Here's how Domino's plans to keep Panera from poaching its delivery drivers

Key Points
  • Domino's is confident that its drivers will stick with the chain despite thousands of job openings at other restaurants.
  • The pizza chain said that drivers will get more tips working for Domino's.
  • The company has been testing a GPS-tracking system for delivery orders.
An employee places a cooked pizza into a delivery box inside a Domino's Pizza Group Plc store.
Jason Alden | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Domino's isn't worried about losing its delivery drivers to competitors like Panera. But it's not taking any chances.

The pizza chain, which has been at the forefront of digital ordering and delivery, is confident that its drivers will stick with the chain despite thousands of job openings as other restaurants add delivery.

"But for those drivers who are listening to this call, my pitch is: you're going to be more consistently busy and receiving tips at Domino's than working somewhere else," Patrick Doyle, CEO of Domino's, said during an earnings call Thursday.

"And that is ultimately what keeps drivers happy, is that they're busy," he said. "And the more orders they are getting in an hour, the more tips they're getting in an hour, and that's ultimately what's going to make it a good earning proposition for them and they do really well with us. And so that's ultimately how we're able to compete."

Delivery has become a major priority for restaurants in the last year. If chains aren't utilizing third-party services like Uber, DoorDash or Postmates, among others, they are beginning to create their own fleet of drivers.

Panera announced Monday that it planned on hiring 10,000 new employees by the end of the year to expand its company-run delivery service. Some 75 percent of the new hires will be delivery drivers, according to Blaine Hurst, president Panera.

The sandwich chain will be using an Uber-style method to hire drivers and will compensate them for their mileage. In addition, Panera also created a new order tracking system that allows customers to see their meals' expected arrival time, a map of the driver's progress and a photograph of their driver.

Domino's Doyle said that the pizza chain has been "actively testing" its own GPS-tracker, but declined to comment further.

Shares of Domino's rose more than 3 percent after the company posted better-than-expected earnings Thursday, fueled by strong sales in the U.S. and higher revenue from franchisees.