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Oct. 14 (Reuters) – Domino’s Pizza Inc reported a surprise drop in comparable store sales in the United States on Thursday, signaling a larger-than-expected slowdown in demand for deliveries as consumers moved away from their ordering habits of food in the event of a pandemic.

Shares of the Michigan-based company were down 6% pre-market after posting a 1.9% drop in same-store sales at its U.S. restaurants in the current quarter, against estimates of an increase of 1. , 89%, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Its comparable store sales in the United States had jumped 17.5% a year earlier.

As COVID-19 slows, Americans, who have spent the last year ordering, have started eating out, slowing sales at Domino’s, which derives most of its business from delivery and take-out orders.

In addition to its woes, a severe labor shortage in the United States has also threatened fast food chain businesses, as a shortage of workers could push restaurants to limit operating hours or capacity.

The company’s total revenue reached $ 998 million in the third quarter, up from $ 967.7 million a year earlier. Analysts had estimated revenue at $ 1.04 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES. (Reporting by Deborah Sophia in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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