Jubilant FoodWorks

Jubilant FoodWorks (JFL), operator of Domino’s Pizza and Dunkin’ Donuts, said it would open more stores than originally planned this year even as India’s largest restaurant chain company acknowledged the dine-in business had underperformed in favour of home delivery.

“As consumers seek more convenience, they want the option of home delivery and there are many more brands to bring them delivery. It is also a reflection of the current consumer sentiment,” JFL chief executive Pratik Pota said on an earnings call on Tuesday.

JFL plans to set up over 120 stores in both existing and new markets this year, compared with its earlier estimate of 100 outlets, spending Rs 200-250 crore on capacity expansion. The company opened 40 stores in the July-September quarter, the most in almost four years. It closed six stores and has an overall count of 1,283 restaurant across 276 cities.

Pota said the company is responding to the changing consumer dynamics where there is a shift away from dining-in. “We recognise the importance of dine-in as a channel for maintaining consumer connect. So, even as we work with aggregators to drive market expansion, we will also invest in building our own digital assets and investing in strengthening dine-in,” Pota said.

On ecommerce giant Amazon’s speculated entry in the country’s booming online food ordering and delivery space, Pota said: “That would be a great entry because it’ll help to be our partners in expanding the category even further. We do not feel deterred by that.” JFL reported a 3.4% decline in consolidated net profit to Rs 72.98 crore for the quarter ended September 30. Revenue increased 12.16% to Rs 998.05 crore, while same-store sales growth stood at 4.9%, cycling a high base of 20.5%.

Pota said while growth moderated in the smaller towns and markets, reflecting the overall damping of consumer sentiment, same-store sales and like-for-like growth came on the back of the focus on delivery. “We are looking at initiatives to drive dine-in growth and remain invested in accelerating delivery growth,” Pota said.

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