'Carryout tips': Domino's offers $3 for customers to pick up pizza

Domino’s wants to turn the tables and tip customers to pick up their pizza instead of opting for delivery.

The company announced $3 "carryout tips" Monday in a news release. Online carryout customers will be eligible to receive a $3 coupon for a future carryout order placed in the following week. The minimum purchase is $5 before tax and gratuity.

The program will run until May 22. The tip could also be combined with other carryout offers, according to the company.

"Domino's carryout tips come just in time for the biggest football game of the year, which is also one of the busiest days of the year for pizza," Art D'Elia, Domino's executive president – chief marketing officer, said.

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The company didn’t elaborate on why it’s choosing to "tip" online customers but has reported a driver shortage in the past. 

In October 2021, Domino’s Pizza cited an ongoing nationwide labor shortage as a key obstacle after the company posted its first quarterly sales decline in more than a decade.

Company executives said the labor crunch resulted in reduced operating hours and longer delivery times at some of its store locations. The worker shortage affected Domino’s operations at a time of increased competition as other restaurants return to normal operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company has improved its application process for job candidates, shared "operational best practices" with store locations to cut down on time-consuming tasks and is exploring ways to streamline deliveries.

Other businesses have scaled by delivery services including Darden Restaurants Inc., Cheesecake Factory Inc., Dine Brands Global Inc. and First Watch Restaurant Group Inc., according to the Wall Street Journal

RELATED: Local restaurants, bars still struggling to find workers

DoorDash earlier last year added a feature that automatically turns off delivery when a restaurant reaches its in-store dining limit, the news outlet also reported.

The restaurant industry took a hit with the rapid spread of the omicron variant. In a 2021 survey of 3,000 U.S. restaurant operators, 77% said they didn’t have enough workers to meet demand, according to the National Restaurant Association, an industry trade group.

U.S. sales at restaurants and bars hit an estimated $73.7 billion in November, up 37% from the same month last year, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Census Bureau. But that was partly due to higher menu prices as restaurants try to account for inflation.

Restaurants also are clamoring for government support in the U.S., where the Restaurant Revitalization Fund ran dry earlier this year after dispersing $28.6 billion to 100,000 applicants. The Independent Restaurant Coalition penned an open letter to Congress asking to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which provided $28.6 billion in relief for more than 100,000 restaurants. However, the IRC said 177,000 applicants are still waiting for funding.

FOX Business and the Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.