false2019P10Y0001286681FYDOMINOS PIZZA INC--12-29DEPT1000H0.00500.0100Consists primarily of write-offs, recoveries of bad debt and certain reclassifications.The adoption of ASC 606 in 2018 resulted in the recognition of revenue in 2019 and 2018 related to U.S. franchise contributions to DNAF. In prior years, under accounting standards in effect at that time, the Company had presented these contributions net with the related disbursements in its consolidated statement of income. Refer to Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information related to the adoption of this new accounting standard.In 2018, the Company began managing its franchised stores in Alaska and Hawaii as part of its U.S. Stores segment. Prior to 2018 royalty revenues from these franchised stores were included in the Company’s international operations in the table above. Consolidated results of the Company have not been impacted by this change and prior year amounts have not been reclassified to conform to the current year presentation due to immateriality.The weighted average grant date fair value for performance-based restricted shares granted was calculated based on the market price on the grant dates. 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Table of Contents
 
 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
FORM
10-K
 
(Mark One)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended
December 29, 2019
or
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Commission File Number
001-32242
 
Domino’s Pizza, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
DELAWARE
 
38-2511577
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
     
30 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive
Ann Arbor, Michigan
 
48105
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
(Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code (734)
930-3030
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each Class
 
Trading
Symbol
 
Name of Each Exchange
on Which Registered
Domino’s Pizza, Inc. Common Stock, $0.01 par value
 
DPZ
 
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act:    Yes  
    No  
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act:    Yes  
    No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days:    Yes  
    No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation
S-T
(§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files):    Yes  
    No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a
non-accelerated
filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule
12b-2
of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
 
 
Accelerated filer
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Non-accelerated filer
 
 
Smaller reporting company
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Emerging growth company
 
 
 
If emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule
12b-2
of the Act):    Yes  
    No  
The aggregate market value of the voting and
non-voting
common stock held by
non-affiliates
of Domino’s Pizza, Inc. as of June 16, 2019 computed by reference to the closing price of Domino’s Pizza, Inc.’s common stock on the New York Stock Exchange on such date was $11,503,936,585.
As of February 13, 2020, Domino’s Pizza, Inc. had 38,667,039 shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, outstanding.
Documents incorporated by reference:
Portions of the definitive proxy statement to be furnished to shareholders of Domino’s Pizza, Inc. in connection with the annual meeting of shareholders to be held on April 21, 2020 are incorporated by reference into Part III.
 
 

Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
Part I
 
Page No.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2
 
 
 
 
11
 
 
 
 
24
 
 
 
 
24
 
 
 
 
24
 
 
 
 
24
 
 
 
 
24
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Part II
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
25
 
 
 
 
27
 
 
 
 
29
 
 
 
 
41
 
 
 
 
42
 
 
 
 
74
 
 
 
 
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74
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Part III
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
75
 
 
 
 
78
 
 
 
 
78
 
 
 
 
78
 
 
 
 
78
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Part IV
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
79
 
 
 
 
84
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
90
 
Throughout this document, Domino’s Pizza, Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) is referred to as the “Company,” “Domino’s,” “Domino’s Pizza” or in the first-person notations of “we,” “us” and “our.”
In this document, we rely on and refer to information regarding the U.S. quick service restaurant, or QSR, sector and the U.S. QSR pizza category from CREST
®
ongoing foodservice market research (years ending November) prepared by The NPD Group, as well as market research reports, analyst reports and other publicly-available information. Although we believe this information to be reliable, we have not independently verified it. U.S. sales information relating to the U.S. QSR sector and the U.S. QSR pizza category represent reported consumer spending obtained by The NPD Group’s CREST
®
ongoing foodservice market research from consumer surveys. This information relates to both our Company-owned and franchised stores.
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Table of Contents
Part I
Item 1.
Business.
 
 
 
Overview
Domino’s is the largest pizza company in the world based on global retail sales, with more than 17,000 locations in over 90 markets around the world as of December 29, 2019. Founded in 1960, our roots are in convenient pizza delivery, while a significant amount of our sales also come from carryout customers. Although we are a highly-recognized global brand, we focus on serving neighborhoods locally through our large global network of franchise owners and U.S. Company-owned stores. The Company is primarily a franchisor, with approximately 98% of Domino’s stores currently owned and operated by independent franchisees. Franchising enables an individual to be his or her own employer and maintain control over all employment-related matters and pricing decisions, while also benefiting from the strength of the Domino’s global brand, operating system and financial resources.
The Domino’s business model is straightforward: Domino’s stores handcraft and serve quality food at a competitive price, with easy ordering access and efficient service, enhanced by our technological innovations. Our hand-tossed dough is made fresh and distributed to stores around the world by us and our franchisees.
Domino’s generates revenues and earnings by charging royalties and fees to our franchisees. Royalties are ongoing
percent-of-sales
fees for use of the Domino’s
®
brand marks. The Company also generates revenues and earnings by selling food, equipment and supplies to franchisees through our supply chain operations, primarily in the U.S. and Canada, and by operating a number of our own stores. Franchisees profit by selling pizza and other complementary items to their local customers. In our international markets, we generally grant geographical rights to the Domino’s Pizza
®
brand to master franchisees. These master franchisees are charged with developing their geographical area, and they may profit by
sub-franchising
and selling food and equipment to those
sub-franchisees,
as well as by running pizza stores. We believe that everyone in the system can benefit, including the end consumer, who can purchase Domino’s menu items for themselves and their family conveniently and economically.
The Domino’s business model can yield strong returns for our franchise owners and Company-owned stores. It can also yield significant cash flows to us, through a consistent franchise royalty payment and supply chain revenue stream, with moderate capital expenditures. We have historically returned cash to shareholders through dividend payments and share repurchases. 
Our History
We pioneered the pizza delivery business and built Domino’s into one of the most widely-recognized consumer brands in the world. We have been delivering quality, affordable food to our customers since 1960, when brothers Thomas and James Monaghan borrowed $900 to purchase a small pizza store in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Thomas purchased his brother’s share of the business shortly thereafter. Concentrating first on building stores near college campuses and military bases in the 1960s and 1970s, the brand grew quickly in the 1980s in urban markets and near residential communities. We became “Domino’s Pizza” in 1965 and opened our first franchised store in 1967. The first international stores opened in 1983, in Canada and Australia. Monaghan sold 93% of his economic stake in the Company in 1998 to Bain Capital, LLC, and then later sold and transferred his remaining stake in the Company in 2004, when we completed our initial public offering.
Since 1998, the Company has been structured with a leveraged balance sheet and has completed a number of recapitalization transactions. The Company’s most recent recapitalization transaction in 2019 (the “2019 Recapitalization”) primarily consisted of the issuance of $675.0 million of fixed rate notes. As of December 29, 2019, the Company had $4.11 billion in total debt, which included debt from its 2019 Recapitalization and its previous recapitalization transactions in 2018, 2017 and 2015 (the “2018 Recapitalization,” “2017 Recapitalization” and the “2015 Recapitalization,” respectively, and together with the 2019 Recapitalization, the “2019, 2018, 2017 and 2015 Recapitalizations”). Excess proceeds from our 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2015 Recapitalizations were used primarily to repurchase shares of our common stock.
We
re-launched
our brand in the U.S. in late 2009 by introducing a new recipe for our core pizza product. Since 2008, the majority of our menu has changed, either through the improvement of existing products or the introduction of new products, such as our Handmade Pan Pizza and Specialty Chicken. During this timeframe, we also began expanding our focus on technology through our development of innovative ordering platforms, including those developed for Google Home, Facebook Messenger, Apple Watch, Amazon Echo and Twitter, as well as other technological advancements, such as the launch of our Piece of the Pie Rewards
®
loyalty program in 2015 and the launch of Domino’s Delivery HotSpots
®
in 2018. Globally, we opened our 10,000
th
store in 2012 and our 17,000
th
store in 2019. In 2012, we announced a plan requiring all stores to adopt our new
carry-out
friendly “Pizza Theater” store design, which is more inviting to customers and allows them to see their orders being made fresh in front of them. The majority of our U.S. and international stores have completed these remodels as of the end of 2019.
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Table of Contents
Our Industry
The U.S. QSR pizza category is large and fragmented. From 2014 through 2019, the U.S. QSR pizza category has grown from $34.8 billion to $37.8 billion. It is the second-largest category within the $279 billion U.S. QSR sector. The U.S. QSR pizza category is primarily comprised of delivery,
dine-in
and carryout, with carryout and delivery comprising the two largest segments.
In the U.S., we compete primarily in the delivery and carryout segments of the pizza industry, and we are the dollar market share leader for delivery and second-largest dollar market share leader for carryout. Delivery segment dollars of $11.0 billion in 2019 (up from $10.2 billion in 2014) account for approximately 29% of total U.S. QSR pizza. The four industry leaders, including Domino’s, account for over 61% of U.S. pizza delivery, based on reported consumer spending, with the remaining dollars going to regional chains and independent establishments. From 2014 to 2019, the carryout segment grew from $16.9 billion to $18.8 billion. The four industry leaders, including Domino’s, account for approximately 51% of the carryout segment. (Source: The NPD Group/CREST
®
, year ending November 2019).
In contrast to the U.S., international pizza delivery is relatively underdeveloped, with only Domino’s and two other competitors having a significant global presence. We believe that demand for pizza and pizza delivery is large and growing throughout the world, driven by international consumers’ increasing emphasis on convenience, and our proven success of more than 35 years of conducting business abroad.
Our Competition
The global pizza delivery and carryout segments, as well as the broader QSR sector, are highly competitive. In the U.S., we compete against regional and local companies as well as national chains Pizza Hut
®
, Papa John’s
®
and Little Caesars Pizza
®
. Internationally, we compete primarily with Pizza Hut
®
, Papa John’s
®
and country-specific national and local pizzerias. We generally compete on the basis of product quality, location, image, service, technology, convenience and price. Our business and those of our competitors can be affected by changes in consumer tastes, economic conditions, demographic trends and consumers’ disposable income. We also compete with other food, food delivery and order and delivery aggregation companies. We compete not only for customers, but also for employees, drivers, suitable real estate sites and qualified franchisees.
Our Customers
The Company’s business is not dependent upon a single retail customer or small group of customers, including franchisees. No customer accounted for more than 10% of total consolidated revenues in 2019, 2018 or 2017. As of December 29, 2019, our largest franchisee based on store count, Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (DMP: ASX), operates 2,604 stores in nine international markets, and accounts for 15% of our total store count. Revenues from this master franchisee accounted for 1.4% of our consolidated revenues in 2019. Our international business unit only requires a modest amount of general and administrative expenses to support its markets and does not have a cost of sales component. Therefore, the vast majority of these royalty revenues result in profits to us.
Our Menu
We offer a menu designed to present an attractive, quality offering to customers, while keeping it simple enough to minimize order errors and expedite order-taking and food preparation. Our basic menu features pizza products with varying sizes and crust types. Our typical store also offers oven-baked sandwiches, pasta, boneless chicken and chicken wings, bread side items, desserts and soft drink products. International markets vary toppings by country and culture, such as a squid topping in Japan or spicy cheese in India, and often feature regional specialty items, such as a banana and cinnamon dessert pizza in Brazil.
Store Image and Operations
We have been focused primarily on pizza delivery for nearly 60 years, and we also place focus on carryout as a significant component of our business. In 2012, we introduced our carryout-friendly Pizza Theater store design; the majority of our U.S. and international stores have converted to this design as of the end of 2019. Many stores offer casual seating and enable customers to watch the preparation of their orders, but do not offer a full-service
dine-in
experience. As a result, our stores generally do not require expensive restaurant facilities and staffing.
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Our Business Segments
We operate, and report, three business segments: U.S. stores, international franchise and supply chain.
U.S. Stores
Our U.S. stores segment consists primarily of our franchise operations, which consist of 5,784 franchised stores located in the United States. We also operate a network of 342 U.S. Company-owned stores.
During 2019, our U.S. stores segment accounted for $1.27 billion, or 35% of our consolidated revenues. Directly operating Domino’s stores contributes significantly to our ability to act as a credible franchisor. We also use our Company-owned stores as test sites for technological innovation and promotions as well as operational improvements. We also use them for training new store managers and operations team members, as well as developing prospective franchisees. While we are primarily a franchised business, we continuously evaluate our mix of U.S. Company-owned and franchise stores. As of December 29, 2019, franchised stores represented 94% of our total store count within our U.S. stores segment.
U.S. Franchise Profile
As of December 29, 2019, our network of 5,784 U.S. franchise stores was owned and operated by 777 independent U.S. franchisees. Our franchise formula enables franchisees to benefit from our brand recognition with a relatively low initial capital investment. As of December 29, 2019, the average U.S. franchisee owned and operated approximately seven stores and had been in our franchise system for over 18 years. Additionally, 20 of our U.S. franchisees operated more than 50 stores (including our largest U.S. franchisee who operated 176 stores) and 240 of our U.S. franchisees each operated one store.
We apply rigorous standards to prospective U.S. franchisees. We generally require them to manage a store for at least one year and graduate from our franchise management school program before being granted a franchise. This enables us to observe the operational and financial performance of a potential franchisee prior to entering into a long-term agreement. Substantially all of our 777 independent U.S. franchise owners started their careers with us as delivery drivers or in other
in-store
positions, which we believe offers advantages in terms of familiarity with our business and store operations. In addition, we generally restrict the ability of U.S. franchisees to be involved in other businesses, which we believe helps focus our franchisees’ attention on operating their stores. We believe these characteristics and standards are largely unique within the franchise industry and have resulted in qualified and focused franchisees operating Domino’s stores. We maintain a productive relationship with our independent franchise owners through regional franchise teams, distributing materials that help franchise stores comply with our standards and using franchise advisory groups that facilitate communications between us and our franchisees. We consider our relationship with our U.S. franchisees to be good.
U.S. Franchise Agreements
We enter into franchise agreements with U.S. franchisees under which the franchisee is generally granted the right to operate a store in a particular location for a term of ten years, with an ability to renew for an additional term of ten years. We have a franchise agreement renewal rate of approximately 99%. Under the current standard franchise agreement, we assign an exclusive area of primary responsibility to each franchised store. Each franchisee is generally required to pay a 5.5% royalty fee on sales as well as certain technology fees. In certain instances, we will collect lower rates based on certain incentives.
Our stores in the contiguous United States currently contribute 6% of their sales to fund national marketing and advertising campaigns (subject, in certain instances, to lower rates based on certain incentives and waivers). These funds are administered by Domino’s National Advertising Fund Inc. (“DNAF”), our consolidated
not-for-profit
advertising subsidiary. The funds are primarily used to purchase media for advertising, and also to support market research, field communications, public relations, commercial production, talent payments and other activities to promote the Domino’s brand. In addition to the national and market-level advertising contributions, U.S. stores generally spend additional funds on local store marketing activities.
We have the contractual right, subject to state law, to terminate a franchise agreement for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, a franchisee’s failure to adhere to the Company’s franchise agreement, failure to make required payments, or failure to adhere to specified Company policies and standards.
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Table of Contents
International Franchise
Our international franchise segment is comprised of a network of franchised stores in more than 90 international markets. At December 29, 2019, we had 10,894 international franchise stores. During 2019, this segment accounted for $241.0 million, or 7% of our consolidated revenues. The principal sources of revenues from those operations are royalty payments generated by retail sales from franchised stores.
Our international franchisees employ our basic standard operating model and adapt it to satisfy the local eating habits and consumer preferences of various regions outside the U.S. Currently, the vast majority of our international stores operate under master franchise agreements.
We believe Domino’s appeals to potential international franchisees because of our recognized brand name and technological leadership, the moderate capital expenditures required to open and operate our stores and our system’s desirable store profitability. Stores in eight of our top ten international markets in terms of store count are operated by master franchise companies that are publicly traded on stock exchanges as noted in the below table. The following table shows our store count as of December 29, 2019 in our top ten international markets, which accounted for approximately 63% of our international stores as of that date.
         
