By Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business
Domino’s Pizza customers ordering chicken wings will soon get fewer of them for the same price.
The pizza chain said it’s cutting the number of wings in its $7.99 carry out offer from 10 pieces to just eight because of rising food and labor costs. Wings will also become an online exclusive, meaning customers can no longer order them via phone.
Domino’s CEO Richard Allison said the company expects to deal with “unprecedented increases” in food prices, explaining that the costs of its ingredients are increasing 8% to 10% compared to last year. That is substantially higher than the usual hike of 3% to 4% the chain normally forecasts.
Moving the deal online has “several benefits” for the company, he added, because the more customers order food online the higher the average receipt. There’s also a cost-cutting benefit because fewer workers are needed to answer the phones.
The changes will take effect in a couple of weeks, Allison said.
Domino’s joins rival pizza chain Little Caesars in tweaking its offerings because of rising prices. Earlier this month, Little Caesars hiked the price of its signature $5 Hot-N-Ready pizza by 11%, to $5.55 — its first price increase in nearly 25 years. One small upside: the company claims it’s offering 33% more pepperoni.
Although pizza sales have exploded during the pandemic, Domino’s hit a rocky patch in its most recent earnings as same-store sales fell for the first time since 2011.
A key inflation gauge just hit a fresh a 39-year high, with the US consumer price index rising 7% over the past year before seasonal adjustments, the steepest climb in prices since June 1982, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday.
Food costs also went up — rising 0.5% — but at a slightly slower pace than in recent months. Prices rose in nearly all major grocery categories, with fruit and vegetable costs rising the most.
Overseas, fast food chains like KFC and McDonald’s have also experienced shortages of fresh chicken and french fries, respectively, forcing them to cut back on some regular menu items this month.
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