I went to college out in Western Massachusetts, in a town that didn’t exactly embrace the concept of “college town”. So, if you were looking for a snack after midnight, and you didn’t have a car to hit up the 24 hour McDonalds, you were limited to your friendly local Domino’s – open and delivering until 3AM. So, long story short, I’ve eaten enough Domino’s pizza for a life time. And it’s just never going to be my first choice in delivery pizza.
But when I was recently checking out the Netflix show “Ugly Delicious”, chef David Chang professed his love for an occasional Domino’s pizza. And I was SHOCKED. How. And why?
Which led me to discover that Domino’s stock is up 5000% since 2008. How? The company overhauled its recipe, culled failing franchisees, and “aggressively embraced digital technology to make ordering more efficient, customer friendly and maybe even cool.”
That tech boost has allowed customers to order Domino’s pizza and more off their revamped menu on their app, on their website, through Alexa, and on social media – I’m sure no one forgets their big campaign to “tweet pizza”. They have a website purely to show the many ways to order a Domino’s pizza:
How else is Domino’s using emerging tech?
Working to spread the reach of Domino’s, the company announced “Domino’s Hotspots”. An addition to the options of delivery and carry out, Hotspots will allow customers to choose a public spot to have their pizza deliver to including public beach parking lots, covered shelters at parks, golf courses, hospitals, and more. This not only allows you to get your pizza without leaving the beach, but creates an opportunity for those without a traditional address or one outside of the delivery radius, to access Domino’s pizza. (PS the Plex and the stadium are both Domino’s Hotspots!)
Domino’s has employed a camera to photograph your pizza as quality control and is using AI to determine if the pizza is up to snuff. It will analyze an even spread of ingredients, correct temperature, and if it looks like it is supposed to – based on data. The ultimate goal? Quality control and preventing lesser quality pies from going out the door. The AI is a check on the handmade pizza, and the photo of a rejected pizza is sent to the customer to explain why it was remade, and potentially, delayed. This innovation has sped up the quality check process while maintaining each pizza is handmade.
Oh, and let’s not forget your Domino’s Wedding Registry. I’ll leave it at that.
Dennis Maloney, Domino’s chief digital officer told USA Today “We used to be a pizza company that sells online, and we needed to become an e-commerce company that sells pizza”. I think that this is true for ALL companies. Technology might have only been one piece of the pie (pun intended) it was a big reason the company continues to grow and serve their customers as well as they can. With the rise of online platforms and apps to procure any possible food, Domino’s needs to make it easy to get pizza, and it needs to be the best product possible, or customers will go quickly elsewhere. I mean, unless they have to spend that “Married But Chill” gift card off the registry.
In a city like Boston, we have options. But has the ease of ordering made Domino’s a bigger option for everyone? Any Domino’s lovers? or haters? And with plenty of other companies migrating a lot of business online, is Domino’s reaaaally an E-commerce company that sells pizza?