Domino’s Pizza is reaping the benefits of the economic downturn to ring up an increase in like-for-like sales of nearly 9% for the last three months.

But while a spate of expansion at the UK's largest pizza company pushed total sales up by close to 18% over the period to £83.3m, chief executive Chris Moore attributed the performance to consumers' reluctance to cook as much as the credit crunch.

“A lot of people are staying at home instead of going out,” Moore told The Guardian, “but they have not developed an immediate desire to cook, so they are ordering in. As soon as you have to buy the pizza, take it home, put it in the freezer, take it out of the freezer and put it in the oven people see that as cooking. Whereas within 23 minutes you can have a pizza delivered. What it all comes down to is convenience.”

Like-for-like sales are up by 10.5% for the last three quarters, meanwhile, with Moore suggesting the surest sign of the economic turmoil had been an upturn in demand for potato wedges.

“In the last recession the supermarkets reported a rise in sales of rice and potatoes and this time around we have seen sales of our potato wedges rise,” he said, “so there is a bit of history repeating itself, at least with consumer demand for starchy foods.”