Carry Out Versus Delivery Percentage?

I recently openend (March 15th) a delco unit and sales or pretty solid considering that we have done an extremely soft opening. However, one thing that still surprises me is that since we started our delivery service the number of customers using it has been very slim.

I last owned a pizza store in the early 2000’s and I managed many Dominos stores before and after. In all of those cases we of course ran anywhere from 60-80% delivery, a little less in the summer, a little more in the winter, etc.

Right now I am running about 5% delivery! I am surprised by this and I thought I would throw the question out to the group, for those that have primarily a delco style units what percentage of your business is coming from delivery and more importantly for those that have the historical perspective, has that changed significantly in the last 10 years?

We run 80% delivery in the tourist season and about 65% in the off season. Locals are more willing to pick up in order to save the delivery charge and the tip. They also know where we are located where a tourist just does not want to bother with it.

bodegahwy - Any change in the past few years or has this remained fairly constant?

I have not ordered delivered pizza in years…The folks around here have “aggressive” and “exclusive” deals for pickup orders…Plus a better chance of hot food…I am distant from them so I might be the 3 or 4th stop on a delivery run…

Back in the 90’s with free delivery we did around 90% delivery. Now days we have stores doing 50/50. Our biggest delivery store does 70/30

We have seen more carryout in the last few years. We promoted it some but mostly I think it was the economy. Delivery charge plus tip represents a significant savings on carryout for a customer looking to save money. I certainly do not mind as it saves me money too.

Thanks everyone for your replies. I think your input is consistent with what I am seeing and feeling in that there has been a bit of a shift in the mix. I have received some similar feedback from many Dominos franchisees that I know as well.

I was doing 65% pickup until a new tenant moved in next door just over a year ago. The parking lot is always a traffic jam now and deliveries have taken over at 65%. This has been a double edged sword. I get more exposure but customers that once picked up every week are now only ordering delivery every other week.

I do 75-80% delivery. Some wording in your post leads me to believe that you didn’t have delivery from day one? If this is the case, it can take some time to win over the customers that were looking for delivery when you first opened but were told you were only available for pickup orders. They will realize you deliver soon enough, when they see you at their neighbors, their office or just see your car top signs on the road. A couple other things to look at is what is your delivery charge and how long are deliveries taking? If you’re selling a $10 large pizza but charging $5 for delivery, not many will opt for the delivery. If a competitor delivers in 25-30 minutes and you take an hour+ you will be much less likely to get repeat business from the delivery customers. This is an important part to figure out because at 5%, you are taking a beating on delivery. There is no way to make money off delivery if it’s only generating $500 per week. If you can’t get the number up, you’d be better off going carryout only.

A couple more thoughts on this. Do you have a website? Have you put out doorhangers or direct mail to your delivery area? I won’t call to place for a delivery or takeout order unless I’m looking at a menu. I might walk in and order from a menu instore but I will not be the person on the phone with a million and one questions. What about online ordering? I’m now doing 25% of my deliveries through online ordering. Younger people today hate using the phone and do everything via internet/cell phone apps. I know plenty that will order from somewhere else if they can’t order online from you.

Richard, could that be a sign of the economic times? We are experiencing similar with a slow down on the mining industry and other uncertainty in the market?

Yes, Paul you are correct. We did not do delivery for the first 5-6 weeks, we were very clear however (on our phone message, conversations with customers, etc.) that we would be doing delivery within the first 60 days. I am sure there is a slight curve to overcome from that. And it is May\early June, in Michigan, after a brutal winter, carry-out is an easy sell right this moment. Additionally, we have not YET done much advertising outside of about a half mile radius - our biggest advertising so far has been to turn on the open sign! In all seriousness, we just started some small print campaigns, with some larger ads hitting next week, and working on getting EDDM started. All of these new print campaigns will extend our radius and I would assume most of the business these generate will be delivery. We do have a website and we integrate that with a third party online ordering system. I actually work as a software consultant during the day, so I have some decent insight on how technology can help us. I think our delivery times are solid (25-35) although not as stellar as I would like…again we are being helped because even the delivery orders are mostly close by.

A quick update, last week we “jumped” to almost 12-15% delivery and we are closer to 17-18% this week, so we are seeing some signs of life finally, but there were 4-5 weeks of pretty boring times for us!

Daddio - what an interesting scenario! That is a huge change to your mix.

I love reading the input from everyone, you have all made so many positive contributions to our operations! Thanks!

I doubt that is the case as I have shown and overall increase about 20% in each of the last two years. I have talked with a few of the customers who have said they just don’t want the hassle of the parking lot.

I have 3 shops in 3 different markets…Boulder services the campus and does 85% Delivery. I had a slow store that I have been building and it was 60/40 Carry Out and now is 60/40 Delivery and the Carry Out total sales have not changed. EDDM Menu Mailings is the only extra marketing I do outside of what my chain does using Red Plum (Advo) stuff.

My busy shop in Longmont is still growing and has maintained it’s 65/35 Delivery mix. I focus on delivery but run “carry out specials” which does have some people choose to come in and save some money.


Which do you prefer, the EDDM or the Advo? I utilized RedPlum for a couple of runs and I felt it did a decent job, the only issue I had was that they basically told me (and I can understand to an extent) I will NEVER be able to purchase a front cover wrap because the chains get first choice and someone always gets them. Short of a last minute cancellation I am stuck on the inside cover, and insert, or at best the back (which was also unlikely). Deciding whether or not to reup with them

I really like the menus more! Starts to educate the customers away from the coupon niche and into the real value I have in my menu - plus it shows them I have more than Large Pepperoni Pizzas! I am for more complex than the rest of the chain I am with. The menu’s allow me to show people that.

Don’t get me wrong the Red Plum and Valassis are working well too. Ask your rep about “Mega Sheet” in your area as that may be your ticket around the front cover issue.

This year we are averaging 50% (by orders) delivery and 68% (by sales) delivery. Versus 43.5% & 63.3% last year. We average 35 minutes at the door.