Domino's and food stores out of shipping containers - has it got legs?

Dominos Container Stores On Franchise Buyer

Domino’s announced this week that it had opened its ‘first container store globally’ in Tawa, New Zealand.

The company says that this will be the first of many container stores, “ it works to open more kitchens closer to customers right around the world.”

Time is everything to Domino’s

In Domino's strategy, the lower cost shipping container option for stores clearly allows them to put stores on the ground faster, cheaper, and ultimately, movable you'd suggest for the most part.

The brands NZ General Manager, Cameron Toomey, explained.

“In 2016, Domino’s announced Project 3TEN - a goal to have a freshly made pizza ready for carry-out within three minutes or safely delivered to a customers door within 10. 

Why? Because time is the enemy of food.”

With a 10 minute delivery target, obviously, a key factor to achieving this, is having stores closer to customers, and this means more stores.

“Until now we have been constrained by the building stock available to us in a given area; much of which was not suitable to our needs. 

Now, with the use of container stores, we can enter areas that we probably couldn’t consider.”

Dominos Pizza Franchise In Shipping Containers Franchise Buyer

The layout

The company explains that the store has a full range of menu items, and the layout is just more compact than a regular store. Customer seating options are located outside.

Similar to a drive thru concept, customers place their order at one window, and proceed to the next window for pick-up.

My recollection of looking in the back of Domino’s stores, is that they are often already pretty tight.

Interesting to see into the future what the feeling is, about working within even tighter conditions. But, in saying that, no tighter than a food truck or similar.

“Gee, that is ugly”

This brings the next key question, on how this type of facility dotted around suburbs will be received by residents and local municipalities.

Yes, we have seen the odd shipping container premises around our suburbs from time to time. It's not new, but the scale Domino's may do it on likely will be.

I’ve seen some nice developments recently on a grander scale using shipping containers, as well as pretty subtle placements at service stations and the like.

We’ve even got a bathroom retailer with a store made of multiple shipping containers just up the road.

But, I also recall a passenger in the car with me recently saying “Gee, that is ugly.”, when looking at that same store.

And, I can’t say I disagree with them, but in saying that, there are also plenty of ugly buildings around the place as well!

For Domino’s, it is a brilliant strategy to plug gaps most efficiently, and build that bridge to 10 minute order to delivery time. 

But I just wonder, given the company's lofty goals, and just how good it has been in its execution of many things over the years, how many will be too many for shipping container stores in a geographic region?

I’d speculate that Domino’s will quickly know when they’ve hit this mark :-)