Domino's lets AI assistant 'Dom' handle incoming phone orders
- Domino's is testing a voice recognition feature to automate pizza orders made over the phone. The voice-ordering system, "Dom," can take orders and help customers check their order status using an incoming phone number to identify the specific order, acting as a version of the chain's online pizza tracker, according to a company press release.
- Dom originally debuted as a voice recognition app in 2014 and is now being tested on the phones of 20 U.S. stores, with plans to expand to additional locations in the coming months.
- J. Patrick Doyle, Domino's president and CEO, said the company aims to one day be "100% digital" with additional ordering and in-store technology.
Fast-food restaurants are working to provide experiences through mobile and digital channels to meet customer preferences and differentiate themselves from competitors in the crowded fast-food ecosystem. Domino's has long-term ambitions of being a leader in the fast-food chain world by weaving emerging tech into its daily operations, and the introduction of Dom to automate phone orders is another step toward that goal.
A key promise of AI is to boost the accuracy of food ordering, especially as human employees juggle several tasks or face an onslaught of calls, by freeing employees to focus on making pizzas and other aspects of the business. Considering that pizza orders are highly customizable, the chances of errors multiply. By potentially cutting down on errors through the use of technology, restaurants like Domino's could improve customer satisfaction, reduce costs and make their employees more efficient on the job.
Marketers are exploring the opportunities that come with voice technology, as voice is perceived by some consumers as a more natural way to place orders, make lists or complete other tasks hands-free. The growing popularity of virtual assistants like Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant points to the potential that voice tech could have for companies looking to streamline operations like placing orders and checking order statuses, especially for those like Domino's that already see 65% of U.S. sales take place on digital platforms, including online and mobile.
The testing of Dom and scheduled rollout comes as the company continues to invest in various mobile technologies to improve customer service and differentiate itself from competitors in the crowded fast-food space. Last week, the chain announced plans to offer delivery to 150,000 hotspots, or designated points for locations that don't have a traditional address, such as parks, sports fields and beaches, making it difficult to coordinate deliveries. Earlier this month, Domino's released a mobile game to highlight how people can order via phone, online or in store and let loyalty customers win points that can be redeemed for free food.
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