FILE PHOTO: A Domino's Pizza restaurant is seen in Los Angeles
FILE PHOTO: A Domino’s Pizza restaurant is seen in Los Angeles, California, U.S. July 18, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

October 14, 2021

(Reuters) -Domino’s Pizza Inc reported a surprise drop in U.S. same-store sales on Thursday, signaling a bigger-than-expected slowdown in demand for deliveries as consumers moved away from their pandemic food-ordering habits.

Shares of the Michigan-based company were down 6% premarket after it posted a 1.9% drop in same-store sales at its U.S. restaurants during the reported quarter, compared with estimates of a 1.89% increase, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Its U.S. same-store sales had jumped 17.5% a year earlier.

As COVID-19 curbs ease, Americans, who spent the last year ordering in, have started to eat out at restaurants, slowing sales at Domino’s, which gets most of its business from delivery and take-away orders.

Adding to its woes, a severe labor crunch in the United States has also threatened businesses of fast-food chains, as a lack of workers could push restaurants to limit operating timings or capacity.

The company’s total revenue rose to $998 million in the third quarter, from $967.7 million a year earlier. Analysts had estimated revenue of $1.04 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES.

(Reporting by Deborah Sophia in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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