Market
 
Number of stores
 
India (JUBLFOOD: NS)
   
1,312
 
United Kingdom (DOM: L)
   
1,126
 
Mexico (ALSEA: MX)
   
801
 
Australia (DMP: ASX)
   
698
 
Japan (DMP: ASX)
   
642
 
Turkey (DPEU: L)
   
550
 
Canada
   
520
 
South Korea
   
462
 
France (DMP: ASX)
   
404
 
Germany (DMP: ASX)
   
325
 
 
 
 
International Franchisee Profile
The vast majority of our markets outside of the U.S. are operated by master franchisees with franchise and distribution rights for entire regions or countries. In a few select markets, we franchise directly to individual store operators. Prospective master franchisees are required to possess local market knowledge to establish and develop Domino’s stores, with the ability to identify and access targeted real estate sites, as well as expertise in local laws, customs, culture and consumer behavior. We also seek candidates that have access to sufficient capital to meet growth and development plans. We consider our relationship with our international franchisees to be good.
Master Franchise Agreements
Our master franchise agreements generally grant the franchisee exclusive rights to develop and
sub-franchise
stores and the right to operate supply chain centers in particular geographic areas. Agreements are generally for a term of ten years, with options to renew for additional terms. The agreements typically contain growth clauses requiring franchisees to open a minimum number of stores within a specified period. The master franchisee is generally required to pay an initial,
one-time
franchise fee as well as an additional franchise fee upon the opening of each new store. The master franchisee is also required to pay a continuing royalty fee as a percentage of sales, which varies among international markets, and averaged approximately 3.0% in 2019.
Supply Chain
Our supply chain segment operates 19 regional dough manufacturing and food supply chain centers in the U.S., one thin crust manufacturing center, one vegetable processing center and one center providing equipment and supplies to our U.S. and certain international stores. We plan to continue investing in additional supply chain centers and capacity initiatives in the future, including two additional regional dough manufacturing and food supply chain centers that are expected to open in fiscal 2020. We also operate five dough manufacturing and food supply chain centers in Canada. Our supply chain segment leases a fleet of more than 800 tractors and trailers. During 2019, our supply chain segment accounted for $2.10 billion, or 58% of our consolidated revenues.
Our centers produce fresh dough and purchase, receive, store and deliver quality food and other complementary items to substantially all of our U.S. stores and most of our Canadian franchised stores. We regularly supply over 6,600 stores with various food and supplies.
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We believe our franchisees voluntarily choose to obtain food, supplies and equipment from us because we offer the most efficient, convenient and cost-effective alternative, while also offering both quality and consistency. Our supply chain segment offers profit-sharing arrangements to franchisees who purchase all of their food for their stores from our centers. These profit-sharing arrangements generally offer participating franchisees and Company-owned stores with 50% (or a higher percentage in the case of Company-owned stores and certain franchisees who operate a larger number of stores) of their regional supply chain center’s
pre-tax
profits. We believe these arrangements strengthen our ties to and provide aligned benefits with franchisees.
Third-Party Suppliers
Over half of our annual food spend is with suppliers with whom we maintain long-standing partnerships. Our supply partners are required to meet strict quality standards to ensure food safety. We review and evaluate these partners’ quality assurance programs through (among other actions)
on-site
visits, third-party audits and product evaluations designed to ensure compliance with our standards. We believe the length and quality of our relationships with third-party suppliers provides us with priority service and quality products at competitive prices.
Cheese is our largest food cost. The price we charge to our U.S. franchisees for cheese is formula-based, with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange cheddar block price as the primary component, plus a supply chain markup. As cheese prices fluctuate, our revenues and margin percentages in our supply chain segment also fluctuate; however, actual supply chain dollar margins remain unchanged. We currently purchase our U.S. pizza cheese from a single supplier. Under our September 2017 agreement, our U.S. supplier agreed to provide an uninterrupted supply of cheese and the Company agreed to a seven-year pricing schedule to purchase all of its U.S. pizza cheese from this supplier. While we expect to meet the terms of this agreement, if we do not, we will be required to repay the certain negotiated cost savings as provided in the agreement. The majority of our meat toppings in the U.S. come from a single supplier under a contract that expires in June 2022. We have the right to terminate these arrangements for quality failures and for certain uncured breaches.
We have entered into a multi-year agreement with Coca-Cola
®
for the U.S. This contract, renegotiated in June 2019, provides for Coca-Cola to continue to be our exclusive beverage supplier and expires on December 31, 2023 or at such time as a minimum number of cases of Coca-Cola products are purchased by Domino’s, whichever occurs later.
We believe alternative third-party suppliers are available for all of these referenced products. While we may incur additional costs if we are required to replace any of our supply partners, we do not believe such additional costs would have a material adverse effect on our business. We continually evaluate each supply category to determine the optimal sourcing strategy.
We have not experienced any significant shortages of supplies or delays in receiving our inventories or products. Prices charged to us by our supply partners are subject to fluctuation, and we have historically been able to pass increased costs and savings on to stores. We periodically enter into supplier contracts to manage the risk from changes in commodity prices. We do not engage in speculative transactions, nor do we hold or issue financial instruments for trading purposes.
Our Strengths
Strong Brand Equity
We are the largest pizza company in the world based on global retail sales. We believe our Domino’s brand is one of the most widely-recognized consumer brands in the world. We are the recognized world leader in pizza delivery and have a significant business in carryout. We believe consumers associate our brand with the timely delivery of quality, affordable food and technological innovation.
Over the past five years, our U.S. franchise and Company-owned stores have invested an estimated $2.1 billion in national,
co-operative
and local advertising. Our international franchisees also invest significant amounts in advertising efforts in their markets. We continue to reinforce our brand with extensive advertising through various media channels. We have also enhanced the strength of our brand through marketing affiliations with brands such as Coca-Cola.
We are the number one pizza delivery company in the U.S. with a 35% share of pizza delivery based on consumer spending data for the year ending November 2019. For the same period, we are also the number two pizza carryout company in the U.S. with a 16% share of carryout pizza (Source: The NPD Group/CREST
®
, year ending November 2019). With 6,126 stores located in the U.S., our store delivery areas cover a majority of U.S. households. Our share position and scale allow us to leverage our purchasing power, supply chain strength and marketing investments. We believe our scale and market coverage allow us to effectively serve our customers’ demands for convenience and timely delivery. Outside the U.S., we have significant market share positions in many of the markets in which we compete.
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Strong and Proven Business Model
Our business model generates U.S. and international franchise royalties and fees, supply chain revenue and retail sales at Company-owned stores. We have developed this model over our many years of operation, and it is anchored by strong store-level economics, which provide an entrepreneurial incentive for our franchisees and historically has generated demand for new stores. Over the past ten years, average U.S. store profitability in the Domino’s system has increased meaningfully, resulting in higher profitability for our franchise owners. Our franchise system, in turn, has produced strong and consistent earnings for us through royalty payments and through supply chain revenues.
We developed a cost-efficient store model, characterized by a delivery- and carryout-oriented store design, with moderate capital requirements and a menu of quality, affordable items. At the store level, we believe the simplicity and efficiency of our operations give us significant advantages over our competitors, who, in many cases, also focus on
dine-in
or have broader menu offerings. At the supply chain level, we believe we provide quality, good value and consistency for our franchise customers while also driving profits for us, which we share with our franchisees under the profit-sharing arrangements described above.
Our menu simplifies and streamlines production and delivery processes and maximizes economies of scale on purchases of our principal food items. In addition, our stores are generally smaller and less expensive to build, furnish and maintain as compared to many other restaurant concepts. New stores built in our Pizza Theater design are often slightly larger than stores we have built in the past to create a better experience for our carryout customers; however, they are still generally smaller and less expensive to build, furnish and maintain than many other restaurant concepts. The combination of this efficient store model and strong sales volume has resulted in strong store-level economics and, we believe, makes Domino’s an attractive business opportunity for existing and prospective franchisees around the world. We and our franchisees are continuing to focus on growing our global store count. In recent years, we have focused specifically on increasing our presence in our existing markets to provide better service to our customers, including shrinking our delivery areas to provide better delivery service and adding locations that are closer to our carryout customers. We call this approach our fortressing strategy.
We believe our store financial returns have led to a strong, well-diversified franchise system. This established franchise system has produced strong cash flows and earnings for us, enabling us to invest in the Domino’s brand, stores, technology and supply chain centers, pay dividends, repurchase and retire shares of our common stock and service our debt obligations.
Technological Innovation
Technological innovation is vital to our brand and our long-term success. Digital ordering is critical to competing in the global pizza industry. In 2019, more than half of all global retail sales were derived from digital channels, primarily through our online ordering website and mobile applications. We believe we are among the largest
e-commerce
retailers in terms of annual transactions. After launching digital ordering and the Domino’s Tracker
®
in the U.S. in 2008, we made the strategic decision in 2010 to develop our own online ordering platform and to manage this important and growing area of our business internally. Over the next five years, we launched mobile applications that cover the majority of the smartphones and tablets on the U.S. market. In 2013, we launched an enhanced online ordering profiles platform, allowing customers the ability to reorder their favorite order in as few as five clicks, or 30 seconds. In 2014, we introduced “Dom,” a voice ordering application, which we believe was the first in the restaurant industry, and we also made the Domino’s Tracker available on our ordering platforms. In 2015, we introduced several innovative ordering platforms including Samsung Smart TV
®
, Twitter, and text message using a pizza emoji. We continued this trend of innovation in 2016 with the introduction of
zero-click
ordering as well as adding Google Home, Facebook Messenger, Apple Watch, and Amazon Echo to our ordering platforms. In April 2018, we launched Domino’s Delivery HotSpots, featuring over 200,000
 non-traditional
 delivery locations including parks, beaches, local landmarks and other unique gathering spots. In late 2017, we began an industry-first test of self-driving vehicle delivery, and in June 2019, we announced a partnership with Nuro, furthering our exploration and testing of autonomous pizza delivery. In 2019, we also opened our innovation garage, which is a 33,000 square-foot building on the campus of our corporate headquarters that includes collaboration workspaces and a fully functioning pizza theater to develop and test new technology in a store setting. We also launched our GPS delivery tracking technology in 2019, which allows customers to track the progress of their pizza delivery through Domino’s ordering platforms.
The Company’s Piece of the Pie Rewards loyalty program, launched in 2015, is meant to reward customers with a program that is simple to understand and easy to use. Upon signing up for the program, customers become rewards members and can earn points for online orders. When rewards members reach a certain amount of points, they can redeem their points for free pizza. Rewards members may also receive exclusive members-only discounts and bonus offers. We may also occasionally provide additional opportunities for participating customers to benefit under the Piece of the Pie Rewards program.
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All of this improved functionality has been developed to work seamlessly with our Domino’s PULSE
point-of-sale
system. Our Domino’s PULSE system is designed to drive operating efficiencies for our franchisees and our corporate management and assist franchisees in independently managing their business. As of December 29, 2019, Domino’s PULSE is being used in every Company-owned store in the U.S., in more than 99% of our U.S. franchised stores and in approximately 76% of our international stores.
We believe utilizing Domino’s PULSE with our integrated technology solutions throughout our system provides us with competitive advantages over other concepts.
We intend to continue to enhance and grow our online ordering, digital marketing and technological capabilities.
Product Innovation
In late 2009, we reintroduced our core hand-tossed pizza in the U.S. with a new recipe, which we believe has contributed to long-term growth in customer reorder rates, consumer traffic and increased sales. This recipe is now in use in other markets around the world. Our nearly 60 years of innovation have resulted in numerous new product developments, including our more recent innovations of Handmade Pan Pizza, Specialty Chicken, Parmesan Bread Bites, Stuffed Cheesy Bread, Marbled Cookie Brownie and Bread Twists, among others. Product innovation is also present in our global markets, where our master franchisees have the ability to recommend products to suit their local market tastes. Products include the Mayo Jaga in Japan (bacon, potatoes and sweet mayonnaise) and the Saumoneta in France (light cream, potatoes, onions, smoked salmon and dill).
Internal Dough Manufacturing and Supply Chain System
In addition to generating significant revenues and earnings in the U.S. and Canada, we believe our vertically integrated dough manufacturing and supply chain system enhances the quality and consistency of our products, enhances our relationships with franchisees and leverages economies of scale to offer lower costs to our stores. It also allows store managers to better focus on store operations and customer service by relieving them of the responsibility of mixing dough in the stores and sourcing other ingredients. Many of our international master franchisees also profit from running supply chain businesses in their respective markets.
Our Ideals
We believe in: opportunity, hard work, inspired solutions, winning together, embracing community and uncommon honesty.
Opportunity abounds at Domino’s. You can start in an entry-level position and become a store owner – in fact, substantially all of our independent U.S. franchise owners started their careers with us as delivery drivers or in other
in-store
positions. Thousands of other team members – supervisors, trainers, quality auditors, international business consultants, marketers and executives – also began their careers in the stores. Internal growth and providing opportunities for anyone willing to work hard are the foundation of our core beliefs.
The ideals of inspired solutions, uncommon honesty and winning together were driving forces behind the relaunch of our brand. We were inspired by our harshest critics when it came to the perceived taste of our pizza. Our solution was not simply more advertising; the solution was to create a new recipe and a broader menu of great-tasting products. Our marketing campaign was shockingly honest in its approach: telling consumers (and showing them via television ads) that we heard their negative feedback and were listening. And, without the
buy-in
from our franchise owners, we couldn’t have done it. We believe that we can’t focus solely on the Company’s success; we must focus on making our stores and our franchisees successful. That’s winning together.
Environmental Responsibility
We believe in launching initiatives to reduce our impact on the environment, including the impact of energy, waste water, land use and reducing waste, both in packaging and food. Since 2015, we have sourced 100% sustainable mass balance palm oil, which is used in some of our products. We have also recently increased the recycled content of our pizza boxes and launched the use of eBikes for delivery in certain markets around the world, helping us to reduce our carbon footprint. Domino’s is also a member of the Dairy Sustainability Alliance and the Recycling Partnership.
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Community Involvement
We believe in supporting the communities we serve through donating our time, money and pizza. You can find more information about our community giving at
biz.dominos.com
. Our national philanthropic partner is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
®
. St. Jude is internationally-recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Through a variety of internal and consumer-based activities, including a national fundraising campaign called
 St. Jude Thanks and Giving
®
, the Domino’s system has contributed $68.7 million to St. Jude since our partnership began in 2004, including raising $10.6 million in 2019. In addition to raising funds, we have supported St. Jude through
in-kind
donations, including hosting hospital-wide pizza parties for patients and their families. Our system also helps St. Jude build awareness through the inclusion of the St. Jude logo on millions of our pizza boxes and through a link on our consumer website, as well as a St. Jude-themed Pizza Tracker during
Thanks and Giving
®
.
We also support the Domino’s Pizza Partners Foundation (the “Partners Foundation”). Founded in 1986, the mission of the Partners Foundation is “Team Members Helping Team Members.” Primarily funded by team member and franchise contributions, the Partners Foundation is a separate,
not-for-profit
organization that has disbursed $7.5 million over the past five years. The Partners Foundation is committed to meeting the needs of Domino’s team members facing crisis situations, such as fire, illness, natural disasters or other personal tragedies.
Additional Disclosures
Employees
As of December 29, 2019, we had approximately 13,100 employees in our Company-owned stores, supply chain centers, World Resource Center and regional offices. None of our employees are covered by a collective bargaining agreement. We consider our relationship with our employees to be good.
Working Capital
Information about the Company’s working capital is included in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in Part II, Item 7., pages 35 through 38.
Government Regulation
We, along with our franchisees, are subject to various federal, state and local laws affecting the operation of our business. Each store is subject to licensing and regulation by a number of governmental authorities, which include zoning, health, safety, sanitation, building and fire agencies in the jurisdiction in which the store is located. In connection with maintaining our stores, we may be required to expend funds to meet certain federal, state and local regulations, including regulations requiring that remodeled or altered stores be accessible to persons with disabilities. Difficulties in obtaining, or the failure to obtain, required licenses or approvals could delay or prevent the opening of a new store in a particular area or cause an existing store to cease operations. Our supply chain facilities are also licensed and subject to similar regulations by federal, state and local health and fire codes.
