Domino's Pizza now delivers to 150,000 locations that don’t have a traditional address, such as parks, sports fields and beaches. The pizza chain enlisted the help of its more than 5,200 restaurants in the U.S. to select Domino's Hotspots, where drivers can meet customers curbside to hand off orders, per a statement.
Domino's Hotspots are online-only for prepaid orders on dominos.com and in mobile apps. Once a customer's location has been determined, local Domino's Hotspots that are available for delivery will appear on a map for customers to select. Before checking out, customers can leave instructions to help the driver find them. Text messages will alert customers to the status of their delivery.
After completing an order, customers receive text message alerts about their Domino's Hotspot delivery progress, including a final text that gives the estimated arrival of the driver at the hand-off spot. Customers can find hotspot locations by checking out the locator page at dominos.com.
Mobile ordering is heating up as an important strategy for reaching smartphone-savvy consumers in search of convenience, with the Domino's news the latest indication from the chain that it is investing in being a leader in the space. Other QSRs are also ramping up mobile-driven conveniences, including Little Caesars' Pizza Portal and voice ordering from Dunkin' Donuts.
Launching hotspots is a clever way for Domino's to leverage mobile location technology to capture on-the-go ordering. Domino’s introduction of hotspots is notable not only for designating specific locations for outdoor delivery, but also for its complete reliance on mobile and online ordering. As anyone who has ever ordered pizza to an outdoor location knows, explaining the meetup spot to a dispatcher who then hands off the directions to a delivery person can be a source of confusion and wasted time. The company first tested the hotspot idea in Miami starting last year, per Today.
Domino’s has embraced mobile technology in a variety of ways in the past decade, including the introduction of its “pizza tracker” service in 2008. That technology let customers follow the progress of their order online between the time of an order and the delivery, per Hospitality Tech. Domino’s this year started testing self-driving delivery service in Miami in a pilot program with Ford Motor that also included Postmates. Domino’s first started testing self-driving pizza delivery in Ann Arbor, MI, in late August.
Domino's this month released a mobile game to let loyalty customers win points that can be redeemed for free food. The "Piece of the Pie Pursuit" mobile game puts players in the center of a Domino's TV commercial highlighting how people can order Domino's by phone, online or in store. Domino's introduced the Piece of the Pie Rewards program in 2015 and two years later expanded it to include points for orders placed anywhere the chain offers ordering capabilities.