- Domino's Pizza has rolled out an iOS app on Apple CarPlay that gives consumers the ability to order a meal from their car, according to a press release.
- The app allows consumers to Tap to Order, which submits a saved or recent order, or Call to Order, which allows for a hands-free call with a customer service representative.
- Domino's is presenting the CarPlay integration as an alternative to waiting in drive-thru lines at other QSR chains, and arrives as it attempts to boost sales after a quarter that disappointed investors.
Domino's has long billed itself as an "e-commerce company that sells pizza," and its latest ordering innovation speaks to that mindset. By integrating with Apple CarPlay, the pizza chain can capture a portion of the rapidly growing in-car commerce market as more consumers drive connected cars and use their functionality during their commutes.
The pizza chain is pitching the CarPlay integration — one of the first QSR brands in the U.S. to do so, according to the release — as a differentiator from its competitors that rely on drive-thru ordering.
"We know how frustrating it can be to wait in a drive-thru line just to place an order. Domino's app on CarPlay is a great alternative to that, as customers still have the convenience of staying in their car, and can place an order from wherever they are, without waiting in a long drive-thru," said Christopher Thomas-Moore, Domino's senior vice president and chief digital officer, in the press release.
The Domino's-CarPlay integration is the latest in a line of innovations around ordering and delivery from the brand, from its oft-imitated Pizza Tracker to its mobile-focused Hotspots to a "mind ordering” app that was part of a partnership with Netflix hit "Stranger Things."
The launch also comes after Domino's most recent earnings report disappointed investors, with U.S. same-store sales growth of just 0.9% for the fourth quarter and a 0.8% decline for fiscal 2022. CEO Russell Weiner described Domino's as a "work-in-progress brand" in a press release about the earnings report.
"We experienced significant pressure on our U.S. delivery business in 2022 and focused our efforts on creating solutions," Weiner said. "Over half of our orders in the U.S. now come through the carryout channel, and we are #1 in both the delivery and carryout QSR pizza segments. Our brand and company are better positioned than ever to win in the marketplace and create meaningful value for our shareholders."
Carryout orders often drive larger tickets at a lower cost than delivery since customers are fulfilling the order collection themselves, former CEO Ritch Allison said on an earnings call last year, meaning the CarPlay feature could help bolster sales.
Carryout same-store sales rose 31% in Q4 2022 compared to Q4 2019. By contrast, delivery same-store sales fell by 6.6% compared to the same period three years ago, CFO Sandeep Reddy said on a February investor call.
“Our U.S. Carryout business is going from strength-to-strength, and our pizza QSR Carryout market share is up close to 200 basis points in 2022 and up close to 500 basis points since 2019,” Reddy said.