Domino’s delivers $5.4m to underpaid staff

Domino's pizzaDomino’s Pizza says it has returned $5.4 million in underpaid wages and superannuation to its employees over the past four years under a national audit of its stores that is due to wrap up in December.

Chief executive Don Meij, speaking after a Domino’s investor day update, said only one of the pizza chain’s stores had been referred for further examination after evidence of wage underpayments discovered during a Deloitte-led audit.

“The fact that we found only one person out of the last 322 stores audited is very encouraging to us, its certainly looking very good at the moment compared to where we were in the first three years,” Meij said.

Domino’s has been auditing its stores for three years and in March extended the probe across its national network after the Fair Work Ombudsman joined investigations following media reports of underpayments to staff.

Meij said that since 2014, a total of $5.4 million worth of unpaid wages and superannuation had been recovered and paid to Domino’s franchisee staff, Meij said.

Domino’s had originally planned to complete the audit by June but Meij said he expects to finalise the program across Australia’s 666 stores by the end of December.

“The media was talking as if this was all Domino’s – that’s very unfair – the fact that only a single store has been referred for further audit illustrates that its not the majority, it’s the minority of the franchisees,” Meij said.

As part of Monday’s investor update, Meij highlighted improvements to the company’s “360 degree” performance measurement software used for Domino’s franchisees, along with a suite of new technology initiatives including an expansion of its New Zealand drone delivery trials.

Meij said a new iteration of Domino’s Operations 360 monitors, improves and benchmarks individual franchisee performance – offering head office and a franchise owner a rounded view of the business.

“This is not an auditing program, its a self-assessment tool which allows franchisees to view their business as part of their peer group and on top of that we also get to look at the business and encourage people to chase better performances,” Meij said.

Domino’s will also roll out its GPS-based Anywhere delivery service, which enables deliveries to locations such as parks and beaches without specific addresses.

Heated lockers that keep food hot at a store until picked up by a customer, who can unlock the device using their smartphone, were also unveiled to be in use in Australia by Christmas.

Domino’s faced some of its own heated customer blowback last week when social media fumed over Domino’s six-and-a-half year exclusive distribution deal with Schweppes – ensuring Coca-Cola remains out of the Domino’s picture until 2024.

Meij said sales of Schweppes drinks were now higher than sales of Coca-Cola brands had been.

Domino’s shares closed 11 cents lower at $45.50 on Monday.

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