Domino's and Other Chains Surge on Virus-Driven Takeout Demand

Domino's shares are climbing after the pizza chain said it needed to hire about 10,000 workers to meet demand for takeout and delivery in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Domino's  (DPZ) - Get Report shares were higher after the pizza chain said it needed to hire about 10,000 workers to respond to the demand for takeout orders driven by the coronavirus pandemic. 

"While many local, state, and federal rules are closing dine-in restaurants, the opportunity to keep feeding our neighbors through delivery and carryout means that a small sense of normalcy is still available to everyone," Chief Executive Richard Allison said in a statement. 

"Our corporate and franchise stores want to make sure they're not only feeding people, but also providing opportunity to those looking for work at this time, especially those in the heavily impacted restaurant industry."

The Ann Arbor, Mich., company said that open store positions generally include delivery experts, pizza makers, customer-service representatives, managers and assistant managers.

More than 40 states, including California and New York, have limited bars and restaurants to delivery-only services, leading to a financial loss expected to total $225 billion over the next three months and the loss of an estimated 5 million to 7 million jobs, according to the National Restaurant Association. 

The trade group has urged the federal government to create a $145 billion rescue fund.

Foot traffic to casual dining chains declined 11% nationally from Feb. 19 to March 13, according to analytics company Foursquare. 

However, fast-food chains appear to be benefiting from the restrictions.

At last check Domino's shares were 12% higher at $324.31.

Shares of Papa John's International  (PZZA) - Get Report were surging 39% to $49.44. Last month during a conference call with analysts, Robert  Lynch, president, CEO and director, said "we do not currently anticipate a material impact to our earnings from coronavirus."

McDonald's  (MCD) - Get Report was up 12% to $153.91 as the hamburger chain said it was turning its U.S. company-owned restaurants into take-out only establishments and it would "shift our focus to serving customers through drive-thru, walk-in-take-out and McDelivery,” 

Wendy's  (WEN) - Get Report was surging 36% to $10.17 and Yum Brands  (YUM) - Get Report, which owns KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, was up 9.1% to $66.21. KFC said it would shift to only takeout, drive-thru, pickup and delivery service.