Technology has now become a staple for every known business.
Look at the restaurant industry.
It’s not the first industry that comes to my mind when I think about technology. Although we’ve seen promises of burger-flipping robots, they’re not at your local McDonald’s yet.
The foodservice industry was one hit hardest by the Coronavirus. It employs 10% of the U.S. workforce. And in May, restaurant employment fell to the lowest level since 1989.
Bankruptcy is hitting this industry right and left… Bar Louie, Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes, California Pizza Kitchen, Toojay’s and NPC International (a large Pizza Hut/Wendy’s franchisee) …just to name a few.
I’m 100% that’s not a complete list of the big names that will no longer exist after this year. That doesn’t even include the one-off bars and restaurants that have shuttered their doors indefinitely.
Industry-wide sales are starting to recover…but it’s not quickly enough. Most areas still have restrictions on the capacity of these establishments.
It’s been a rough time in that sector…but not for all restaurants.
Tracking Your Pizza, Before It Was Cool
You’ve probably used a delivery app by this point in the pandemic. Whether it’s UberEats, Doordash or Whole Foods Grocery, you can see the status of your order.
It shows that the establishment received your order, then it’s being prepared, then it’s picked up and then delivered.
You might not know, but Domino’s Pizza (NYSE: DPZ) was the first to offer mobile ordering and “pizza tracking”. If you’ve never used the app, it shows exactly where your pizza is until it ends up at your door. So, when the Coronavirus forces other restaurants to pay UberEats and DoorDash fees to join the network…Domino’s didn’t have to adapt.
The stores were already optimized for delivery and takeout.
Most of the Domino’s stores have just two or four seats in them. There’s no space wasted for dine-in. Plus, store locations are actually selected based on the best delivery routes.
The company was perfectly set up to take on the Coronavirus landscape with its easy ordering and efficient service. But the really important part was it had its own mobile ordering app. Consumers did not have to pay a cent more for their pizza than they would any other day.
The company literally just kept going about its business. And it’s seeing the benefits…
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For the first half of the fiscal year 2020, net income was $240.3 million. That was up almost 30% when compares to the first half of 2019. Diluted EPS was up 36%.
The company also announced that it is looking to fill more than 20,000 positions. That’s incredible when most places are laying people off.
That’s turning into huge gains for investors.
Share prices are up 43% just this year and 85% since this time last year.
I’m not saying that you should go out and add Domino’s stock to your portfolio…although the company shows no signs of slowing down.
But I did want to point out that even in this instance, investment in technology made the difference between Domino’s being a huge winner during the global pandemic…and it being one of the food services businesses listed in the obituaries.
It’s more proof that technology has made its way into every sector and every business. And it shows that 5G will be more important than ever. Even the Pizza Tracker will be faster and more accurate on 5G. Plus, we’ve already mentioned how it will be the driving force behind automation.
In 2020, we learned that anything is possible, so any day now you could be having your pizza delivered by a drone.
Whatever the future brings us, technology will be a driving force in our lives and investment opportunities.
To your prosperity and health,
Joshua M. Belanger
Executive Publisher & Founder