• Domino's to invest $9 million in '03 in Mexico expansion

MEXICO CITY -- Domino's Pizza will invest 100 million pesos (U.S. $9 million) in the expansion of stores operated by its Mexico master franchisee, Alsea, in 2003.

In a release, Alsea general director Armando Torrado said the investment would assist the opening of nearly 50 stores, and help pay for remodeling of stores, and the relocation of some delivery motorcycles.

Torrado said 20 percent of the new stores would be located in Mexico's Federal District, while the remaining 80 percent will be built in the country's provinces.

The opening of new restaurants will generate 1,300 jobs paying a range of 80 pesos (U.S. $7.20) to 950 pesos (U.S. $85.48) per day, plus bonuses.

Torrado said Domino's has invested 20 million pesos (U.S. $1.8 million) in the production of high-tech pizza boxes that maintain a pizza temperature of 70 C (158 F) during delivery.

He also said that in July Domino's Mexican stores will launch a joint promotion with Coca-Cola.

* In related Domino's news, the company announced the appointments of Dennis Hightower and Robert Ruggiero to its board of directors.

According to a release, Hightower, 60, is a retired executive with more than 30 years of strategic management consulting, operational planning, strategic planning, finance, and international general management experience. Most recently, he was chief executive officer of Europe Online Networks S.A., an interactive entertainment company based in Luxembourg.

Robert Ruggiero, 43, is a Partner with JP Morgan Partners, LLC in New York. From 1996 through 2002, his area of focus for JP Morgan Partners was private equity investing in Latin America.

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