- Domino's launched Pie Pass on Monday, a technology that allows diners who order and pay online or via the Domino's app to skip the line when they pick up their pizza, according to a company release.
- To use the feature, customers can check in on the Domino's Tracker once they reach the parking lot, alerting employees to get their order ready. The pizza chain's in-store menu board will show the customer's name above the pickup area, where customers can grab their pizza and leave.
- "We know that carryout customers value speed and simplicity, and that is exactly what they'll receive with Pie Pass," Dennis Maloney, Domino's senior vice president and chief innovation officer, said in the release.
Domino's aggressive investments in delivery technology have made it a leader in off-premise restaurant innovation, but this latest solution reflects the industry's growing focus on pickup as a path to growth.
Ninety-five percent of diners report that having their order ready on time is the most important aspect of using in-store pickup, according to a Gartner report shared with Restaurant Dive. Prompting customers to check in on a mobile app is a savvy move, but Domino's is far from alone in launching this solution — more than 25% of restaurant apps require users to check in before collecting their order.
Still, if the system really does give Domino's employees enough lead time to have a customer's order ready and waiting beneath customized digital signage, this could deepen loyalty. This differentiation is crucial in the oversaturated, cut-throat pizza space, especially as traditional off-premise lines blur. Little Caesar's, a long-time pickup-only chain, has recently dipped its toe in the delivery game.
Pickup adoption grew to 18% last year compared to 75% in 2018 across apps, according to the Gartner report, and the National Restaurant Association reports it makes up 93% of the off-premise operations. This consumer behavior is spurring changes in third-party delivery platforms, as well. In January, Grubhub rolled out a tech suite called Ultimate for pickup orders. The feature is still in the pilot phase and is available at 100 restaurants in New York City and Chicago and integrates with Grubhub's website and app, customer displays with real-time order estimates, in-store self-ordering kiosks and a kitchen display.
Though Domino's faces pickup competition both within and outside of the pizza market — Chipotle's drive-thru mobile pickup "Chipotlanes" are a recent disruptor, and Taco Bell's pickup wait time averages less than two minutes — streamlining its pickup is a wise move. The chain hopes to earn $25 billion in sales by 2025, and while its driverless delivery experiments and AI-powered quality control pilot could prove lucrative in the future, this asset could immediately benefit performance.