Domino’s said was helped by leveraging digital platforms as well as adding 484 stores for the group globally.
In Australia and New Zealand, the group chalked up revenue of $268m, annual EBIDTA growth of 28 per cent to $91.7m, and 14.8 per cent growth in same store sales, its second consecutive year of double-digit growth. Notably, online sales were up 33 per cent year-on-year. Europe reported even bigger EBIDTA growth at 122.8 per cent, while in Japan, EBITDA lifted by 25.5 per cent.
In a statement, Domino’s put the stellar A/NZ results down to disruptive digital initiatives, including its ‘Project 3/10’, aimed at cutting down delivery times from the traditional 30-minute window to 10 minutes by tapping data insights; ‘15/20 Minute Service Guarantees’, SMS ordering capabilities, and 'On Time Cooking’, which is based on opt-in geolocation technology.
Other technology-led initiatives launched in the past year include trials of Domino’s Robotic Unit (DRU), an autonomous delivery vehicle, the roll out of 600 e-bikes, smartwatch ordering in Australia, and the debut of a dedicated innovation space called DLAB. In total, the Australian digital development team drove more than 80 digital projects across the group in the past year.
Marketing activity was also mentioned in the financial results, with the ‘More than Just Pizza’ food innovation campaign noted as a success in helping Domino’s grow not just its pizza marketshare, but also across the wider quick service restaurant category.
“We are focused on improving technology, pushing safer, more efficient delivery, while investing in world-class ordering platforms,” said Domino’s Group CEO and MD, Don Meij.
“A huge driver of this is our ‘Project 3/10’and our ‘Slow where it matters, fast where it counts’ philosophy, which have enabled stores to deliver in 10-12 minutes and reduce pick-up times to between 5-6 minutes.”
Meij said 300 stores are expected to achieve its Project 3/10 vision by the end of the next financial year, up from 150 currently. “We expect Project 3/10 to continue to be a significant sales stimulus over the next 3-5 years, with 10-minute delivery attracting drive-through customers from our largest competitors,” he said.
As mentioned at the group’s inaugural tech innovation event, Abacus, in June, Domino’s is also launching a new ‘Zero Click’ offering, available through a new mobile app. Once a user opens the app, they are given 10 seconds in which to cancel or modify an order before one is processed by Domino’s. These could be based either on a favourite pizza or the most recent order.
Trials of DRU will also be extended with new artificial intelligence capabilities aimed at reducing friction points and improving the customer experience, and there are plans afoot to take more of the digital innovations from A/NZ into Europe and Japan.
And in the media space, Domino’s will look to better utilise online, social and digital video with the aim of increasing customer reach and efficiency.
It’s not all pure tech, however. Over the coming year, Domino’s will overhaul and extend its menu to include two new food categories, the biggest menu shake-up since 2008. It’s also looking to grow the store count in A/NZ from 900 to 1200 based on growth and market opportunity, Meij added.