Domino’s boss Elias Diaz Sese is a World Cup investor. Our pizza sales are soaring if England makes the final.

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By Creative Media News

Last week, as the World Cup of football, began, Elias Diaz Sese, the CEO of Domino’s, cheered for his own Spain. Today, though, the man from Madrid appears to be quite conflicted.

The 49-year-old, who came to London in 2016, has witnessed firsthand the impact that a series of England games has on order volume, particularly on Friday evening when the delivery chain’s phones were nearly as hot as its freshly prepared pizzas.

My heart is divided during this World Cup. I am rooting for England and Spain to reach the final,’ he admits, struggling to reconcile his national pride, his adopted home, and his entrepreneurial instincts.

Domino's boss elias diaz sese is a world cup investor. Our pizza sales are soaring if england makes the final.
Domino's boss elias diaz sese is a world cup investor. Our pizza sales are soaring if england makes the final.

Domino’s is by far the largest pizza delivery company in the United Kingdom.

The entire year, according to Diaz, has been spent preparing for the competition.

They had witnessed skyrocketing sales during last year’s postponed Euro 2020 tournament, in which England lost the final to Italy. During the group stage match between England and Scotland, Domino’s sold thirteen pizzas every second.

Diaz, who took over as temporary CEO of a corporation with a turnover of £1.5 billion only a month ago, hopes that demand for this current event will surpass records.

Winter is already the busiest season for Domino’s, as families choose to stay indoors with hot meals rather than braving the cold. This is due to the odd timing of the World Cup, which generally takes place in the summer.

As a result of the cost-of-living constraint, some households are preserving funds for the holiday season, causing an extraordinary number of hard-pressed football fans to avoid pubs and watch the game at home.

In the last two months, Domino’s has added 10,000 delivery drivers, in-store employees, and pizza makers in anticipation of the demand boom.

It brought the total number of employees across all 1,188 Domino’s stores to 35,000.

After analyzing the ‘amazing’ demand the company experienced throughout last week’s match days, Diaz declares, “We anticipated it was going to be large, but it’s been far greater than predicted.”

During Friday’s game against the United States, Domino’s experienced its greatest day of the year, processing 21 orders per second and cooking 147,877 pizzas. Next Tuesday’s match between England and Wales, where the company has 62 stores, will be another profitable event, according to Diaz.

It’s a “really promising start,” according to Diaz, who now hopes that both England and Wales advance to the knockout round.

However, while Domino’s is experiencing its busiest weeks of the year during the World Cup and the holiday season, there are fears of a downturn in the New Year.

The United Kingdom is facing its steepest decline in living standards on record as the rising cost of living chips away at people’s incomes.

According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, household incomes would decline by 7% by 2024. And Domino’s, like other food businesses, is struggling with rising food, energy, and labor costs.

As a concerning indicator, the delivery chain’s orders dropped 1.9% to 16.9 million in the third quarter of 2022. Despite the headwinds, the company confirmed its full-year earnings target of £125 million to £135 million.

Diaz, who has 25 years of experience in the food and restaurant industry, deems the grim prognosis for businesses and consumers a “serious concern.” However, he thinks that Domino’s value credentials will enable it to withstand an economic downturn. He states, “We recognize the cost-of-living crisis.”

He desires to be “aware and sensitive” toward families with little financial resources. He adds that although the company has experienced an “intense” year of growing costs, the company’s long-standing ties with its suppliers have managed to mitigate the pinch and minimize price hikes.

When outgoing CEO Dominic Paul revealed he was leaving to lead Premier Inn owner Whitbread, interim CEO Diaz was appointed.

Before Costa Coffee was sold to Coca-Cola, Paul oversaw the Domino’s Pizza Group amid the Covid issue.

Diaz joined the group’s board of directors in 2019 and has a £2.8 million investment in the company. He became leader less than a year after the company settled a long-running conflict with its franchise partners, setting the path for a rapid increase in new store openings.

His prior positions include two years as head of the Northern European division of Kraft Heinz and as CEO of the Canadian coffee giant Tim Hortons.

His two younger sons reside at home in London, whilst his 19-year-old “princess” has left the nest to attend college.

He states that the opportunity to assume the top position has been both an honor and a pleasure. Once football and holiday fervor wane, investors will hope that his optimism will endure what might be a difficult trading environment.

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