In the coming months, Domino’s Pizza will roll out a fleet of 2023 Chevy Bolt electric vehicles, totaling 800 GM EVs across the United States, as it seeks to reduce its environmental impact while also attracting new delivery drivers.
The pizza chain restaurant previously set a goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050, and CEO Russell Weiner stated that optimizing how pizza is delivered is critical.
“Domino’s was founded in 1960 as a delivery service, and we go to bed every night and wake up every morning asking ourselves, ‘How can we get better?'” Weiner revealed this to CNBC’s Jim Cramer on “Mad Money” last week. “This is a way for us to improve; better service for our customers, better for the environment.”
According to Domino’s, the Chevy Bolt EV will provide the company with zero tailpipe emissions and lower average maintenance costs than nonelectric vehicles, as well as a reduction in fueling costs. The new vehicles, which have a range of 259 miles, will be customized with Domino’s logos.
An initial 100 vehicles began arriving in select franchise and corporate stores across the United States in November, with an additional 700 expected to arrive in the coming months. As of September 11, there were 6,643 Domino’s locations in the United States, with 402 of them being corporate locations.
This fleet of EVs is not the first time Domino’s has sought to improve how pizza is delivered.
The DXP delivery vehicle, a custom-built Chevrolet Spark with a built-in warming oven and special compartments to hold items such as sodas, was introduced in 2014.
Domino’s has also been testing driverless delivery with robotics company Nuro, using an autonomous on-road vehicle to deliver pizzas at the chain’s Woodland Heights location in Houston, Texas. Other start-ups, such as Refraction AI, are testing self-driving vehicles for pizza delivery.
Domino’s has also sought to expand beyond traditional car delivery, launching an e-bike delivery program in major metropolitan cities such as Baltimore and Miami in 2019. In 24 international markets, it now delivers pizza by electric bike and scooter.
EVs aid in the recruitment of new employees.
The introduction of the new fleet of GM EVs is also expected to aid the company’s driver recruitment efforts.
“It just gives us access to a different driver pool,” Weiner explained. “Today, what we do is hire people who have cars, but that’s getting really competitive with what’s going on. Many Domino’s employees or potential employees have driver’s licenses, according to Weiner, and “all they need is a car… It’s an excellent way for us to bring in additional labor at a time when the labor market is tight.”
While some of the company’s locations require delivery driver applicants to have their own vehicle, others do not. Weiner stated that the company’s hiring metrics, such as applications and new hires per week, have returned to pre-Covid levels, but he added that “there are still gaps to fill, and that’s part of why we’re doing things like this to bring in the inflow and give a few more options.”
Weiner stated on the company’s third-quarter earnings call with analysts on Oct. 13 that staffing is still a constraint, but “my confidence in our ability to solve many of our delivery labor challenges ourselves has grown over the past few quarters.”