In a quite surprising move by Domino’s Pizza, it has decided to turn half of its outlets all-vegetarian during the nine day period of Navaratri that starts early next month.
About 500 Domino’s stores across the part of the north, central and west India won’t be serving non-vegetarian food starting October 1st for nine days.
Experts are seeing this move as a desperate attempt to boost its sales from the slowest same-store sales growth in almost two years that the US pizza giant has seen.
Though this strategy has been seen earlier by the pizza brand, it is the first time that the western-style quick service restaurant is deploying it n such a large scale. Food outlets and QSRs typically see dwindling sales during the Navratri period, which ends 21 days before Diwali.
Dev Amritesh , the Indian President of Domino’s Pizza, said, “Consumption of non-vegetarian food reduces significantly during this time. This move is an acknowledgement that though we are a global brand, we are conscious about consumer needs. It’s about making a statement to consumers.”
It also brings to light the upcoming trend of the Indian populace deviating away from the processed food to a healthy diet that has seen a growing traction in the health and wellness sector in the country. People are abstaining from meat, wheat, garlic, onions and such products.
The Navaratri menu will include pizza bases made of singhara atta (water chestnut flour), saabudana crispies and dumplings and cheese and sauces with only rock salt. The pizza chain will not use garlic and onion and will do away with grains that aren’t consumed during the period.
“Pizza being a very versatile product, we have been able to create this menu. Turning all-vegetarian for such a large number of stores was a huge initiative involving logistical challenges and aligning with suppliers,” Amritesh added.
Although with 1,062 restaurants in 248 cities, Domino’s leads the organised pizza market with a more than 70% share, a recent report revealed that for April-June quarter, Jubilant FoodWorks Ltd., which is the exclusive India franchisee for Domino’s and US doughnut chain Dunkin’ Donuts, has announced a 3.2% year-on-year drop in same-store sales growth (SSG).