Domino's is the major pizza chain with more than 15,000 locations worldwide in more than 85 countries. Approximately 5,750 of those stores are in the United States. The company has consistently blended product, tech, and marketing to create a near-perfect machine for delivering our favorite food as fast and as efficiently as possible. Its 45-year dash to the door is a master class in iterative innovation, and 2018 saw more advancements than in any given year. More than 60% of U.S. sales are now digital orders, helping the company achieve 30 straight quarters of same-store sales growth (as of the third quarter of 2018).
In 2018, Domino's added Hotspots, working with almost 800 franchisees and their thousands of delivery drivers to incorporate geo-fencing into its digital ordering process, which means that it can bring pizza to more than 200,000 outdoor locations such as your favorite park bench--without needing a numerical street address. Domino's then followed that up with "Paving For Pizza," a campaign in which the company asked Americans to nominate their town for pothole repairs, because smoother roads equal safer pizza. In what might be the first simultaneous brand success and scathing indictment of government infrastructure funding, users submit more than 137,000 nominations in 15,275 different zip codes. Domino’s paves one community in each state. Finally, in September, Domino's added Dinner Bell to its Pizza Tracker app so that it now lets people create groups within the app with friends and family to share their Pizza Tracker, alerting everyone when the pizza’s here.
These are the latest moves building upon efforts of the recent past to innovate around ordering and delivery. Easy ordering by voice app or pizza emoji? That’s so 2015. In April 2016, Domino’s one-upped itself with zero-click ordering. Simply preload your preferred order into its app and then open it to start a 10-second countdown, after which the send-food signal is automatically sent. That instant gratification of getting a caloric reward for doing nothing works across platforms. The company’s cloud-based AnyWhere enables ordering via TV (Samsung’s Smart TV) game console (PlayStation4), car (Ford’s Sync service), or bathtub (well, with Amazon Echo).
The result was $2 billion in digital sales annually, more than half of Domino’s delivery business. The company rolled out a fleet of electric delivery vehicles with curbside ovens to ensure freshness, along with a sleek delivery tracker. Globally, the mostly franchisee-owned pizza chain has 13,200 stores in more than 80 markets.
More innovations will probably arrive from non-U.S. markets, where publicly traded corporations are accumulating blocks of franchises and using their profits to test drone delivery, novel foods, and a real-time, GPS-enabled driver tracker. In the U.S., the company is also pushing for stores themselves to become more visible, placing franchises with open kitchens in upscale zones to defeat that old back-of-the-strip-mall image once and for all.