Despite the turbulence of 2023, we still managed to hit a record-breaking $990 million in sales, open 134 new locations, surpassing the 1000-pizzeria milestone and expanding to the UAE, Türkiye, Armenia, and Cyprus.
As of January 1, 2024, Alena Tikhova took on the role of CEO of Dodo Brands. At the Dodo Future Week opening, Alena shared plans for 2024 and the upcoming years.
“If asked to describe briefly what we’ll be doing in 2024, I would say we will be building the foundation of a global company.”
This foundation will be based on two indicators: We aim to have 50% of our revenue outside of the domestic market and 50% beyond pizza. We want to convey that we are not just a single-brand company but are capable of creating successful QSR digital franchises.
We are budgeting increased spending to realise our ambitious goals with planned EBITDA decrease in 2024-25. There are no plans to take on debt or raise capital.
How will we build the foundation of a global company? I like to think of it as a working mechanism.
At the core of our strategy is Dodo Pizza Eurasia as the largest and most profitable unit, currently showing the best financial performance. Around the main wheel are three smaller ones: Dubai, Türkiye, and Drinkit.
If we add too many wheels here, it makes the mechanism too big and unreliable. Therefore, for the next 2-3 years, we need to focus on building with care and precision.
⚙️ About Dubai: Currently, we have one pizzeria open. The flagship Dodo Pizza, Drinkit, and the Kids Pizza Academy are under construction.
Why did we choose Dubai? Dubai is a competitive market but on a smaller scale. It has all our competitors, so, if we can become noticeable in this market despite the competition, it will be our ticket to a next-level league.
We’re headquarter in Dubai, so we are building our own pizzerias. Additionally, in Dubai, nine partners are joining, simultaneously constructing pizzerias in their sectors. Thus, we plan to cover Dubai fully within two years.
To stand out among competitors, we’ve come up with some unique features. One of them is the Kids Pizza Academy, where we will teach children of all ages to make pizza. We are also placing a significant emphasis on an incredibly captivating app that will offer various activities for our users.
It’s worth noting that, starting this year, we will become a design-centered company. Design for us is a promise of happiness. If a person sees aesthetically correct and beautiful things, they immediately think that positive and happy things will follow.
⚙️ The second wheel of our strategy—Türkiye.
We are making a huge bet on Türkiye because we see it as the first major challenge we, as a company, have never faced before. It’s a large country with all competitors present, and if we make a breakthrough here, replicating our results in similar markets won’t be a challenge.
Currently, we have three franchisees in Türkiye, representing three development centers—Antalya, Izmir, and Mersin. We have to open 200 restaurants to surpass Domino’s in Türkiye.
Timing is everything in this game. We’ve got to break through in this market in the next few years. That’s why we’re leaving no stone unturned, exploring all opportunities, and even tossing around the idea of mergers and acquisitions—a first in our brand’s history.
For this plan to succeed, we must change our thinking: If earlier we looked at the number of countries we were represented in, now we must think about how to become leaders in each country where we operate.
⚙️ The third wheel—Drinkit.
This project is bursting with potential. Unlike the pizza business, coffee shops don’t require a widespread presence to hit it big. Drinkit can flourish in any country where people enjoy coffee and use smartphones—just one spot can make it thrive.
So, we’ve set our sights on the United States for this venture. Imagine 30,000 to 50,000 locations—that’s the kind of expansion Drinkit could achieve.
By 2024, we’re turning Drinkit into a full-day cafe, starting with a brand-new concept in Bali. Picture this: serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, creating a trendy hangout spot where you can spend your entire day.
Looking ahead, we’re optimistic that within the next 5-7 years, Drinkit alone could hit a staggering $1 billion in capitalization.
⚙️ Talking about the Eurasian market, our goal is to become a people’s brand. We’re aiming for Dodo Pizza to be the go-to pizza choice in every city across Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus.
In addition, this year we will create a pizzeria of the future, where we will bring together all the latest developments in restaurant equipment and automation.
To put it in perspective, I like to think of our future journey as a game of American football. Right now, we’re playing at the college level. If we can nail it in tricky markets like Dubai and Türkiye, and if Drinkit takes off, we’re making the leap from the college league to the real NFL.
I also believe we should update our capitalization goals—3 billion over the next 5-7 years after we lay the foundation. I don’t see anything standing in our way.
It is, indeed, just the beginning!"