We are also subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act and various other federal and state laws governing such matters as minimum wage requirements, overtime and other working conditions and citizenship requirements. A significant number of both our and our franchisees’ food service personnel are paid at rates related to the applicable minimum wage, and past increases in the minimum wage have increased labor costs, as would future increases.
We are subject to the rules and regulations of the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and various state laws regulating the offer and sale of franchises. The FTC and various state laws require that we furnish a franchise disclosure document containing certain information to prospective franchisees, and a number of states require registration of the franchise disclosure document with state authorities. We are operating under exemptions from registration in several states based on the net worth of our subsidiary, Domino’s Pizza Franchising LLC, and experience. We believe our franchise disclosure document, together with any applicable state versions or supplements, and franchising procedures comply in all material respects with both the FTC guidelines and all applicable state laws regulating franchising in those states in which we have offered franchises.
Internationally, our franchise stores are subject to national and local laws and regulations that are often similar to those affecting our U.S. stores, including laws and regulations concerning franchises, labor, health, sanitation and safety. Our international stores are also often subject to tariffs and regulations on imported commodities and equipment, and laws regulating foreign investment. We believe our international disclosure statements, franchise offering documents and franchising procedures comply in all material respects with the laws of the foreign countries in which we have offered franchises.
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Privacy and Data Protection
We are subject to a number of privacy and data protection laws and regulations both in the U.S. and globally. The legislative and regulatory landscape for privacy and data protection continues to evolve, and there has been an increase in attention given to privacy and data protection issues with the potential to directly affect our business. This includes recently-enacted laws and regulations in the U.S. and internationally requiring notification to individuals and government authorities of security breaches involving certain categories of personal information. We have a privacy policy posted on our website at 
www.dominos.com
. The security of our financial data, customer information and other personal information is a priority for us.
Trademarks
We have many registered trademarks and believe that the Domino’s mark and Domino’s Pizza names and logos, in particular, have significant value and are important to our business. Our policy is to pursue registration of our trademarks and to vigorously oppose the infringement of any of our trademarks. We license the use of our registered marks to franchisees through franchise agreements.
Environmental Matters
We are not aware of any federal, state or local environmental laws or regulations that we would expect to materially affect our earnings or competitive position or result in material capital expenditures. However, we cannot predict the effect of possible future environmental legislation or regulations. During 2019, there were no material environmental compliance-related capital expenditures, and no such material expenditures are anticipated in 2020.
Seasonal Operations
The Company’s business is not typically seasonal.
Backlog Orders
The Company has no backlog orders as of December 29, 2019.
Government Contracts
No material portion of the Company’s business is subject to renegotiation of profits or termination of contracts or subcontracts at the election of the U.S. government.
Available Information
The Company makes available, free of charge, through its internet website 
biz.dominos.com
, its Annual Report on Form
10-K,
Quarterly Reports on Form
10-Q,
Current Reports on Form
8-K,
proxy statements and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a), 15(d), or 16 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, as soon as reasonably practicable after electronically filing such material with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Materials filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission are available at
www.sec.gov
. Retail orders from Domino’s stores can be made through its internet website
www.dominos.com
. The reference to these website addresses anywhere in this Annual Report on Form
10-K
(the “Form
10-K”)
does not constitute incorporation by reference of the information contained on the websites and information appearing on those websites, including
biz.dominos.com
and
www.dominos.com
, should not be considered a part of this document.
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Item 1A.
Risk Factors.
The quick service restaurant pizza category and the food service and food delivery markets in general are highly competitive and such competition could adversely affect our operating results.
In the U.S., we compete primarily against regional and local companies as well as national chains Pizza Hut
®
, Papa John’s
®
and Little Caesars Pizza
®
. Internationally, we compete primarily with Pizza Hut
®
, Papa John’s
®
and country-specific national and local companies. We could experience increased competition from existing or new companies in the delivery and
carry-out
pizza category that could create increasing pressures to grow our business in order to maintain our market share. Additionally, we face growing competition from the supermarket industry and meal kit and food delivery providers, with the improvement of prepared food and meal kit offerings, expansion in meal delivery platforms and services and the trend towards convergence in grocery, deli, retail and restaurant services.
We also compete on a broader scale with quick service and other international, national, regional and local restaurants. Competition from order and delivery aggregators and other food delivery services has also increased in recent years. The overall food service market, food delivery market and the quick service restaurant market are intensely competitive with respect to food quality, price, service, image, convenience and concept, and are often affected by changes in:
  consumer tastes;
  international, national, regional or local economic conditions;
  disposable purchasing power;
  marketing, advertising and pricing, including discounting;
  demographic trends; and
  currency fluctuations related to international operations.
We compete within the food service market and the quick service restaurant market not only for customers, but also for management and hourly employees, including drivers, suitable real estate sites and qualified franchisees. Our supply chain segment is also subject to competition from outside suppliers. While substantially all U.S. franchisees purchased food, equipment and supplies from us in 2019, U.S. franchisees are not required to purchase food, equipment or supplies from us and they may choose to purchase from outside suppliers. If other suppliers who meet our qualification standards were to offer lower prices or better service to our franchisees for their ingredients and supplies and, as a result, our franchisees chose not to purchase from our U.S. supply chain centers, our financial condition, business and results of operations would be adversely affected.
If we are unable to maintain our competitive position, we could experience downward pressure on prices, lower demand for our products, reduced margins, loss of management or hourly employees, disruption in our supply chain centers, the inability to take advantage of new business opportunities and the loss of market share, all of which would have an adverse effect on our operating results and could cause our stock price to decline.
If we fail to successfully implement our growth strategy, which includes opening new U.S. and international stores, our ability to increase our revenues and operating profits could be adversely affected.
A significant component of our growth strategy includes the opening of new U.S. (both Company-owned as well as franchised stores) and international franchised stores. We and our franchisees face many challenges in opening new stores, including, among others:
  availability of financing with acceptable terms;
  selection and availability of suitable new store sites and the ability to renew leases in quality locations;
  negotiation of acceptable lease or financing terms;
  securing required U.S. or foreign governmental permits, licenses and approvals;
  employment and training of qualified personnel; and
  general economic and business conditions.
The opening of additional franchise stores also depends, in part, upon the availability of prospective franchisees who meet our criteria. Our failure to add a significant number of new stores would adversely affect our ability to increase revenues and operating income. Additionally, our growth strategy and the success of new stores depend in large part on the availability of suitable store sites. If we and our franchisees are not able to secure leases in desired locations on favorable terms, or to renew such leases, our business and results of operations may be adversely affected.
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We and our franchisees are currently planning to expand our U.S. and international operations in many of the markets where we currently operate and in select new markets. This may require considerable management time as well as
start-up
expenses for market development before any significant revenues and earnings are generated. Operations in new foreign markets may achieve low margins or may be unprofitable, and expansion in existing markets may be affected by local economic and market conditions. Therefore, as we continue to expand internationally, we or our franchisees may not experience the operating margins we expect, our results of operations may be negatively impacted, and our common stock price may decline. In addition, we expect to continue our strategy of building additional stores in markets and regions where we have existing stores, which may negatively impact sales at existing stores.
We may also pursue strategic acquisitions as part of our business. If we are able to identify acquisition candidates, such acquisitions may be financed, to the extent permitted under our debt agreements, with substantial debt or with potentially dilutive issuances of equity securities.
The food service market is affected by consumer preferences and perceptions. Changes in these preferences and perceptions may reduce the demand for our products, which would reduce sales and harm our business.
Food service businesses are affected by changes in consumer tastes, international, national, regional and local economic conditions, marketing, advertising, pricing, including discounting, and demographic trends. For instance, if prevailing health or dietary preferences cause consumers to avoid pizza and other products we offer in favor of foods that are perceived as healthier, our business and operating results would be harmed. Moreover, because we are primarily dependent on a single product, if consumer demand for pizza should decrease, our business would suffer more than if we had a more diversified menu, as many other food service businesses do. The preferences of customers also may change as a result of advances in technology or alternative delivery methods or channels. If we are not able to respond to these changes, or our competitors respond to these changes more effectively, our business and operating results could be adversely affected.
Our inability or failure to recognize, respond to and effectively manage the accelerated impact of social media could adversely impact our business.
In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the use of social media platforms, including blogs, chat platforms, social media websites, and other forms of internet-based communications that allow individuals access to a broad audience of consumers and other persons. The rising popularity of social media and other consumer-oriented technologies has increased the speed and accessibility of information dissemination and given users the ability to more effectively organize collective actions such as boycotts and other brand-damaging behaviors. The dissemination of information via social media could harm our business, brand, reputation, marketing partners, financial condition, and results of operations, regardless of the information’s accuracy. This could include negative publicity related to our food products or stores or negative publicity related to actions by our executives, team members or franchisees.
In addition, we frequently use social media to communicate with consumers and the public in general. Failure to use social media effectively could lead to a decline in brand value and revenue. In addition, laws and regulations, including FTC enforcement, rapidly evolve to govern social media platforms and communications. A failure of us, our employees, our franchisees or third parties acting at our direction to abide by applicable laws and regulations in the use of social media could adversely impact our brand, reputation, marketing partners, financial condition, and results of operations or subject us or our franchisees to fines or other penalties.Other risks associated with the use of social media include improper disclosure of proprietary information, negative comments about our brand, exposure of personally identifiable information, fraud, hoaxes or malicious dissemination of false information. 
Reports of food-borne illness or food tampering could reduce sales and harm our business.
Reports, whether true or not, of food-borne illnesses (such as E. coli, avian flu, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, hepatitis A, trichinosis or salmonella) and injuries caused by food tampering have in the past severely injured the reputations of participants in the quick service restaurant market and could in the future as well. The potential for acts of terrorism affecting our global food supply also exists and, if such an event occurs, it could have a negative impact on us and could severely hurt sales and profits. In addition, our reputation is an important asset; as a result, anything that damages our reputation could immediately and severely affect our sales and profits. Media reports of illnesses and injuries, whether accurate or not, could force some stores to close or otherwise reduce sales at such stores. Moreover, as described above, social media has dramatically increased the rate at which negative publicity, including as it relates to food-borne illness, can be disseminated before there is any meaningful opportunity to respond to or address an issue. Even reports of food-borne illnesses or food tampering occurring solely at the restaurants of competitors could, by resulting in negative publicity about the restaurant industry in general, adversely affect us on a local, regional, national or international basis. Further, the occurrence of a widespread illness, health epidemic or other general health concern could adversely affect us on a local, regional or international basis. A decrease in global retail sales as a result of these health concerns or negative publicity or as a result of the closure of any Domino’s stores could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
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We do not have long-term contracts with certain of our suppliers, and as a result they could seek to significantly increase prices or fail to deliver.
We do not have long-term contracts or arrangements with certain of our suppliers. Although in the past we have not experienced significant problems with our suppliers, our suppliers may implement significant price increases or may not meet our requirements in a timely fashion, or at all. The occurrence of any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on the ability of our supply chain centers to deliver necessary products to our stores and on our results of operations.
Shortages or interruptions in the supply or delivery of fresh food products could adversely affect our operating results.
We and our franchisees are dependent on frequent deliveries of food products that meet our specifications. In addition, we have single suppliers or a limited number of suppliers for certain of our ingredients, including pizza cheese and meat toppings. While we believe there are adequate reserve quantities and potential alternative suppliers, shortages or interruptions in the supply of food products caused by increased demand, capacity constraints, problems in production or distribution, financial or other difficulties of suppliers, inclement weather or other conditions could adversely affect the availability, quality and cost of ingredients. Additionally, the effects of climate change could increase the frequency and duration of weather impacts on our operations and could adversely affect our operating results.
Increases in food, labor and other costs could adversely affect our profitability and operating results.
An increase in our operating costs could adversely affect our profitability and other operating results. Factors such as inflation, increased food costs, increased labor and employee health and benefit costs, increased rent costs and increased energy costs may adversely affect our operating costs. Most of the factors affecting costs are beyond our control and, in many cases, we may not be able to pass along these increased costs to our customers or franchisees. Most ingredients used in our pizza, particularly cheese, are subject to significant price fluctuations as a result of seasonality, weather, demand and other factors. Cheese is a significant cost to us, representing approximately 25% of the market basket purchased by our Company-owned stores. Additionally, while we strive to engage in a competitive bidding process for our ingredients, because certain of these ingredients, including meat products, may only be available from a limited number of vendors, we may not always be able to do so effectively. Furthermore, if we need to seek new suppliers, we may be subject to pricing or other terms less favorable to us than those reflected in our current supply arrangements. Labor costs are largely a function of the minimum wage for a majority of our store personnel and certain supply chain center personnel and, generally, are also a function of the availability of labor. Several states in which we operate have recently approved minimum wage increases. As minimum wage increases are implemented in these states or if such increases are approved and implemented in other states in which we operate, we expect our labor costs will continue to increase. The advent of legislation aimed at predictive scheduling could impact labor for our stores and our franchisees’ stores. Additionally, while we do not currently have any unionized employees, if a significant portion of our employees were to become unionized, our labor costs could increase and our business could be negatively affected by other union requirements that increase our costs, disrupt our business, reduce our flexibility and impact our employee culture. Labor costs and food costs, including cheese, generally represent approximately 50% to 60% of the sales at a typical Company-owned store.
Any prolonged disruption in the operations of any of our dough manufacturing and supply chain centers could harm our business.
We operate 19 regional dough manufacturing and supply chain centers, one thin crust manufacturing center and one vegetable processing center in the U.S. and five dough manufacturing and supply chain centers in Canada. We plan to continue investing in additional supply chain capacity in the future.
Our U.S. dough manufacturing and supply chain centers service all of our Company-owned and U.S. franchise stores. As a result, any prolonged disruption in the operations of any of these facilities, whether due to technical or labor difficulties, destruction or damage to the facility, real estate issues, limited capacity or other reasons, could adversely affect our business and operating results.
Our success depends in part upon effective advertising, and lower advertising funds may reduce our ability to adequately market the Domino’s Pizza brand.
We have been routinely named a Leading National Advertiser by
Advertising Age
. Each Domino’s store located in the contiguous U.S. is obligated to contribute 6% of its sales (subject, in certain instances, to lower rates based on certain incentives and waivers) to DNAF, which uses such fees for national advertising in addition to contributions for local market-level advertising. We currently anticipate that this 6% contribution rate will remain in place for the foreseeable future. While additional funds for advertising in the past have been provided by us, our franchisees and other third parties, none of these additional funds are legally required. The lack of continued financial support for advertising activities could significantly curtail our marketing efforts, which may in turn materially and adversely affect our business and our operating results.
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We face risks of litigation, investigations, enforcement actions and negative publicity from customers, franchisees, suppliers, employees, regulators and others in the ordinary course of business, which can or could divert our financial and management resources. Litigation, investigations, enforcement actions or publicity may adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations.
