Domino’s, the chain that delivers more than 1.5 million pizzas a day, lets mobile users track the progress of their orders in real time, even showing the name of each employee handling the pie. But some customers are questioning the veracity of that information, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Domino’s customers told the newspaper they encountered a variety of inaccuracies in the pizza-tracking app, including wrong information about driver names, order location, quality control and delivery status. Domino’s “truthers” have taken to Twitter to criticize the tracker for saying a pizza was delivered when it wasn’t, had inaccurate pickup data or showed a pizza out for delivery for too long.
Domino’s declined to discuss specific complaints without having order data and store numbers to figure out what happened. A Domino’s spokesperson said driver names can get mixed up when deliveries are swapped. The pizza tracking app has worked for almost a decade on millions of orders, making anomalies unusual, the company said.
The experience of pizza chains like Domino's, Papa John's and Pizza Hut, who have all had the accuracy of their tracking apps questioned, offers a cautionary tale for other restaurants that are expanding their ability to take digital orders as mobile customers seek greater convenience. Chains like Starbucks have had to reconfigure their stores to make order pickup easier and less congested, The Wall Street Journal reported last month. Food ordering by mobile application, text message and the internet grew 18% in March from a year earlier as consumers sought greater convenience by eating at home rather than at a restaurant, according to market researcher NPD Group. The trend is spurring restaurants to build or improve their apps.
Domino’s delivers hundreds of millions of pizzas a year, which means even a small percentage of inaccuracies in its pizza tracking app can appear outsized. Domino’s first offered the tracker online in 2008 and added the feature to its Apple app in 2011. Its mobile app has 4.8 stars out of five in Apple’s app store, with about 480,000 ratings, which would seem to indicate that most customers are pleased with the service.
Domino’s isn’t the only pizza chain whose tracker data have been questioned. Papa John’s added a pizza tracker in March, followed by Pizza Hut in May. Customer tweets suggest those chains also provide inaccurate tracker data, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Meanwhile, pizza sales have come under pressure this year, with Papa John's CEO John Schnatter this month blaming the shrinking NFL audience for a decline in orders. The company later apologized for his criticism of the NFL's handling of players' national anthem protests. The politicization of the game was partly blamed for boycotts of the NFL.