TORONTO — Digital innovation and international expansion are two of the ways Patrick Doyle, former chief executive officer of Domino’s Pizza, could spark growth at Restaurant Brands International, Inc., said José E. Cil, RBI’s CEO.
Mr. Doyle in November was appointed executive chairman of Toronto-based RBI, the parent company of Burger King, Popeyes, Tim Hortons and Firehouse Subs. While he led Domino’s Pizza as CEO from 2010-18, systemwide sales grew to $13 billion from $5.6 billion.
“Patrick built an amazing playbook at Domino’s and executed it for many years,” Mr. Cil said Dec. 6 at the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer and Retail Conference. “A lot of those thoughts and ideas and examples we looked at as we built our plans over the last several years. So I think the combination of us being able to work with him and learn from his experiences over decades at Domino’s and his opportunity to be part of the fast growth journey that we have, I think, is a really good marriage.”
Mr. Cil added, “I expect him to be very helpful for us in terms of clarifying our vision and our dream for the company, looking at specific plans, especially around digital, especially around franchise success and helping us accelerate growth domestically as well as internationally.”
Mr. Cil in his presentation gave updates on Burger King and Tim Hortons.
Burger King began a “reclaim the fame” plan in September that includes investing $400 million over the next two years with $150 million going to advertising and digital investments and $250 million going to restaurant technology, kitchen equipment, building equipment, and remodels and relocations.
Mr. Cil further broke down the investments.
“So we added 50% more folks into the field to be able to support our franchisees, both in terms of franchise success and also training and making sure that they have the resources necessary to focus on what they needed to focus on, which is running good restaurants,” he said.
Investments included a $120 million commitment to support the advertising fund, $30 million related to digital investments, $200 million for long-term remodels and $50 million for refreshing stores, which involves digital improvements in stores, technology improvements and restaurant technology.
The urban/downtown corridor business of Tim Hortons Canada is still rebounding from the effects of COVID-19. A year ago the business was down 40% from 2019, Mr. Cil said.
“And now we were down in the last quarter, down 5% in terms of same-store sales comparison to 2019 in those downtown corridor stores,” he said. “So we have seen progress.”