While Domino’s may be in the red over buying back its own stock in Australia, the company has dropped some serious dough when it comes to delivery which is positioning it as a technology leader that just happens to sell pizzas.
Domino’s and Ford have teamed up – they are cruising down the streets of Miami Beach to deliver pizzas, but one thing is missing – the driver.
Domino’s is now conducting a second round of self-driving delivery vehicle testing, with a focus on the customer experience. The two-month test in Miami with will leverage the learnings of its first round of testing (undertook six months ago), but will add the element of delivery in a larger, urban setting.
“Our first round of testing the customer experience in Ann Arbor provided some great learnings and insights, including the fact that there are customers who are interested in this as a delivery option,” says Kevin Vasconi, executive vice president and chief information officer of Domino’s.
“Our testing is focused on the last 50 feet of the customer experience, between the front door and the car. While we work to refine that interaction, we also need to understand how operating this type of delivery in a more densely populated city will impact the customer experience and the specific delivery challenges it might present.”
For this test, a Ford Fusion Hybrid vehicle – manually driven but outfitted to look like a self-driving vehicle – will take deliveries from a Miami Domino’s store to customers who have ordered online and chosen to participate in the test. Participating customers will be able to track the vehicle via GPS and will receive text messages as the self-driving vehicle approaches. The texts will also provide them with simple instructions on how to unlock the Domino’s Heatwave Compartment™ inside the vehicle using a PIN code.
“We’re a brand that believes in innovation, continuous improvement and rigorous testing to benefit our customers,” said Vasconi. “As the automotive world evolves towards self-driving vehicles, we hope to put ourselves in a leading position by bringing our customers the delivery option that best meets their needs, now and in the future.”
Founded in 1960, Domino’s Pizza is the largest pizza company in the world based on retail sales, with a significant business in both delivery and carryout pizza. It ranks among the world’s top public restaurant brands with a global enterprise of more than 14,800 stores in over 85 markets.
In late 2017, as part of an industry-first collaboration with Ford Motor Company, Domino’s began a meaningful test of delivery using self-driving vehicles.