Domino's is the largest pizza restaurant chain in the world based on global retail sales, with more than 17,800 stores in over 90 markets. Founded in 1960, our roots are in convenient pizza delivery, while a significant amount of our sales also come from carryout customers. Although we are a highly-recognized global brand, we focus on serving the local neighborhoods in which we live and do business through our large network of franchise owners and Company-owned stores. On average, we sell more than 3 million pizzas each day throughout our global system.
Our business model is straightforward: we handcraft and serve quality food at a competitive price, with easy ordering access and efficient service which are aided by our technology innovations. Our dough is generally made fresh and distributed to stores around the world by us and our franchisees.
Domino's generates revenues and earnings by charging royalties to its franchisees. Royalties are ongoing percent-of-sales fees for use of the Domino's brand marks. The Company also generates revenues and earnings by selling food, equipment and supplies to franchisees primarily in the U.S. and Canada, and by operating a number of our own stores. Franchisees profit by selling pizza and other complementary items to their local customers. In our international markets, we generally grant geographical rights to the Domino's Pizza® brand to master franchisees. These master franchisees also profit by running pizza stores, and often by sub-franchising and selling ingredients and equipment to those sub-franchisees. Everyone in the system can benefit, including the end consumer, who can feed their family Domino's menu items conveniently and economically.
Our business model can yield strong returns for our franchise owners and Company-owned stores. It can also yield significant cash flow to us, through a consistent franchise royalty payment and supply chain revenue stream and with moderate capital expenditures. We have historically returned cash to shareholders through dividend payments and share buybacks since becoming a publicly traded company.