The pizza chain's CEO said fixing the issue "is a big area of focus for us."


As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, plenty of problems have been left in its wake. Transportation issues have stalled global supply chains, and labor shortages have prevented many businesses from returning to business as usual. The real world results have been things like missing ingredients at Taco Bell, higher prices on Oreos, and… oh yeah… Domino's pizza deliveries are talking a bit longer than they used to.

During his company's earnings call last week, Domino's CEO Ritch Allison admitted that the average time of getting food to customers has "slipped a minute or two in some places." He began, "With the challenges that we've had in staffing, we haven't made the service gains and improvements that I would like to see here in 2021," but later added that fixing that situation "is a big area of focus for us as we look going forward."

Pizza delivery woman dropping off a pizza
Credit: Rich Legg / Getty Images

Allison pointed to a number of ways Domino's is dealing with the issue, and one of them is something happening across the industry: offering higher wages to entice new employees and retain existing ones. And he admitted that part of getting delivery times back down was "getting our staffing levels back to where we need them to be."

But Allison also explained that more drivers alone wouldn't necessarily solve the situation. "We are spending a lot of time looking at how we can get more efficient in our stores. And frankly, how we can deliver better delivery times with the same or, in some cases, even fewer drivers," the CEO continued. "Some of that is examining all of the wasted time that we have. If we want to be as efficient as we can possibly be, then a driver should never get out of his or her car and should spend all of their time getting pizzas to customers. So we're trying to take some of those other things out, some of those other tasks, some of those things that drive efficiencies, so that we can keep the drivers moving."

And though customers certainly want their pizzas as quickly as possible, Allison also explained that quicker delivery has benefits for drivers and for Domino's as a company, too. Crunching the data, Domino's has seen that faster delivery times actually lead to more sales per household in their delivery areas. "So there is clearly an opportunity to continue to grow delivery by driving those service times down," he stated. "That's better for the customer in terms of delivery times, but it's also a lot better for the drivers. If we can get more deliveries per driver per hour, that means more tips for those drivers, and we know that when they are higher wages, their retention rates get better for us also."

Extrapolate that data further, and it seems clear that if Domino's could get their delivery times down to zero minutes, we'd live in a pizza-based utopia.