Featured case: Domino’s Pizza:
Business Continuity Strategy During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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The case

whoWho – the protagonist

Domino’s Pizza as it adjusted to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What?

Domino’s Pizza is an American multinational pizza giant, popular for its take-out and delivery service across the world.

Domino’s boasts more than 17,000 stores in over 90 countries. As of December 2019, 98% of its stores were franchise-owned.

Why?

whyDomino’s found themselves in an advantageous position due to their prowess in delivery and a new ‘contactless’ delivery initiative.

Other initiatives included Indian customers being able to order their groceries and additional essentials via the Domino’s app, and each of the 6,126 company and franchised-owned US stores donating at least 200 pizzas to people in their communities.

However, Domino’s didn’t escape criticism, as many felt employees were being put at risk at a time when most people were being asked to stay indoors. Furthermore, there were several incidents of employees speaking out at their dissatisfaction of the working environment.

When?

It was 31 March 2020 when Domino’s released the encouraging preliminary sales results for the first quarter ending 22 March 2020.

Where?

As of March 2020, Domino’s and its franchisees employed around 400,000 people worldwide, reporting same-store sales growth of 1.6% for its US stores and 1.5% in its international stores.

Key quote

“If you don’t have that (contactless delivery) in this environment, you are going to lose share.” Peter Saleh, analyst at global financial services company BTIG.

what nextWhat next?

Domino’s Pizza were well set to push on with their ‘contactless’ delivery approach.

10,000 employees were being hired in US stores while more store workers and delivery drivers had been taken on in the UK and Australia.

With contactless delivery seemingly here to stay post-COVID, is Domino’s in a healthy position going forward?

 
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Domino’s Pizza: Business Continuity Strategy During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Ref 320-0148-1

Teaching note
Ref 320-0148-8

The authors

author

Debapratim Purkayastha and Hadiya Faheem

Debapratim discusses the uniqueness of Domino’s turning the pandemic into an opportunity, the challenges of bringing the case into an online classroom in real time, plus much more.

domino logoException to the rule

Debapratim said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many industries with many businesses shutting down. However, some have turned the crisis into an opportunity.

“The restaurant industry was hit especially hard. In this context, we noticed that Domino’s was not only surviving but thriving. It was experiencing increased demand, and was planning to hire 10,000 new workers in the US at a time when its rivals were announcing furloughs and layoffs. Having said that, Domino’s too faced disruption, with the majority of its international markets experiencing partial store closures, and stakeholder tension amidst the pandemic.

“We are happy that the case was chosen to be included in a new edition of a leading Strategy textbook (Crafting & Executing Strategy, 23rd edition, by Arthur Thompson, Margaret Peteraf, John Gamble and A. Strickland) even before it was formally published, and has since emerged as one of the most popular cases of 2020 so far.”

Overcoming complexity

Debapratim stated: “We soon realised that the Domino’s case would become ‘the case’ that would be discussed in business schools during the pandemic, and long after the pandemic was over. The challenge was how to capture it in all its richness and complexity and bring it to the online classroom almost in real time.

“These were still early days in the pandemic, and changes were happening almost every day with new information arriving on a daily basis. We ultimately decided to set the time of the case at around mid-April, when Domino’s, as well as other organisations, were uniquely challenged due to the onset of the pandemic, and while there was a lot of uncertainty regarding the future.”

Weathering the crisis

He added: “The key takeaway from this case is how Domino’s banked on its core competencies and strategic capabilities to weather the public health crisis with limited disruption to its operations. Not only did it have to adapt its business model, but also balance the need for providing its service to customers as well as keeping its employees and customers safe.

“This case will remain a lesson in how to ensure business continuity amidst a pandemic.”

Relating to the subjectRelating to the subject

Debapratim commented: “The Domino’s case worked very well in the online mode. Most students were stuck at home due to a government-imposed lockdown, and could easily relate to the issues arising in the case. Many were either missing their pizzas or were grateful that they still had supply – something they have always taken for granted. They could see, how like them, businesses too were affected, and how they were coping, adapting or innovating.

“As we discussed Domino’s business continuity plan and how it could build resilience and come out stronger in the post-crisis period, I felt the students themselves also felt a lot more optimistic about the future.”

Adjusting to a changed world

He concluded: “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a very disrupting and profound impact on business and society, bringing along many changes both in the short and long-term. It is important for business educators and students to keep themselves abreast of these changes, so that not only are businesses able to learn from the situation while trying to tackle the challenges posed by the pandemic, but also impart the relevant skills required to survive and thrive in this situation.

It’s not going to be ‘business as usual’ once we have seen the back of the virus, so we have to see how we can prepare our students for the new world.”

About the authors

Debapratim Purkayastha is Director (Case Research Center) at ICFAI Business School (IBS).
e debapratim@icmrindia.org
tw @dpurkayastha

Hadiya Faheem is a former Senior Research Associate at IBS Center for Management Research.
e icmrhr@gmail.com

 

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