Mega pizza chain Domino’s today launched yet-another way for mobile order customers to retrieve their pies. “Domino’s Carside Delivery” is now available across the U.S., according to a company press release.
The carside delivery option functions just as you would expect. It works only for those ordering via the Domino’s mobile app, right now between the hours of 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. Customers order and pay for their pizza, and also give their vehicle color, make, and model, which Domino’s will use to identify them when they arrive at the store. Customers also note where they want the order placed: trunk, back seat, etc. Upon arriving, they can hit the “I’m here” button on the Domino’s Tracker app and a staff will bring their pizza out.
“It’s carryout, delivered,” Dennis Maloney, Domino’s senior vice president and chief innovation officer, said in today’s press release.
But could it be simpler? Over in the grocery sector, major retailers like Safeway and Walmart have seen demand for their versions of carside pickup spike during the pandemic. My colleague Chris Albrecht has tried a bunch of them and found that Walmart’s is the fastest and simplest because of the geofencing technology the company adds to the pickup process. There is no number to call, no “I’m here” button to hit. Walmart’s system simply knows when you’ve arrived and alerts the staff so they can bring out your groceries.
Panera has also implemented geofencing for its curbside pickup process, which suggests there’s a future for it in the restaurant industry, especially with dining rooms closing again and off-premises still being the major lifeline for business.
One of the perks of geofencing technology is that restaurants (or grocers) can move more customers through faster. For Domino’s, that would translate into selling more pies. It could also help the chain better predict demand because geofencing would give it access to data that says how far people are traveling to get to the store, how long it takes them, etc.
Domino’s made no mention of geofencing tech in today’s announcement, but it would not be surprising to see the chain adopt it in the future to remove an extra step — the “I’m here” button — from the curbside process.
Ok so having to hit an “I’m here” button is not an actual problem to have in the grand scheme of things, which is to say, I doubt it will hinder customers from ordering carside via Domino’s. But the quest for simplicity in the curbside/carside pickup process grows every more important for restaurants, and before any technology around it gets standardized, we’ll see many different features claiming to be the simplest solution out there.