Domino’s is best known for delivery, but this week, the Ann Arbor, MI-based pizza chain has turned its attention to pickup orders. Yesterday, the company announced Pie Pass, a new feature that lets customers skip the line when they order a pizza for pickup online.
With Pie Pass, customers can place an order on the Domino’s mobile app, then check in via the Domino’s Tracker once they reach the store. Checking in alerts employees to ready the order. In the store, a digital board will display the customer’s name when the pie is ready for pickup, at which point an employee simply hands the order off to the customer.
Much of the discussion around off-premises orders these days centers on delivery. But pickup still represents the vast majority of those sales, and Domino’s is hardly the only restaurant-related company to introduce technology that makes the process faster for customers. The Pie Pass has some similarities with Little Caesars’ Pizza Portal, a heated, self-service pickup station where customers can grab orders placed online or via the Little Caesars mobile app.
Even straight-up delivery companies are paying attention to pickup. In January, Grubhub announced its own proprietary platform, Ultimate, dedicated to pickup orders. It, too, displays a customer’s name in the store, and provides updates on the status of their order.
It’s not surprising that Domino’s would develop its own in-house tech for pickup, rather than teaming up with Grubhub. More than once, the chain has made it clear it will not use third-party services like Grubhub or DoorDash. Domino’s CEO Ritch Allison said last year that he didn’t “see a need” for Domino’s to be on third-party platforms. “It’s not clear why I would want to give up our franchisees’ margin, or data in our business, and give it to someone who would ultimately use it against our business,” he said.
That line of thinking extends to pickup, as well, and it might just work. The Pie Pass system will ideally mean employees can more easily have a pizza ready as soon as a customer walks into the store. More customers would in turn be compelled to use the Domino’s mobile app to place their pickup orders, which would mean more brand loyalty for the chain, not to mention more customer data.