Australian chain Domino's is lifting the stakes in the pizza wars with a new offering to entice more females into its stores, and a technological investment that hints at the possibility of ordering pizza via your TV remote control.
Chief executive and managing director Don Meij would not be drawn on the form this investment would take, but promised "some innovative stuff" in New Zealand next year.
"Some of the technology hasn't even made it to New Zealand yet but we're already working in partnership with some of those companies. You'll see Domino's end up on iPhones, you'll see a lot of interconnectivity back between the customer and Domino's, and that's a very fast growing space."
The company's US brand owner generated plenty of media coverage of "couch commerce" last month when it announced its partnership with digital video recording company TiVo, enabling people to order pizza for delivery or pick up from the comfort of their couches. Asked if that was on the cards for New Zealand, Meij said: "Things like that."
Meij, who was in Auckland last week, said technology was a big sales driver in pizza retailing.
Online ordering now accounts for 14 per cent of total pizza orders in New Zealand and Australia - the fastest growing part of the business.
Domino's was also launching a new range next year aimed at a female demographic. Meij was circumspect on what the Better For You range would entail, but ruled out salads or wraps.
"These will be very uniquely Domino's products - they'll be made fresh to order.
"Because we have a male skew already, they'll have some male skew for part of the menu, but their main purpose will be to invite more women to consider Domino's."
ASX-listed Domino's, which holds the New Zealand master franchise rights for the original US brand, has enjoyed stratospheric growth in New Zealand since entering the market in 2003. It has taken market share off Pizza Hut, and plans to add eight more stores to its network of 74 by June.
The company posted a full-year net profit after tax result of A$11.8 million ($14 million) in August, up from A$9.1 million last year.
It has forecast net profit growth to between $13 million and $13.6 million next year, which Meij has told shareholders Domino's is on track to meet as people hunker down at home.
Despite the rise in costs such as cheese and flour, he said New Zealand still had the best profit margins of its six markets.