Claims of illness or injury relating to food quality or food handling are common in the food service industry, and vehicular accidents and injuries occur in the food delivery business. We are currently subject to these types of claims and have been subject to these types of claims in the past. Claims within our industry of improper supplier actions also occasionally arise that, if made against one of our suppliers, could potentially damage our brand image. In addition, class action lawsuits have been filed, and may continue to be filed, against various quick service restaurants alleging, among other things, that quick service restaurants have failed to disclose the health risks associated with
high-fat
foods and that quick service restaurant marketing practices have encouraged obesity. State attorney general offices or other regulators have initiated and may in the future initiate investigations or enforcement actions against us. In addition to decreasing our sales and profitability and diverting our management resources, adverse publicity resulting from such allegations may materially and adversely affect us and our brand, regardless of whether such allegations are valid or whether we are liable. Further, a substantial settlement, fine, penalty or judgment against us could negatively impact our financial condition, results of operations and brand reputation, thereby hindering our ability to attract and retain franchisees and grow our business.
Further, we may be subject to employee, franchisee and other claims in the future based on, among other things, discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination and wage, rest break and meal break issues, including claims relating to overtime compensation. We have been and continue to be subject to these types of claims. If one or more of these claims were to be successful or if there is a significant increase in the number of these claims or if we receive significant negative publicity, our business, financial condition and operating results could be harmed.
Loss of key employees or our inability to attract and retain new qualified employees could hurt our business and inhibit our ability to operate and grow successfully.
Our success in the highly competitive pizza delivery and
carry-out
business will continue to depend to a significant extent on our leadership team and other key management personnel. Although we have entered into employment agreements with Richard E. Allison Jr. and Russell J. Weiner, each of these executives may terminate his agreement on ninety days’ notice. Our other executive officers may terminate their employment pursuant to their employment agreements at any time. As a result, we may not be able to retain our executive officers and key personnel or attract additional qualified management. While we do not have long-term employment agreements with our executive officers, for all of our executive officers we have
non-compete
and
non-solicitation
agreements that extend for 24 months following the termination of such executive officer’s employment. Our success will also continue to depend on our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel to operate our stores, dough manufacturing and supply chain centers and international operations. The loss of these employees or our inability to recruit and retain qualified personnel could have a material adverse effect on our operating results.
Adverse global economic conditions subject us to additional risk. 
Our financial condition and results of operations are impacted by global markets and economic conditions over which neither we nor our franchisees have control. An economic downturn, including deterioration in the economic conditions in the U.S. or international markets where we compete, may result in a reduction in the demand for our products, longer payment cycles, slower adoption of new technologies and increased price competition. 
Poor economic conditions may adversely affect the ability of our franchisees to pay royalties or amounts owed and could have a material adverse impact on our ability to pursue our growth strategy, which would reduce cash collections and in turn, may materially and adversely affect our ability to service our debt obligations.
Our international operations subject us to additional risk. Such risks and costs may differ in each country in which we and our franchisees do business and may cause our profitability to decline due to increased costs.
We conduct a significant and growing portion of our business outside the U.S. Our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected if global markets in which our franchise stores compete are affected by changes in political, economic or other factors. These factors, over which neither we nor our franchisees have control, may include:
  recessionary or expansive trends in international markets;
  changing labor conditions and difficulties in staffing and managing our foreign operations;
  increases in the taxes we pay and other changes in applicable tax laws;
  tariffs and trade barriers;
  legal and regulatory changes, and the burdens and costs of our compliance with a variety of foreign laws;
  changes in inflation rates;
  changes in exchange rates and the imposition of restrictions on currency conversion or the transfer of funds;
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  difficulty in collecting our royalties and longer payment cycles;
  expropriation of private enterprises;
  increases in anti-American sentiment and the identification of the Domino’s Pizza
brand as an American brand;
  political and economic instability and uncertainty around the world, including uncertainty arising from the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, commonly referred to as “Brexit”; and 
  other external factors.
Fluctuations in the value of the U.S. dollar in relation to other currencies may lead to lower revenues and earnings.
Exchange rate fluctuations could have an adverse effect on our results of operations. International franchise royalties and fees represented approximately 6.7% of our total revenues in 2019, 6.5% of our total revenues in 2018 and 7.4% of our total revenues in 2017, a majority of which were denominated in foreign currencies. We also operate dough manufacturing and distribution facilities in Canada, which generate revenues denominated in Canadian dollars. Sales made by franchise stores outside the U.S. are denominated in the currency of the country in which the store is located, and this currency could become less valuable in U.S. dollars as a result of exchange rate fluctuations. Unfavorable currency fluctuations could lead to increased prices to customers outside the U.S. or lower profitability to our franchisees outside the U.S., or could result in lower revenues for us, on a U.S. dollar basis, from such customers and franchisees. A hypothetical 10% adverse change in the foreign currency rates in our international markets would have resulted in a negative impact on international royalty revenues of approximately $21.2 million in 2019.
Our earnings and business growth strategy depend on the success of our franchisees, and we may be harmed by actions taken by our franchisees, or employees of our franchisees, that are outside of our control.
A significant portion of our earnings comes from royalties and fees generated by our franchise stores. Franchisees are independent operators, and their employees are not our employees. We provide tools for franchisees to use in training their employees, but the quality of franchise store operations and our brand and branded products may be diminished by any number of factors beyond our control. Consequently, franchisees may not operate stores in a manner consistent with our standards and requirements or they or their employees may take other actions that adversely affect the value of our brand. In such event, our business and reputation may suffer, and as a result our revenues and stock price could decline.
While we try to ensure that franchisees maintain the quality of the Domino’s brand and branded products and comply with their franchise agreements, franchisees may take actions that adversely affect the value of our intellectual property or reputation or that are inconsistent with their contractual obligations. Although our franchise arrangements permit the applicable franchisor to terminate a franchise agreement under certain circumstances, including the failure by franchisees to uphold quality standards, there can be no assurance that such remedy will be available or sufficient to prevent harm to our brand and protect our intellectual property.
As of December 29, 2019, we had 777 U.S. franchisees operating 5,784 U.S. stores. Twenty of these franchisees each own and operate more than 50 U.S. stores, including our largest U.S. franchisee who owns and operates 176 stores, and the average franchisee owns and operates approximately seven stores.
Our international master franchisees are generally responsible for the development of significantly more stores than our U.S. franchisees. As a result, our international operations are more closely tied to the success of a smaller number of franchisees than our U.S. operations. As of December 29, 2019, our largest international master franchisee operated 2,604 stores in nine markets, which accounts for approximately 24% of our total international store count. Our U.S. and international franchisees may not operate their franchises successfully. If one or more of our key franchisees were to become insolvent or otherwise were unable or unwilling to pay us our royalties or other amounts owed, our business and results of operations would be adversely affected.
We may not be able to adequately protect our intellectual property, which could harm the value of our brand and branded products and adversely affect our business.
We depend in large part on our brand and branded products and believe that they are very important to our business. We rely on a combination of trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and similar intellectual property rights to protect our brand and branded products. The success of our business depends on our continued ability to use our existing trademarks in order to capitalize on our name recognition, increase brand awareness and further develop our branded products in both U.S. and international markets. We have registered certain trademarks and have other trademark applications pending in the U.S. and foreign jurisdictions. Not all of the trademarks that we currently use have been registered in all of the countries in which we do business, and they may never be registered in all of these countries. Some countries’ laws do not protect unregistered trademarks at all, or make them more difficult to enforce, and third parties may have filed for “Domino’s” or similar marks in countries where Domino’s has not registered its brand. Accordingly, we may not be able to adequately protect our trademarks everywhere in the world and our use of these trademarks may result in liability for trademark infringement, trademark dilution or unfair competition.
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All of the steps we have taken to protect our intellectual property in the U.S. and in foreign countries may not be adequate. In addition, the laws of some foreign countries do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the U.S. Further, through acquisitions of third parties or assets, we may acquire brands and related trademarks that are subject to the same risks as the brands and trademarks we currently own.
We may, from time to time, be required to institute or defend litigation to enforce our trademarks or other intellectual property rights, or to protect our trade secrets. Such litigation could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and could negatively affect our sales, profitability and prospects regardless of whether we are able to successfully enforce our rights.
The occurrence of cyber incidents, or a deficiency in cybersecurity, could negatively impact our business by causing a disruption to our operations, a compromise or corruption of confidential information, or damage to our employee and business relationships, any of which could subject us to loss and harm our brand.
A cyber incident is considered to be any adverse event that threatens the confidentiality, integrity or availability of information resources. More specifically, a cyber incident is an intentional attack or an unintentional event that can include gaining unauthorized access to systems to disrupt operations, corrupt data or steal confidential information about customers, franchisees, suppliers or employees. A number of retailers and other companies have recently experienced serious cyber incidents and breaches of their information technology systems. As our reliance on technology has increased, so have the risks posed to our systems, both internal and those we have outsourced. The three primary risks that could directly result from the occurrence of a cyber incident include operational interruption, damage to our relationships with customers, franchisees and employees and private data exposure, including payment card or other financial data. In addition to maintaining insurance coverage to address cyber incidents, we have also implemented processes, procedures and controls to help mitigate these risks. However, our cyber insurance coverage may not fully cover all of the costs associated with a cyber incident and these measures, as well as our increased awareness of the risk of a cyber incident, do not guarantee that our reputation and financial results will not be materially and adversely affected by such an incident.
Our and our franchisees’ operations depend upon our ability and the ability of franchisees and third-party service providers (as well as franchisees’ third-party service providers), to protect computer equipment and systems against damage from theft, fire, power loss, telecommunications failure and other catastrophic or unanticipated events, as well as internal and external security incidents, viruses,
denial-of-service
attacks, phishing attacks, ransomware attacks and other intentional or unintentional disruptions. A significant portion of our retail sales depend on the continuing operation of our information technology and communications systems, including but not limited to Domino’s PULSE
, our online and mobile ordering platforms and our credit card processing systems. The failure of these systems to operate effectively, stemming from maintenance problems, upgrading or transitioning to new platforms, a compromise in our security or other unanticipated problems could result in interruptions to or delays in our and our franchisees’ operations. Some of our systems are not fully redundant, and our system’s disaster recovery planning cannot account for all eventualities. The occurrence of a natural disaster, intentional sabotage or other unanticipated problems could result in lengthy interruptions in service. In addition, the implementation of technology changes and upgrades to maintain and upgrade our systems, errors or vulnerabilities in our systems, or damage to or failure of our systems, could result in interruptions in our services and
non-compliance
with certain laws or regulations, which could reduce our sales, revenues and profits and damage our business and brand.
Because we and our franchisees accept electronic forms of payment from customers, our business requires the collection and retention of customer data, including sensitive financial data and other personally identifiable information in various information systems that we and our franchisees maintain and in those maintained by third parties with whom we and our franchisees contract to provide payment processing. A weakness in such third party’s systems or software products may provide a mechanism for a cyber threat. In recent years, a significant number of companies have experienced security data breaches in which customer information was stolen through vendor access channels. While we select our third-party suppliers carefully, cyber-attacks and security data breaches at a payment processing contractor could compromise confidential information or adversely affect our ability to deliver products and services to our customers. These problems could negatively affect our results of operations, and remediation could result in significant, unplanned capital investments.
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We also maintain important internal Company data, such as personally identifiable information about our employees and franchisees and information relating to our operations. In addition, more than half of all global retail sales in 2019 were derived from digital channels, primarily through our online ordering website and mobile applications, where customers enter personally identifiable information that we retain. Our use and retention of personally identifiable information is regulated by foreign, federal and state laws and regulations, as well as by certain third-party agreements. For example, the European Union adopted a new regulation that became effective in May 2018, the European Union General Data Protection Regulation and the State of California adopted the California Consumer Privacy Act that became effective on January 1, 2020, both of which require companies to meet new requirements regarding the handling of personal data. As privacy and information security laws and regulations change, we may incur additional costs to ensure that we remain in compliance with those laws and regulations. If our security and information systems are compromised or if we, our employees or franchisees fail to comply with these laws, regulations or contract terms, or to successfully implement appropriate processes related to applicable requirements, laws and regulations governing cyber incidents could require us to notify customers, employees or other groups, and could result in adverse publicity, loss of sales and cash flows, increased fees payable to third parties and fines, penalties or remediation and other costs that could adversely affect our reputation, business and results of operations. Any other material disruption or other adverse event affecting one or more of our digital ordering platforms, including, for instance, power loss, technological failures, user error or cyber-attacks, could similarly result in adverse publicity, loss of sales and cash flows and other costs, which could in turn materially and adversely affect our reputation, business and results of operations.
We cannot predict the impact that new or improved technologies, alternative methods of delivery, including autonomous vehicle delivery, or changes in consumer behavior facilitated by these technologies and alternative methods of delivery will have on our business.
Advances in technologies or alternative methods of delivery, including advances in digital ordering technology, or certain changes in consumer behavior driven by these or other technologies and methods of delivery could have a negative effect on our business and market position. Moreover, technology and consumer offerings continue to develop, and we expect that new or enhanced technologies and consumer offerings will be available in the future. We may pursue certain of those technologies and consumer offerings if we believe they offer a sustainable customer proposition and can be successfully integrated into our business model. However, we cannot predict consumer acceptance of these delivery channels or their impact on our business. In addition, our competitors, some of whom have greater resources (financial or otherwise) than we do, may be able to benefit from changes in technologies or consumer acceptance of alternative methods of delivery, which could harm our competitive position. There can be no assurance that we will be able to successfully respond to changing consumer preferences, including with respect to new technologies and alternative methods of delivery, or to effectively adjust our product mix, service offerings, and marketing and merchandising initiatives for products and services that address, and anticipate advances in, technology and market trends. If we are not able to successfully respond to these challenges, our business, market share, financial condition, and operating results could be materially and adversely affected.
We are subject to a number of risks related to credit card and debit card payments we accept.
As store operators, we and our franchisees accept payments through credit card and debit card transactions. For credit card and debit card payments, we and our franchisees pay interchange and other fees, which may increase over time. An increase in such fees would cause an increase in our operating expenses and those of our franchisees and could require an increase in the prices charged for our products, either of which could harm our operating results. If there are malfunctions or other problems with our or our franchisees’ processing vendors, billing software or payment processing systems, our or our franchisees’ customer satisfaction may be adversely affected and one or more of the major payment networks could disallow us or our franchisees’ continued use of their payment methods. If we or our franchisees fail to adequately control fraudulent credit card and debit card transactions or to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, we or our franchisees may face civil liability, diminished public perception of our or their security measures, fines and assessments from the card brands, and significantly higher credit card and debit card related costs, each of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. The termination of our ability to process payments through any major payment network would significantly impair our ability to operate our business. We and our franchisees may need to expand or change our or their information systems to support different or emerging forms of payment methods, including as a result of consumer demand or contractual or legal or regulatory requirements, which may be time-consuming and expensive, and we or they may not realize a return on the investment.
