Domino's (NYSE:DPZ) can arguably be considered a technology company that happens to be in the pizza business. The chain has worked very hard to make it convenient to order food for its customers. That has involved developing a best-in-class app that includes the company's order tracker, a way for consumers to track the progress of their pizza. This technology allows users to see when their food gets made, when it leaves the store, and roughly when it will arrive.
Now Domino's wants its customers to be able to track their orders with even more precision. To make that happen, it's testing a GPS-based feature with which consumers can follow their drivers to know exactly when their food will arrive.
What is Domino's doing?
Over the past few years, Domino's has mixed real innovation with silly gimmicks: The company has refined its app to streamline its ordering prices, and it has tried silly things like using reindeer to deliver pizzas. This latest effort, which is being tested in 27 company-owned stores, will let customers follow their drivers via GPS through the Domino's app or website.
People using this technology will receive estimated delivery times and access to a map showing where their drivers are. They will also have the option to receive SMS notifications (text messages) that tell them when their orders are about two minutes away from being delivered.
The technology also allows a driver to call a customer with a single touch in case there's a question about the delivery. Store managers can also use the tracking feature to see where all there drivers are in order to operate more efficiently.
"We're excited to offer this feature to our customers," said Domino's Chief Digital Officer Dennis Maloney in a press release. "Transparency on orders that are out on the road makes a big difference to customers, as well as drivers and store managers. With GPS tracking everyone can have the best possible delivery experience."
Is this needed?
The current Domino's Order Tracker lets consumers have a pretty good idea when their pizzas will arrive. This GPS technology takes that to the next level, and offers precision for people who want to know exactly where their pizzas are.
That's not something consumers are demanding, though. The difference between knowing roughly when your order will arrive and knowing the exact minute just isn't that important.
But not being something people need does not mean this is a bad idea. People will like being able to see exactly when their food will show up. It's a bit of a gimmick, but it's also convenient -- a technology people weren't clamoring for but will like once they get it.
Domino's is continuing to push the bar forward. The company innovates and delivers technology that its rivals have likely never even considered. That helps the chain remain the convenient choice for consumers, and that has helped it deliver 32 straight quarters of domestic same-store sales growth, and an astounding 101 straight quarters of global same-store increases.