Domino’s Pizza announced Monday the return of the 50% off back-to-school deal on all pizzas, now through Aug. 20. Although Domino’s offers half-off deals throughout the year, this appears to be the first time the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based pizza restaurant chain has brought back this popular discount during back-to-school time since 2019.
These half-off Domino’s Pizza deals, colloquially known as “boost weeks,” were a regular occurrence through 2019 and then took a hiatus during the pandemic before returning last year. This is the second 50% off week Domino’s has introduced in 2023 (the last was in June) and is notably only available through the company’s official channels and not its new partnership with Uber. This falls in line with Domino’s recent promise that the best deals and discounts will still be available through Domino’s direct ordering channels, not through its newfound third-party delivery partnership.
Can the 50% off deals give Domino’s a much-needed boost to rebuild delivery growth and build upon its just-barely positive same-store sales, as laid out in the company’s most recent earnings call last month?
Although Domino’s began introducing boost weeks again in 2022 to correlate with growing consumer concerns about inflation, during the Q4 2022 earnings call, Domino’s CEO Russell Weiner noted that the company needed to win with customers through “everyday value” and not just lean on national discounts. That being said, over the past year, Domino’s has balanced offering everyday value and offering discounts with raising prices, most notably raising its $5.99 deal to $6.99 last October.
The challenges of discounting has been a conundrum faced by the entire restaurant industry, with many companies opting to shy away from heavy discounting in favor of everyday value, to balance short- and long-term business needs with customer spending trends. Domino’s is definitely leaning harder into discounting than one of its biggest competitors, Papa Johns, which has explicitly stated that value is a measure of everyday price point plus quality and menu innovation.
One of the more obvious downsides to offering national promotions is that while it may create short-term boost in customer spending activity, it doesn’t necessarily translate to long-term gains. However, since Domino’s has brought back its more regular boost weeks, the company might still be able to form customer habits that order Domino’s for takeout through the company’s first-party channels in between times of waiting for those 50% off discounts that come a few times a year.