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We and our franchisees are subject to extensive government regulation and requirements issued by other groups and our failure to comply with existing or increased regulations could adversely affect our business and operating results.
We are subject to numerous federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations, as well as requirements issued by other groups, including those relating to:
  the preparation, sale and labeling of food;
  building and zoning requirements;
  environmental protection;
  labor and employment, including minimum wage, overtime, insurance and other labor requirements;
  working and safety conditions;
  franchise arrangements;
  public company compliance, disclosure and governance matters;
  taxation;
  antitrust;
  discrimination;
  payment card industry standards and requirements; and
  information privacy and consumer protection.
We are subject to an FTC rule and to various state and foreign laws that govern the offer and sale of franchises. These laws regulate various aspects of the franchise relationship, including terminations and the refusal to renew franchises. The failure to comply with these laws and regulations in any jurisdiction or to obtain required government approvals could result in a ban or temporary suspension on future franchise sales, fines or other penalties or require us to make offers of rescission or restitution, any of which could adversely affect our business and operating results.
In August 2015, the National Labor Relations Board adopted a new and broader standard for determining when two or more otherwise unrelated employers may be found to be a joint employer of the same employees under the National Labor Relations Act. While the National Labor Relations Board has formally proposed a rule that would reinstate the standard that was in place before August 2015 and invited public comment, a final rule has not yet been issued. In December 2019, the National Labor Relations Board directed an administrative law judge to approve settlement agreements (rather than rejecting the settlement and allowing the claims asserting that the franchisor should be the joint employer of its franchisees’ employees to proceed) in a decision related to another franchise system; however, this decision is subject to appeal. If the August 2015 standard remains in place or is adopted by other government agencies and/or applied generally to franchise relationships, it could cause us to be liable or held responsible for unfair labor practices and other violations of our franchisees and subject us to other liabilities, and require us to conduct collective bargaining negotiations regarding employees of totally separate, independent employers, most notably our franchisees. In such event, our operating expenses may increase as a result of required modifications to our business practices, increased litigation, governmental investigations or proceedings, administrative enforcement actions, fines and civil liability. Additionally, depending upon legal developments in California, franchisors may be subject to claims that their franchisees should be treated as employees and not as independent contractors in California and, potentially, certain other states and localities with similar employment laws. If such misclassification claims are successful against a franchisor, the franchisor could be liable to its franchisees (and potentially their employees) and, thereafter, have to treat its franchisees (and their employees) as the franchisor’s employees under these laws.
We and our franchisees are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended (the “Fair Labor Standards Act”), which, along with the Family and Medical Leave Act, governs such matters as minimum wage and overtime requirements and other working conditions and various family leave mandates, as well as a variety of other laws enacted, or rules and regulations promulgated, by federal, state and local governmental authorities that govern these and other employment matters. We and our franchisees have experienced and expect further increases in payroll expenses as a result of government-mandated increases in the minimum wage, and although such increases are not currently expected to be material, there may be material increases in the future. Enactment and enforcement of various federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations on immigration and labor organizations may adversely impact the availability and costs of labor for Domino’s and franchisees’ stores in a particular area or across the United States. In addition, third-party suppliers may be affected by higher minimum wage standards, which may increase the price of goods and services they supply to us. Such increased expenses may cause our franchisees to exit the business or cause us to reduce the number of company-owned stores, or otherwise adversely affect the amount of royalty payments and license fees we receive.
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On January 12, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule to update and clarify the definition of joint employer under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Under the final rule, the general test for assessing whether a party can be deemed a joint employer would be based upon whether that party (i) hires or fires the employee; (ii) supervises and controls the employee’s work schedule or conditions of employment; (iii) determines the employee’s rate and method of payment; and (iv) maintains the employee’s employment records. In the final rule, the Department of Labor describes instances in which joint employment would not be more or less likely to be found to exist under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which, according to the Department of Labor, includes the relationships that exist under the typical franchise business model. This rule may reduce a franchisor’s risk of liability that currently exists under the joint employer standard now in effect under the Fair Labor Standards Act (though ultimately, the facts specific to the franchisor-franchisee model at issue would be considered when determining liability). However, the rule is separate from the joint employer standard under the National Labor Relations Act, the rulemaking currently underway at the National Labor Relations Board, and, as described above, potential liability as a joint employer under the National Labor Relations Act.
Certain governmental authorities and private litigants have recently asserted claims against franchisors, including us, for provisions in our prior franchise agreements that restrict franchisees from soliciting or hiring the employees of other franchisees or the applicable franchisor. Claims against franchisors for such clauses include allegations that these clauses violate state and federal antitrust and unfair practices laws by restricting the free movement of employees of franchisees and/or franchisor (including the employees of company-owned stores), thereby depressing the wages of those employees.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (as amended, the “Affordable Care Act”) requires employers such as us to provide health insurance for all qualifying employees or pay penalties for not providing coverage. The majority of the increases in these costs began in 2015, and while the incremental costs of this program have not been material to us to date, we cannot predict what effect these costs will have on our results of operations and financial position, or the effects of the Affordable Care Act on some of our larger franchisees. Modifications to, or repeal of, all or certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act are possible, consistent with statements made by certain elected officials.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the “2017 Tax Act”) was signed into law on December 22, 2017, significantly reforming the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The 2017 Tax Act, among other things, changed U.S. Federal corporate income tax rates, imposed significant additional limitations on the deductibility of interest, allowed for the expensing of capital expenditures, put into effect the migration from a “worldwide” system of taxation to a territorial system and modified or repealed many business deductions and credits. Rulings and regulations continue to be issued related to the 2017 Tax Act, and we continue to examine the impact these updates to the 2017 Tax Act may have on our business. The estimated impact of the 2017 Tax Act is based on our management’s current knowledge and assumptions and recognized impacts could be materially different from current estimates based on our actual results and our further analysis of the law.
We revalued our net deferred tax assets and liabilities at the newly enacted corporate tax rate in fiscal 2017 and recorded a significantly lower effective tax rate in 2019 and 2018. We currently expect the lower effective tax rates for the Company recognized in 2019 and 2018 will continue in future periods.
Among other provisions, the 2017 Tax Act (effective for taxable years beginning on January 1, 2018) amended Section 163(j) of the Code to impose significant additional limitations on the deductibility of business interest expense. While we do not currently expect the interest limitation under Section 163(j) to materially limit our ability to deduct business interest, the finalization of the current proposed Treasury Regulations and other future guidance could change this and materially limit our ability to deduct business interest in the future.
There also has been increased public focus, including by U.S. and foreign governmental authorities, on environmental sustainability matters, such as climate change, the reduction of greenhouse gases and water consumption. Legislative, regulatory or other efforts to combat climate change or other environmental concerns could result in future increases in taxes, restrictions on or increases in the costs of supplies, transportation and utilities, any of which could increase our operating costs and those of our franchisees, and necessitate future investments in facilities and equipment. These risks also include the increased pressure to make commitments, set targets, or establish additional goals to take actions to meet them, which could expose us and our franchisees to market, operational, execution and reputational costs or risks.
We may also become subject to legislation or regulation seeking to tax and/or regulate
high-fat
foods, foods with high sugar and salt content, or foods otherwise deemed to be “unhealthy,” and our capital expenditures could increase due to remediation and compliance measures related to these laws or regulations.
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Adverse government regulations and enforcement efforts, including the examples mentioned above, or
non-compliance
by us or our franchisees with any of the foregoing laws and regulations could lead to various claims or governmental or judicial fines, sanctions or other enforcement measures, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our current insurance coverage may not be adequate, insurance premiums for such coverage may increase and we may not be able to obtain insurance at acceptable rates, or at all.
We have retention programs for workers’ compensation, general liability and owned and
non-owned
automobile liabilities. We are generally responsible for up to $1.0 million per occurrence under these retention programs for workers’ compensation and general liability. We are generally responsible for up to $3.0 million per occurrence under these retention programs for owned and
non-owned
automobile liabilities. Total insurance limits under these retention programs vary depending upon the period covered and range up to $110.0 million per occurrence for general liability and owned and
non-owned
automobile liabilities and up to the applicable statutory limits for workers’ compensation. These insurance policies may not be adequate to protect us from liabilities that we incur in our business. In addition, in the future our insurance premiums may increase, and we may not be able to obtain similar levels of insurance on reasonable terms, or at all. Any such inadequacy of, or inability to obtain insurance coverage could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our annual and quarterly financial results are subject to significant fluctuations depending on various factors, many of which are beyond our control, and if we fail to meet the expectations of securities analysts or investors, our share price may decline significantly.
Our sales and operating results can vary significantly from
quarter-to-quarter
and
year-to-year
depending on various factors, many of which are beyond our control. These factors include, among other things:
  variations in the timing and volume of our sales and our franchisees’ sales;
  the timing of expenditures in anticipation of future sales;
  sales promotions by us and our competitors;
  changes in competitive and economic conditions generally;
  changes in the cost or availability of our ingredients or labor; and
  foreign currency exposure.
As a result, our operational performance may decline quickly and significantly in response to changes in order patterns or rapid decreases in demand for our products. Any such decline may cause us and our franchisees to experience lower sales revenue. We anticipate that fluctuations in operating results will continue in the future.
Our common stock price could be subject to significant fluctuations and/or may decline.
The market price of our common stock could be subject to significant fluctuations. Among the factors that could affect our stock price are:
  planned or actual changes to our capital or debt structure;
  variations in our operating results;
  changes in revenues or earnings estimates or publication of research reports by analysts;
  speculation in the press or investment community;
  strategic actions by us or our competitors, such as sales promotions, acquisitions or restructurings;
  actions by institutional and other stockholders;
  changes in our dividend policy or any share repurchase program;
  changes in the market values of public companies that operate in our business segments;
  maintenance and growth of the value of our brand;
  significant litigation;
  legislation or other regulatory developments affecting us or our industry;
  general market conditions; and
  U.S. and international economic factors unrelated to our performance.
The stock markets in general have experienced volatility that has sometimes been unrelated to the operating performance of particular companies. These broad market fluctuations may cause the trading price of our common stock to decline.
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Actions of activist investors could negatively impact our business and the value of our stock price.
Publicly-traded companies have increasingly become subject to activist investor campaigns. Responding to actions of an activist investor may be a significant distraction for our management and staff and could require us to expend significant time and resources, including legal fees and potential proxy solicitation expenses. Any of these conditions could materially adversely affect our financial performance.
Our substantial indebtedness could adversely affect our business and limit our ability to plan for or respond to changes in our business.
We have a substantial amount of indebtedness. As of December 29, 2019, our consolidated total indebtedness was approximately $4.11 billion. We may also incur additional debt, which would not be prohibited under the terms of our current securitized debt agreements. Our substantial indebtedness could have important consequences for our business and our shareholders. For example, it could:
  make it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations with respect to our debt agreements;
  increase our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions;
  require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to payments on our indebtedness, thereby reducing the availability of our cash flow for other purposes; and
  limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the industry in which we operate, thereby placing us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our peers that may have less debt.
Further, a portion of our indebtedness bears interest at fluctuating interest rates based on the London interbank offered rate (“LIBOR”), and there is currently uncertainty around whether LIBOR will continue to exist after 2021. If LIBOR ceases to exist, we may need to renegotiate certain loan documents and we cannot predict what alternative index would be negotiated with our lenders. As a result, our interest expense could increase, in which event we may have difficulties making interest payments and funding our other fixed costs, and our available cash flow for general corporate requirements may be adversely affected.
In addition, the financial and other covenants we agreed to with our lenders may limit our ability to incur additional indebtedness, make investments, pay dividends and engage in other transactions, and the leverage may cause potential lenders to be less willing to loan funds to us in the future. Our failure to comply with these covenants could result in an event of default that, if not cured or waived, could result in the acceleration of repayment of all of our indebtedness.
Downgrades in our credit ratings could impact our ability to access capital and materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our debt is rated by credit rating agencies. These agencies may downgrade their credit ratings for us based on the performance of our business, our capital strategies or their overall view of our industry. There can be no assurance that any rating assigned to our currently outstanding indebtedness will remain in effect for any given period of time or that any such ratings will not be lowered, suspended or withdrawn entirely by a rating agency if, in that agency’s judgment, circumstances so warrant. A downgrade of our credit ratings could, among other things, increase our cost of borrowing, limit our ability to access capital, result in more restrictive covenants in agreements governing the terms of any future indebtedness that we may incur, including restrictions on our ability to pay dividends or repurchase shares, or require us to provide collateral for future borrowings, and thereby adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may be unable to generate sufficient cash flow to satisfy our significant debt service obligations, which would adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Our ability to make principal and interest payments on and to refinance our indebtedness will depend on our ability to generate cash in the future. This, to a certain extent, is subject to general economic, financial, competitive, legislative, regulatory and other factors that are beyond our control. If our business does not generate sufficient cash flow from operations, in the amounts projected or at all, or if future borrowings are not available to us under our variable funding notes in amounts sufficient to fund our other liquidity needs, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected. If we cannot generate sufficient cash flow from operations to make scheduled principal amortization and interest payments on our debt obligations in the future, we may need to refinance all or a portion of our indebtedness on or before maturity, sell assets, delay capital expenditures or seek additional equity. If we are unable to refinance any of our indebtedness on commercially reasonable terms or at all or to affect any other action relating to our indebtedness on satisfactory terms or at all, our business may be harmed.
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The terms of our securitized debt financing of certain of our wholly-owned subsidiaries have restrictive terms and our failure to comply with any of these terms could put us in default, which would have an adverse effect on our business and prospects.
Unless and until we repay all outstanding borrowings under our securitized debt, we will remain subject to the restrictive terms of these borrowings. The securitized debt, under which certain of our wholly-owned subsidiaries issued and guaranteed fixed rate notes and variable funding senior revolving notes, contain a number of covenants, with the most significant financial covenant being a debt service coverage calculation. These covenants limit the ability of certain of our subsidiaries to, among other things:
  sell assets;
 
