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The major advantage Domino’s has over independent pizzerias and regional chains is its suite of online- and digital-ordering platforms, Doyle said, including a new app for Windows 8-enabled phones. Digital ordering accounts for nearly 40 percent of all transactions for Domino’s and has grown about 5 percent per year for many years, he added.

“I don’t see any reason why we’re not going to be able to get this number north of 50 percent over time,” he said. “And clearly, from our perspective, based on all the reasons … around ticket and order profitability and customer satisfaction, the faster we can push that, the better.”

Yet in second-quarter TV advertising, Domino’s took the opposite tack and emphasized the slow speed at which the Handmade Pan Pizza is made. The ad was a return to national TV for the new pan pizza, which was promoted heavily in the fourth quarter of 2012 with an introductory price point of $7.99 for a medium.

Domino’s de-emphasized the price in ads and came up with a new way to talk about the same premium-pizza product, Doyle said. The same thinking was in play during the first quarter, when the $5.99 price point of the past three years was reapplied to menu items beyond pizza.

“What we’ve been finding very effective is talking about the things that are differentiating the brands on an ongoing basis in the minds of the consumer,” Doyle said. The chain will continue to launch new products, he added, “but what we think is important is that we’re driving these results with bigger individual launches that are meaningfully changing consumers’ views about the quality of Domino’s Pizza, as opposed to simply creating new [products] for news’ sake."

Domino’s operates or franchises 4,932 restaurants in the United States and franchises 5,508 stores in more than 70 international markets. The company opened nine net new restaurants in the second quarter.

Contact Mark Brandau at mark.brandau@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN