Domino’s Pizza is predicting sustained growth on the back of excellent figures announced today, but is it possible that chief executive Chris Moore had his “Ratner” moment when he informed us that there was a double-dip jump in demand for its deliveries last night compared with Valentine’s Day in 2010?
Clearly in a good mood, Moore dared to suggest that “some people might say it’s a sad indictment of the average British male.” Yes Chris, many people might say it but surely not the boss of the company that’s doing so well out of the nation’s less than romantic suitors.
Many years ago sales at the Ratners jewellery stores chain fell through the floor after Gerald Ratner told a conference that some of his earrings were “cheaper than an M & S prawn sandwich but probably wouldn’t last as long.”
After the speech the value of the group fell by £500 million and Ratner’s career in the jewellery trade was over. Moore’s gaffe is less extreme but most chief execs these days know that you disparage your customers at their peril.
Nevertheless Moore can for the time being bask in a 27 per cent leap in pre-tax profits to £38 million in 2010.
However many people, from the Government to the unemployed, will be hoping that Moore’s remarks will soon be forgotten. The chain created 1700 jobs last year and, with an expected 60 stores opening in 2011, it hopes to increase that figure to 2000 this year.
According to Moore the Royal Wedding will help, with people sitting at home for nine days “watching the telly.” He’ll be hoping they won’t all be switching to Burger King or MacDonalds.