 
 
  alter the business we conduct;
 
 
 
  engage in mergers, acquisitions and other business combinations;
 
 
 
  declare dividends or redeem or repurchase capital stock;
 
 
 
  incur, assume or permit to exist additional indebtedness or guarantees;
 
 
 
  make loans and investments;
 
 
 
  incur liens; and
 
 
 
  enter into transactions with affiliates.
 
 
 
The securitized debt also requires us to maintain specified financial ratios at the end of each fiscal quarter. These restrictions could affect our ability to pay dividends or repurchase shares of our common stock. Our ability to meet these financial ratios can be affected by events beyond our control, and we may not satisfy such a test. A breach of this covenant could result in a rapid amortization event or default under the securitized debt. If amounts owed under the securitized debt are accelerated because of a default under the securitized debt and we are unable to pay such amounts, the investors may have the right to assume control of substantially all of the securitized assets.
During the term following issuance, the outstanding senior notes will accrue interest in accordance with the terms of the debt agreements. Additionally, our senior notes have original scheduled principal payments of $42.0 million in each of 2020 and 2021, $897.0 million in 2022, $33.0 million in each of 2023 and 2024, $1.15 billion in 2025, $20.8 million in 2026, $1.28 billion in 2027, $6.8 million in 2028 and $614.3 million in 2029. In accordance with our debt agreements, the payment of principal on the outstanding senior notes shall be suspended if the leverage ratios for the Company are less than or equal to 5.0x total debt, as defined, to adjusted EBITDA, as defined in the indenture governing our securitized debt, and no
catch-up
provisions are applicable.
If we are unable to refinance or repay amounts under the securitized debt prior to the expiration of the term, our cash flow would be directed to the repayment of the securitized debt and, other than a weekly management fee sufficient to cover minimal selling, general and administrative expenses, would not be available for operating our business.
No assurance can be given that any refinancing or additional financing will be possible when needed or that we will be able to negotiate acceptable terms. In addition, our access to capital is affected by prevailing conditions in the financial and capital markets and other factors beyond our control. There can be no assurance that market conditions will be favorable at the times that we require new or additional financing.
The indenture governing the securitized debt will restrict the cash flow from the entities subject to the securitization to any of our other entities and upon the occurrence of certain events, cash flow would be further restricted.
In the event that a rapid amortization event occurs under the indenture (including, without limitation, upon an event of default under the indenture or the failure to repay the securitized debt at the end of its term), the funds available to us would be reduced or eliminated, which would in turn reduce our ability to operate or grow our business.
We are subject to a variety of additional risks associated with our franchisees.
Our franchise system subjects us to a number of additional risks, any one of which may impact our ability to collect royalty payments and fees from our franchisees, may harm the goodwill associated with our brand, and/or may materially and adversely impact our business and results of operations. Such risks may also apply to us as owners of stores. These risks include, but are not limited to:
  those relating to the application of local, state, federal and foreign bankruptcy laws and other applicable laws governing creditors’ rights generally and the impact such laws could have on our ability to collect payments and fees under applicable franchise agreements;
 
 
 
  those relating to franchisees that are operating entities, which generally are not limited-purpose entities, including business, credit, financial and other risks in addition to risks related to unions;
 
 
 
  those relating to franchisee changes in control and succession in general and the ability to find acceptable successors who would be able to perform a former franchisee’s obligations under applicable franchise agreements or successfully operate impacted stores in the event of a change of control or other succession event;
 
 
 
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  those relating to franchisee insurance, including the inadequacy of, or inability to obtain, insurance coverage, losses in excess of policy limits or payments not being made on a timely basis, extraordinary hazards not being subject to coverage (or only being subject to coverage at prohibitively high rates) or third parties seeking to recover certain losses from us to the extent those losses experienced by such third parties are either not covered by the franchisee’s insurance or exceed the policy limits of the franchisee’s insurance;
 
 
 
  those relating to instances of termination of or default under a franchisee’s franchise agreement or the
non-renewal
thereof at the end of such agreement’s expiration date and the corresponding impact on the franchisee’s or our operations;
 
 
 
  those relating to product liability exposure or noncompliance with health and safety regulations and the resulting impact such events could have on a franchisee’s ability to make payments under applicable franchise agreements, on us if an aggrieved party seeks to recover their losses from us and on our brand’s reputation;
 
 
 
  the imposition of injunctive relief, fines, damage awards or capital expenditures under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, or other laws or regulations that could adversely affect the ability of a franchisee to make payments under applicable franchise agreements;
 
 
 
  litigation involving franchisees, including litigation involving us or litigation involving a third-party directed at a franchisee, which could decrease the ability of a defendant-franchisee to make its royalty payments and divert our resources regardless of whether the allegations in such litigation are valid or whether we are liable; and
 
 
 
  those relating to the reliance of a franchised store business on its franchisees and the nature of franchisees in general, including the retention of franchisees (especially including our
top-performing
franchisees) in the future or our ability to attract, retain, and motivate sufficient numbers of franchisees of the same caliber in the future.
 
 
 
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Item 1B.
Unresolved Staff Comments.
 
 
 
None.
Item 2.
Properties.
 
 
 
We lease approximately 250,000 square feet for our World Resource Center located in Ann Arbor, Michigan under an operating lease with Domino’s Farms Office Park, L.L.C., an unrelated company. Under an amendment to this lease, Domino’s Farms Office Park, L.L.C. constructed a new 33,000 square foot building that was leased to the Company upon completion in 2019. The lease, as amended, expires in 2029 and has two five-year renewal options.
We own five supply chain center buildings. We also own one store building that we lease to a U.S. franchisee. All other U.S. Company-owned stores are leased by us, typically under
ten-year
leases with one or two five-year renewal options. All other U.S. and international supply chain centers are leased by us, typically under leases ranging between five and 21 years with one or two five-year renewal options. All other franchise stores are leased or owned directly by the respective franchisees. We believe that our existing headquarters and other leased and owned facilities are adequate to meet our current requirements.
Item 3.
Legal Proceedings.
 
