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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Domino's Pizza has shunned delivery app giants Uber Eats, DoorDash and GrubHub, and the pizza chain's CEO confirmed the company has no plans of collaborating with them any time soon.

Why it matters: While its No. 1 competitor, Yum Brands' Pizza Hut, has partnered with and taken a stake in the to-go dining app GrubHub, Domino's has banked on its technological investments in delivery and user operations to beat out competition, the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.

"Our same-store sales performance for the quarter came in toward the lower end of our 3-year to 5-year outlook, as we continue to navigate through headwinds related to aggressive activity from third-party delivery aggregators. I do not expect this activity to ease in the near term."
— Domino's CEO Ritch Allison, in a Q2 earnings call

By the numbers:

  • U.S. same-store sales growth at Domino's has tapered off, and in the most recent quarter, the company reported 3% same-store sales growth — the slowest in at least 3 years, per Reuters.
  • The results disappointed Wall Street, and shares of Domino's fell more than 8% after the news broke.

Domino's still holds the largest market share in the pizza sector. But as the multinational restaurant doubles down on delivery technology, company executives are more concerned about delivery apps boosting demand for their competitors' food, not the competitors themselves.

  • For instance, valued at $12.6 billion, privately held DoorDash is now worth more than Domino’s, which has a market cap of $10.43 billion.
  • With the exception of UberEats and GrubHub, the delivery apps are backed by venture capital, and as private markets, they have patience the public markets do not.

What they’re doing: From chatbots to drones and its newly expanded driverless delivery cars, the world's largest pizza chain has been upping its investments for the past decade in technologies to give its customers a more seamless experience, and the push internally for innovation only continues.

  • Domino’s has been testing Ford-built, self-driving delivery vehicles in Michigan and Miami for several years. In June, Domino’s announced autonomous-vehicle startup Nuro will make a custom driverless fleet of cars for pizza deliveries in Houston later this year.
  • A Domino’s division in Australia and New Zealand began testing AI cameras that photograph and grade each pizza on different criteria to control quality. Auckland, New Zealand has also been home to pizza delivery by drone for the past 3 years.
  • Domino's has delivered to more than 200,000 nontraditional locations in the U.S., like parks and beaches.
  • The company’s voice-recognition system, “Dom,” has been automating telephone orders in about 40 stores since last year.

The bottom line: Outside delivery companies pose a real threat to about 20-25% of Domino's locations, Morgan Stanley analyst John Glass said in a research note Thursday. This competition could chip away at sales growth by up to 2% for locations open for a year or more.

Go deeper

MacKenzie Scott donates another $2.7 billion to 286 organizations

MacKenzie Scott with her former husband, Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon. Photo by Greg Doherty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

MacKenzie Scott announced Tuesday that she and her husband, Dan Jewett, had donated $2.74 billion to 286 different organizations, including community-based nonprofits and organizations focused on racial justice.

Why it matters: It's the next phase of what the New York Times describes as a "highly unconventional approach" to philanthropy from one of the richest women in the world.

Heat wave enveloping West will shatter records, spark wildfires

The sun sets behind power lines in Rosemead, California on June 14, 2021, amid an early season heatwave across much of California this week. Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

A dangerous and widespread mid-June heat wave is bringing blowtorch-like heat, skyrocketing power demand, and “critical” wildfire danger to much of the West Tuesday through this weekend.

Why it matters: The heat is building in a region that is experiencing a record drought, leading to dangerous fire weather conditions, straining electrical grids, and causing water supplies to dwindle further. The heat itself may prove deadly.

Politico's top editor leaving for NBC

Screenshot: Youtube

Politico’s top editor Carrie Budoff Brown is joining NBC in a high-level executive position at the network that includes overseeing the "Meet the Press" franchise, sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: Budoff Brown has been with Politico since its earliest days in 2007 and is admired among newsroom staff. Her departure will be a major loss to the organization.