Leave it to Domino’s to make a lot more money by giving away free pizza.

In a fourth-quarter 2023 earnings call on February 26, Domino’s CEO Russell Weiner said the brand’s Emergency Pizza promotion, which launched in October and ran through February 10, gave a huge boost to Domino’s Rewards, the loyalty program that was relaunched late last year. “Emergency Pizza,” he said, “was a resounding success.”

Weiner said Domino’s Rewards has seen “an uptick in active members,” particularly in the past few months. “We are up 3 million active members in 2023, with 2 million-plus since our relaunch in September,” he said in the call. “Domino’s Rewards ended the year with approximately 33 million active members. A big driver of the increase in active members, as well as the early success of the program, was our Emergency Pizza promotion, which was an innovative marketing initiative that drove increased order counts and acquisition of customers into Domino’s Rewards.”

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Domino’s positioned the Emergency Pizza freebies last fall as a way to help customers who suddenly found themselves unable to make dinner or entertaining unexpected guests. To get a free medium two-topping pizza, Domino’s customers had to first place a digital carryout order of $7.99 or more. They automatically earned the “emergency pizza” once the order went through, but they were first required to sign into or join Domino’s Rewards within seven days. Afterwards, they could visit the “My Deals & Rewards” page under their loyalty account to redeem the offer within 30 days.

Through Domino’s Rewards, Weiner said, “We’re seeing more redemptions than ever before, and we’re seeing them at those lower tiers that we implemented. And we know that this program has driven incremental profit dollars for our franchisees. So customers are getting more, and franchisees have earned more profits. Truly a win-win. Finally, we’re seeing more carryout users and light users in the program than we were prior to the relaunch. So Domino’s Rewards is working as we intended.”

The Emergency Pizza promo turned out to be a BOGO offer on steroids, thanks to the brand’s clever marketing approach. “This is your traditional buy-one get-one-free that has been marketed in such a way that it really breaks through,” Weiner said. “We’ve done buy-one get-one-free before—they’ve done nothing like this.”

In that earnings call, the company announced growth of 2.8% in domestic sales for the fourth quarter of 2023. That suggests the brand, which struggled post-pandemic to bring its sales back up, could be in the middle of a comeback. And there will be more free pizza to come, Weiner said. “We’ve got this Emergency Pizza piece now, and I expect this is ownable from our perspective. And so this is something we’ll be able to use in the future as well.”

But the jewel in Domino’s crown, CFO Sandeep Reddy emphasized, is the revamped loyalty program. “The driver, rather than looking at Emergency Pizza by itself, is really Domino’s Rewards and how much [it] can drive transaction growth for us,” Reddy said. “This is a significant pillar of how we’re going to drive transaction growth in 2024, both in delivery as well as carryout.”

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