 
 
We are a party to lawsuits, revenue agent reviews by taxing authorities and administrative proceedings in the ordinary course of business which include, without limitation, workers’ compensation, general liability, automobile and franchisee claims. We are also subject to suits related to employment practices.
Litigation is subject to many uncertainties, and the outcome of individual litigated matters is not predictable with assurance. These matters referenced above could be decided unfavorably to us and could require us to pay damages or make other expenditures in amounts or a range of amounts that cannot be estimated with accuracy. In management’s opinion, these matters, individually and in the aggregate, should not have a significant adverse effect on the financial condition of the Company, and the established accruals adequately provide for the estimated resolution of such claims. 
On February 14, 2011, Domino’s Pizza LLC was named as a defendant in a lawsuit along with Fischler Enterprises of C.F., Inc., a franchisee, and Jeffrey S. Kidd, the franchisee’s delivery driver, filed by Yvonne Wiederhold, the plaintiff, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Richard E. Wiederhold, deceased. The case involved a traffic accident in which the franchisee’s delivery driver is alleged to have caused an accident involving a vehicle driven by Richard Wiederhold. Mr. Wiederhold sustained spinal injuries resulting in quadriplegia and passed away several months after the accident. The case went to trial in 2016 and the Company was found liable, but the verdict was reversed by the Florida Fifth District Court of Appeals in May 2018 and was remanded to the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida for a new trial. The case was tried again in June 2019 and the jury returned a $9.0 million judgment for the plaintiff where the Company and Mr. Kidd were found to be 100% liable (after certain offsets and other deductions the final verdict was $8.0 million). The Company continues to deny liability and has filed an appeal.
While we may occasionally be party to large claims, including class action suits, we do not believe that any existing matters, individually or in the aggregate, will materially affect our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
Item 4.
Mine Safety Disclosures.
 
 
 
Not applicable.
Item 4A.
Executive Officers of the Registrant.
 
 
 
The listing of executive officers of the Company is set forth under Part III Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance on pages 75 through 78, which is incorporated herein by reference.
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Part II
Item 5.
Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
 
 
 
As of February 13, 2020, Domino’s Pizza, Inc. had 170,000,000 authorized shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, of which 38,667,039 were issued and outstanding. Domino’s Pizza, Inc.’s common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the ticker symbol “DPZ.”
Our Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.78 per common share on February 19, 2020 payable on March 30, 2020 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 13, 2020.
We currently anticipate continuing the payment of quarterly cash dividends. The actual amount of such dividends, if any, will depend upon future earnings, results of operations, capital requirements, our financial condition and certain other factors. There can be no assurance as to the amount of free cash flow that we will generate in future years and, accordingly, dividends will be considered after reviewing returns to shareholders, profitability expectations and financing needs and will be declared at the discretion of our Board of Directors.
As of February 13, 2020, there were 1,510 registered holders of record of Domino’s Pizza, Inc.’s common stock.
As of December 29, 2019, we had a Board of Directors-approved share repurchase program for up to $1.0 billion of our common stock, of which $406.1 million remained available for future purchases of our common stock. Any future purchases of our common stock would be funded by current cash amounts, available borrowings or future excess cash flow. The following table summarizes our repurchase activity during the fourth quarter ended December 29, 2019:
                                 
Period
 
Total
Number
of Shares
Purchased
(1)
 
 
Average
Price Paid
per Share
 
 
Total
Number of
Shares
Purchased as
Part of
Publicly
Announced
Program
(2)
 
 
Maximum
Approximate
Dollar Value
of Shares
that May Yet
Be Purchased
Under the
Program
(in thousands)
 
Period #10 (September 9, 2019 to October 6, 2019)
   
1,281
    $
244.16
     
—  
    $
1,000,000
 
Period #11 (October 7, 2019 to November 3, 2019)
   
4,441
     
239.20
     
3,300
     
999,242
 
Period #12 (November 4, 2019 to December 1, 2019)
   
933,055
     
285.26
     
933,055
     
733,078
 
Period #13 (December 2, 2019 to December 29, 2019)
   
1,128,072
     
290.09
     
1,127,023
     
406,142
 
                                 
Total
   
2,066,849
    $
287.81
     
2,063,378
    $
406,142
 
                                 
 
(1) 3,471 shares were purchased as part of the Company’s employee stock purchase discount plan. During the fourth quarter, the shares were purchased at an average price of $264.65.
 
(2) From December 29, 2019 through February 13, 2020, the Company repurchased and retired 271,064 shares of common stock for a total of approximately $79.6 million, or an average price of $293.62 per share. Authorization for the repurchase program may be modified, suspended, or discontinued at any time. The repurchase of shares in any particular period and the actual amount of such purchases remain at the discretion of the Board of Directors, and no assurance can be given that shares will be repurchased in the future.
 
 
 
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The following comparative stock performance line graph compares the cumulative shareholder return on the common stock of Domino’s Pizza, Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) for the five-year period between December 31, 2014 and December 31, 2019, with cumulative total return on (i) the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (the “S&P 500”) and (ii) the peer group, the Standard & Poor’s 400 Restaurant Index (the “S&P 400 Restaurant Index”). Management believes that the companies included in the S&P 400 Restaurant Index appropriately reflect the scope of the Company’s operations and match the competitive market in which the Company operates. The cumulative total return computations set forth in the performance graph assume the investment of $100 in the Company’s common stock, the S&P 500 Index and the S&P 400 Restaurant Index on December 31, 2014.
 
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Table of Contents
Item 6.
Selected Financial Data.
 
 
The following selected financial data set forth should be read in conjunction with, and is qualified by reference to, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and the consolidated financial statements and related notes included in this Form
10-K.
The selected financial data, with the exception of store counts, global retail sales growth and same store sales growth, has been derived from the audited consolidated financial statements of Domino’s Pizza, Inc. and subsidiaries. This historical data is not necessarily indicative of results to be expected for any future period.
                                         
 
Fiscal year ended (8)
 
(dollars in millions, except per share data)
 
December 29,
2019
 
 
December 30,
2018 (4)
 
 
December 31,
2017
 
 
January 1,
2017
 
 
January 3,
2016
 
Income statement data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenues:
   
     
     
     
     
 
U.S. Company-owned stores
  $
453.6
    $
514.8
    $
490.8
    $
439.0
    $
396.9
 
U.S. franchise royalties and fees
   
428.5
     
391.5
     
351.4
     
312.3
     
272.8
 
U.S. franchise advertising (1)
   
390.8
     
358.5
     
—  
     
—  
     
—  
 
                                         
U.S. stores
   
1,272.9
     
1,264.8
     
842.2
     
751.3
     
669.7
 
Supply chain
   
2,104.9
     
1,943.3
     
1,739.0
     
1,544.3
     
1,383.2
 
International franchise royalties and fees
   
241.0
     
224.7
     
206.7
     
177.0
     
163.6
 
                                         
Total revenues
   
3,618.8
     
3,432.9
     
2,788.0
     
2,472.6
     
2,216.5
 
Cost of sales
   
2,216.3
     
2,130.2
     
1,922.0
     
1,704.9
     
1,533.4
 
                                         
Operating margin
   
1,402.5
     
1,302.7
     
866.0
     
767.7
     
683.1
 
General and administrative expense
   
382.3
     
372.5
     
344.8
     
313.6
     
277.7
 
U.S. franchise advertising (1)
   
390.8
     
358.5
     
—  
     
—  
     
—  
 
                                         
Income from operations
   
629.4
     
571.7
     
521.2
     
454.0
     
405.4
 
Interest income
   
4.0
     
3.3
     
1.5
     
0.7
     
0.3
 
Interest expense
   
(150.8
)    
(146.3
)    
(122.5
)    
(110.1
)    
(99.5
)
                                         
Income before provision for income taxes
   
482.6
     
428.7
     
400.2
     
344.7
     
306.2
 
Provision for income taxes
   
81.9
     
66.7
     
122.2
     
130.0
     
113.4
 
                                         
Net income
  $
400.7
    $
362.0
    $
277.9
    $
214.7
    $
192.8
 
                                         
Earnings per share:
   
     
     
     
     
 
Common stock – basic
  $
9.83
    $
8.65
    $
6.05
    $
4.41
    $
3.58
 
Common stock – diluted
   
9.56
     
8.35
     
5.83
     
4.30
     
3.47
 
Balance sheet data (at end of period):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
  $
190.6
    $
25.4
    $
35.8
    $
42.8
    $
133.4
 
Restricted cash and cash equivalents
   
209.3
     
167.0
     
191.8
     
126.5
     
180.9
 
Cash and cash equivalents included in advertising fund assets, restricted
   
84.0
     
45.0
     
27.3
     
25.1
     
19.9
 
Working capital (2)
   
121.0
     
14.6
     
(10.3
)    
(34.3
)    
45.7
 
Total assets (3)
   
1,382.1
     
907.4
     
836.8
     
716.3
     
799.8
 
Total debt net of debt issuance cost
   
4,114.4
     
3,531.6
     
3,153.8
     
2,187.9
     
2,240.8
 
Total stockholders’ deficit
   
(3,415.8
)    
(3,039.9
)    
(2,735.4
)    
(1,883.1
)    
(1,800.3
)
 
 
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Table of Contents
                                         
 
Fiscal year ended (8)
 
(dollars in millions, except per share data)
 
December 29,
2019
 
 
December 30,
2018 (4)
 
 
December 31,
2017
 
 
January 1,
2017
 
 
January 3,
2016
 
Other financial data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization
  $
59.9
    $
53.7
    $
44.4
    $
38.1
    $
32.4
 
Capital expenditures (5)
  $
88.7
    $
119.7
    $
90.3
    $
61.5
    $
62.4
 
Dividends declared per share
  $
2.60
    $
2.20
    $
1.84
    $
1.52
    $
1.24
 
Global retail sales growth
(versus prior year period, excluding foreign currency impact) (6)
   
8.0
%    
10.8
%    
13.0
%    
12.8
%    
18.6
%
Same store sales growth (7):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
U.S. Company-owned stores
   
2.8
%    
4.8
%    
8.7
%    
10.4
%    
12.2
%
U.S. franchise stores
   
3.2
%    
6.8
%    
7.6
%    
10.5
%    
11.9
%
                                         
U.S. stores
   
3.2
%    
6.6
%    
7.7
%    
10.5
%    
12.0
%
International stores
   
1.9
%    
3.5
%    
3.4
%    
6.3
%    
7.8
%
Store counts (at end of period):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
U.S. Company-owned stores
   
342
     
390
     
392
     
392
     
384
 
U.S. franchise stores
   
5,784
     
5,486
     
5,195
     
4,979
     
4,816
 
                                         
U.S. stores
   
6,126
     
5,876
     
5,587
     
5,371
     
5,200
 
International stores
   
10,894
     
10,038
     
9,269
     
8,440
     
7,330
 
                                         
Total stores
   
17,020
     
15,914
     
14,856
     
13,811
     
12,530
 
                                         
 
(1) The adoption of Accounting Standards Codification 606,
Revenue from Contracts with Customers
(“ASC 606”) in 2018 resulted in the recognition of revenue and expenses related to U.S. franchise contributions to DNAF. In prior years, under accounting standards in effect at that time, we had presented the contributions net with the related disbursements in our consolidated statements of income.
 
(2) The working capital amounts exclude restricted cash and cash equivalents, advertising fund assets, restricted, and advertising fund liabilities.
 
(3) Total assets as of December 29, 2019 reflects the adoption of Accounting Standards Codification 842,
Leases
(“ASC 842”).
 
(4) In 2018, we began managing our franchised stores in Alaska and Hawaii as part of our U.S. Stores segment. Prior to 2018, store counts and retail sales from these franchised stores were included in our international stores in the table above. Consolidated results have not been impacted by this change and prior year amounts have not been reclassified to conform to the current year presentation due to immateriality.
 
(5) Includes
non-cash
investing activities related to accruals for capital expenditures.
 
(6) Global retail sales growth refers to total worldwide retail sales at Company-owned and franchise stores. We believe global retail sales information is useful in analyzing revenues because franchisees pay royalties and advertising fees that are based on a percentage of franchise retail sales. We review comparable industry global retail sales information to assess business trends and to track the growth of the Domino’s Pizza
®
brand. In addition, supply chain revenues are directly impacted by changes in franchise retail sales. Retail sales for franchise stores are reported to us by our franchisees and are not included in our revenues. Global retail sales growth, excluding foreign currency impact, is calculated as the change of international local currency global retail sales against the comparable period of the prior year. Global retail sales growth in 2015 includes the favorable impact of the 53rd week.
 
(7) Same store sales growth is calculated including only sales from stores that also had sales in the comparable period of the prior year. International same store sales growth is calculated similarly to U.S. same store sales growth. Changes in international same store sales are reported on a constant dollar basis which reflects changes in international local currency sales. The 53
rd
week in fiscal 2015 had no impact on reported same store sales growth amounts.
 
(8) The 2015 fiscal year includes 53 weeks and the 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016 fiscal years each include 52 weeks.
 
