Financing

Domino's doesn't plan on acquiring another brand anytime soon

Amid a wave of consolidation, the world's largest pizza chain believes it can keep growing on its own.
Domino's CEO Ritch Allison
Domino's CEO Ritch Allison speaks at the Restaurant Leadership Conference on Tuesday. / Photograph by W. Scott Mitchell

Amid a wave of consolidation in the restaurant industry, Domino's plans to stand pat.

The world's largest pizza chain will not look to acquire another brand anytime soon, said CEO Ritch Allison at the Restaurant Leadership Conference on Tuesday. Domino's may be enormous, but it has plenty of room to continue growing without adding another concept, he said.

The restaurant industry has been full of strategic deals this year. Most recently, Jack in the Box said it will buy Del Taco, and Restaurant Brands International announced plans to acquire Firehouse Subs. All are plays for greater scale, which helps companies keep down technology and food costs and negotiate better rates with third-party delivery companies.

Allison readily acknowledged the importance of scale in today's restaurant industry. There are two paths to getting there, the CEO said: buying other concepts or being a category leader. Domino's is taking the second path.

"Right now, we really like our place as a single brand player in the restaurant industry and in our category," Allison said. "When I take a look at our market share in QSR pizza, even though we’re the category leader, I still think we have significant room to grow."

Domino's singular focus on selling pizza is one reason the 18,300-unit brand has been so successful, he said at the event hosted by Restaurant Business parent Winsight. And despite being the market leader, with more than $8 billion in sales in 2020, Allison believes the chain still has "many, many years of runway" ahead of it, both in the U.S. and overseas.

The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based chain has opened a lot of new U.S. restaurants in recent years. Meanwhile, its big competitors Pizza Hut, Papa John's and Little Caesars have been shrinking. Domino's is already the largest pizza chain in the world by sales, and it will likely pass Pizza Hut in unit count soon.

“I don’t feel any burning need at this point to think about going out and tacking on another brand,” Allison said.

"If I felt like we were running out of runway ... I would look at it differently."

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