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With ‘Hotspots’ Launch, Domino’s Delivers to Parks, Beaches


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After gazing up at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, snag a slice of pepperoni pizza. Or nosh on some cheesy bread while walking around the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

With its announcement Monday of the launch of Domino’s Hotspots, the pizza chain will now deliver to more than 150,000 outdoor locations that don’t have a traditional addresses—parks, beaches, sports fields and landmarks such as the Las Vegas welcome sign or the Atlantic City boardwalk. Though customers in the past could ask Domino’s to deliver to unconventional locations, the new program sets specific “hotspot” drop-off points customers select using the location services on their smartphones. Domino’s Hotspots is only for prepaid orders; and customers can also include instructions to help the driver find them, and they’ll receive text message alerts of the delivery’s progress.

“We listened to customers and their need for pizza delivery to locations without a traditional address,” said Russell Weiner, president of Domino’s USA in a news release. “We know that delivery is all about convenience, and Domino's Hotspots are an innovation that is all about flexible delivery options for customers.”

Delivery is key to Domino’s business and so far the company isn’t engaging the services of third-party players such as DoorDash or Grubhub, instead choosing to invest in its own drivers and fleet, such as with its partnership with Ford to test autonomous car pizza delivery. In January at ICR’s annual conference, Domino’s CFO Jeff Lawrence had plenty to say about the delivery upstarts.

“It’s not working. The world is not San Francisco and New York,” said Lawrence. “The value proposition for the consumer doesn’t work right now. It’s certainly not working for the drivers.”

He said Domino’s is staying up to date and isn’t dismissive of the new players, but has seen no material impact. He said “economics will win” on the consumer and driver front.

“Drivers are not stupid. If you do it right, you can make two times these upstarts at Domino’s,” said Lawrence. “And that matters, you don’t have to tell a driver how that works. It’s a Grand Canyon-size gap in the economics, and I think economics will win the day. And I can promise we’ll invest like hell to maintain that advantage.”

This is all while other fast-food brands such as McDonald’s and KFC and Taco Bell partner with the likes of UberEats and Grubhub to expand delivery and online ordering.

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Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
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