 
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Table of Contents
Item 7.
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
 
 
Overview
Our fiscal year typically includes 52 weeks, comprised of three twelve-week quarters and one sixteen-week quarter. Every five or six years our fiscal year includes an extra (or 53
rd
) week in the fourth quarter. Fiscal 2019, 2018 and 2017 each consisted of 52 weeks.
In this section, we discuss the results of our operations for the year ended December 29, 2019 compared to the year ended December 30, 2018. For a discussion of the year ended December 30, 2018 compared to the year ended December 31, 2017, please refer to Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in our Annual Report on Form
10-K
for the year ended December 30, 2018.
Description of the Business
Domino’s is the largest pizza company in the world based on global retail sales, with more than 17,000 locations in over 90 markets around the world. Founded in 1960, our roots are in convenient pizza delivery, while a significant amount of our sales also come from carryout customers. Although we are a highly-recognized global brand, we focus on serving neighborhoods locally through our large network of franchise owners and Company-owned stores.
Our business model is straightforward: Domino’s stores handcraft and serve quality food at a competitive price, with easy ordering access and efficient service, enhanced by our technological innovations. Our hand-tossed dough is made fresh and distributed to stores around the world by us and our franchisees.
Domino’s generates revenues and earnings by charging royalties and fees to our franchisees. Royalties are ongoing
percent-of-sales
fees for use of the Domino’s brand marks. We also generate revenues and earnings by selling food, equipment and supplies to franchisees primarily in the U.S. and Canada, and by operating a number of our own stores. Franchisees profit by selling pizza and other complementary items to their local customers. In our international markets, we generally grant geographical rights to the Domino’s Pizza brand to master franchisees. These master franchisees are charged with developing their geographical area, and they may profit by
sub-franchising
and selling food and equipment to those
sub-franchisees,
as well as by running pizza stores. Everyone in the system can benefit, including the end consumer, who can purchase Domino’s menu items for themselves and their family conveniently and economically.
Our business model can yield strong returns for our franchise owners and Company-owned stores. It can also yield significant cash flow to us, through a consistent franchise royalty payment and supply chain revenue stream, with moderate capital expenditures. We have historically returned cash to shareholders through dividend payments and share repurchases since becoming a publicly-traded company in 2004. 
Fiscal 2019 Highlights
  Global retail sales, excluding foreign currency impact (which includes total retail sales at Company-owned and franchised stores worldwide) increased 8.0% as compared to 2018.
 
 
  Same store sales increased 3.2% in our U.S. stores and increased 1.9% in our international stores.
 
 
  Our revenues increased 5.4%.
 
 
  Our income from operations increased 10.1%.
 
 
  Our net income increased 10.7%.
 
 
  Our diluted earnings per share increased 14.5%.
 
 
During 2019, we continued our rapid global expansion with the opening of 1,106 net new stores. Our international franchise segment led the way with 856 net new store openings. We also continued our strong U.S. and international same store sales performance with 35 straight quarters of positive U.S. same store sales and 104 straight quarters of positive international same store sales. Our U.S. carryout business experienced continued strong growth. While our overall U.S. delivery business continues to grow, our U.S. delivery same store sales growth has been pressured by our fortressing strategy, which includes increasing store concentration in certain markets where we compete, as well as from aggressive competitive activity.
We remained focused on improving the customer experience through our technology initiatives, including the recent launch of our GPS delivery tracking technology, which allows customers to track the progress of their pizza delivery through the Domino’s ordering platforms. Our emphasis on technology innovation helped the Domino’s system generate more than half of global retail sales from digital channels in 2019. Overall, we believe our focus in 2019 on global growth and technology will continue to strengthen our brand in the future.
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Table of Contents
Critical accounting policies and estimates
The following discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations is based on our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. The preparation of these financial statements requires our management to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses and related disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities. On an ongoing basis, our management evaluates its estimates, including those related to revenue recognition, long-lived assets, insurance and legal matters, share-based payments and income taxes. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe are reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from those estimates. Changes in our accounting policies and estimates could materially impact our results of operations and financial condition for any particular period. We believe that our most critical accounting policies and estimates are:
Revenue recognition
. We earn revenues through our network of U.S. Company-owned and franchised stores, dough manufacturing and supply chain centers and international operations. Retail sales from franchise stores are reported to us by our franchisees and are not included in our revenues. Retail sales from Company-owned stores and royalty revenues resulting from the retail sales from franchised stores are recognized as revenues when the items are delivered to or carried out by customers. Retail sales are generally reported and related royalties paid to us based on a percentage of retail sales, as specified in the related standard franchise agreement (generally 5.5% of U.S. franchise retail sales and, on average, 3.0% of international franchise retail sales). We also generate revenues from U.S. franchise advertising contributions to DNAF, our consolidated
not-for-profit
advertising fund (generally 6.0% of U.S. franchise retail sales). Although these revenues are restricted to be used only for advertising and promotional activities to benefit franchised stores, we have determined there are not performance obligations associated with the franchise advertising contributions received by DNAF that are separate from our U.S. royalty payment stream and as a result, these franchise contributions and the related expenses are presented gross in the consolidated statements of income. Revenues from Company-owned stores and revenues from franchised stores (including U.S. franchise royalties and fees and U.S. franchise advertising revenues) can fluctuate from
time-to-time
as a result of store count and sales level changes. Sales of food from our supply chain centers are recognized as revenues upon delivery of the food to franchisees, while sales of equipment and supplies are generally recognized as revenues upon shipment of the related products to franchisees.
Long-lived assets.
We record long-lived assets, including property, plant and equipment and capitalized software, at cost. For acquisitions of franchise operations, we estimate the fair values of the assets and liabilities acquired based on physical inspection of assets, historical experience and other information available to us regarding the acquisition. We depreciate and amortize long-lived assets using useful lives determined by us based on historical experience and other information available to us. We evaluate the potential impairment of long-lived assets at least annually or whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the assets may not be recoverable. Our evaluation is based on various analyses, including the projection of undiscounted cash flows. For Company-owned stores, we perform related impairment tests on an operating market basis, which we have determined to be the lowest level for which identifiable cash flows are largely independent of other cash flows. If the carrying amount of a long-lived asset exceeds the amount of the expected future undiscounted cash flows of that asset, we estimate the fair value of the asset. If the carrying amount of the asset exceeds the estimated fair value of the asset, an impairment loss is recognized, and the asset is written down to its estimated fair value.
We have not made any significant changes in the methodology used to project the future market cash flows of Company-owned stores during the years presented. Same store sales fluctuations and the rates at which operating costs will fluctuate in the future are key factors in evaluating recoverability of the related assets. If our same store sales significantly decline or if operating costs increase and we are unable to recover these costs, the carrying value of our Company-owned stores, by market, may be unrecoverable and we may be required to recognize an impairment charge.
Insurance and legal matters.
We are a party to lawsuits and legal proceedings arising in the ordinary course of business. Management closely monitors these legal matters and estimates the probable costs for the resolution of such matters. These estimates are primarily determined by consulting with both internal and external parties handling the matters and are based upon an analysis of potential results, assuming a combination of litigation and settlement strategies. Legal judgments can be volatile and difficult to predict. Accordingly, if our estimates relating to legal matters proved inaccurate for any reason, we may be required to increase or decrease the related expense in future periods. We had accruals for legal matters of approximately $1.8 million at December 29, 2019 and $1.9 million at December 30, 2018.
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Table of Contents
For certain periods prior to December 1998 and for periods after December 2001, we maintain insurance coverage for workers’ compensation, general liability and owned and
non-owned
auto liability under insurance policies requiring payment of a deductible for each occurrence up to between $500,000 and $3.0 million, depending on the policy year and line of coverage. The related insurance reserves are based on undiscounted independent actuarial estimates, which are based on historical information along with assumptions about future events. Analyses of historical trends and actuarial valuation methods are utilized to estimate the ultimate claim costs for claims incurred as of the balance sheet date and for claims incurred but not yet reported. When estimating these liabilities, several factors are considered, including the severity, duration and frequency of claims, legal cost associated with claims, healthcare trends and projected inflation.
Our methodology for determining our exposure has remained consistent throughout the years presented. Management believes that the various assumptions developed, and actuarial methods used to determine our insurance reserves are reasonable and provide meaningful data that management uses to make its best estimate of our exposure to these risks. Changes in assumptions for such factors as medical costs and legal actions, as well as changes in actual experience, could cause our estimates to change in the near term which could result in an increase or decrease in the related expense in future periods. A 10% change in our insurance liability at December 29, 2019 would have affected our income before provision for income taxes by approximately $5.8 million in 2019. We had accruals for insurance matters of approximately $58.4 million at December 29, 2019 and $53.3 million at December 30, 2018.
Share-based payments.
We recognize compensation expense related to our share-based compensation arrangements over the requisite service period based on the grant date fair value of the awards. The grant date fair value of each restricted stock and performance-based restricted stock award is equal to the market price of our stock on the date of grant. The grant date fair value of each stock option award is estimated using the Black-Scholes option pricing model. The pricing model requires assumptions, including the expected life of the stock option, the risk-free interest rate, the expected dividend yield and expected volatility of our stock over the expected life, which significantly impact the assumed fair value. We account for forfeitures as they occur. Additionally, our stock option, restricted stock and performance-based restricted stock arrangements provide for accelerated vesting and the ability to exercise during the remainder of the
ten-year
stock option life upon the retirement of individuals holding the awards who have achieved specified service and age requirements.
Management believes that the methods and various assumptions used to determine compensation expense related to these arrangements are reasonable, but if the assumptions change significantly for future grants, share-based compensation expense will fluctuate in future years.
Income taxes.
We recognize deferred tax assets and liabilities based on the differences between the financial statement carrying amounts and the tax basis of assets and liabilities. We measure deferred tax assets and liabilities using current enacted tax rates that will apply in the years in which we expect the temporary differences to be recovered or paid. Judgment is required in determining the provision for income taxes, related reserves and deferred tax assets and liabilities. These include establishing a valuation allowance related to the ability to realize certain deferred tax assets, if necessary. On an ongoing basis, management will assess whether it remains more likely than not that the net deferred tax assets will be realized. Our accounting for deferred tax assets represents our best estimate of future events. Our net deferred tax assets assume that we will generate sufficient taxable income in specific tax jurisdictions, based on our estimates and assumptions. Changes in our current estimates due to unanticipated events could have a material impact on our financial condition and results of operations.
Same Store Sales Growth
                         
 
2019
 
 
2018 (1)
 
 
2017
 
U.S. Company-owned stores
   
2.8
%    
4.8
%    
8.7
%
U.S. franchise stores
   
3.2
%    
6.8
%    
7.6
%
                         
U.S. stores
   
3.2
%    
6.6
%    
7.7
%
International stores (excluding foreign currency impact)
   
1.9
%    
3.5
%    
3.4
%
                         
 
 
(1) In 2018, we began managing our franchised stores in Alaska and Hawaii as part of our U.S. Stores segment. Prior to 2018, store counts, retail sales and royalty revenues from these franchised stores were included in our international operations in the tables above. Consolidated results have not been impacted by this change and prior year amounts have not been reclassified to conform to the current year presentation due to immateriality.
 
 
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Table of Contents
Store Growth Activity
 
U.S.
Company-
owned
Stores
 
 
U.S.
Franchise
Stores
 
 
Total
U.S.
Stores
 
 
International
Stores
 
 
Total
 
Store count at January 1, 2017
   
392
     
4,979
     
5,371
     
8,440
     
13,811
 
Openings
   
16
     
213
     
229
     
891
     
1,120
 
Closings
   
—  
     
(13
)    
(13
)    
(62
)    
(75
)
Transfers
   
(16
)    
16
     
—  
     
—  
     
—  
 
                                         
Store count at December 31, 2017
   
392
     
5,195
     
5,587
     
9,269
     
14,856
 
Openings
   
12
     
255
     
267
     
916
     
1,183
 
Closings
   
—  
     
(9
)    
(9
)    
(116
)    
(125
)
Transfers (1)
   
(14
)    
45
     
31
     
(31
)    
—  
 
                                         
Store count at December 30, 2018
   
390
     
5,486
     
5,876
     
10,038
     
15,914
 
Openings
   
12
     
253
     
265
     
939
     
1,204
 
Closings
   
(1
)    
(14
)    
(15
)    
(83
)    
(98
)
Transfers
   
(59
)    
59
     
—  
     
—  
     
—  
 
                                         
Store count at December 29, 2019
   
342
     
5,784
     
6,126
     
10,894
     
17,020
 
                                         
Income Statement Data
(dollars in millions)
 
2019
   
2018 (1)
   
2017
 
U.S. Company-owned stores
  $
453.6
     
    $
514.8
     
    $
490.8
     
 
U.S. franchise royalties and fees
   
428.5
     
     
391.5
     
     
351.4
     
 
Supply chain
   
2,104.9
     
     
1,943.3
     
     
1,739.0
     
 
International franchise royalties and fees
   
241.0
     
     
224.7
     
     
206.7
     
 
U.S. franchise advertising (2)
   
390.8
     
     
358.5
     
     
—  
     
 
                                                 
Total revenues
   
3,618.8
     
100.0
%    
3,432.9
     
100.0
%    
2,788.0
     
100.0
%
U.S. Company-owned stores
   
346.2
     
     
398.2
     
     
377.7
     
 
Supply chain
   
1,870.1
     
     
1,732.0
     
     
1,544.3
     
 
                                                 
Total cost of sales
   
2,216.3
     
61.2
%    
2,130.2
     
62.1
%    
1,922.0
     
68.9
%
                                                 
Operating margin
   
1,402.5
     
38.8
%    
1,302.7
     
37.9
%    
866.0
     
31.1
%
General and administrative
   
382.3
     
10.6
%    
372.5
     
10.8
%    
344.8
     
12.4
%
U.S. franchise advertising (2)
   
390.8
     
10.8
%    
358.5
     
10.4
%    
—  
     
%