- Domino's has partnered with artificial intelligence company Datatron to automate and standardize the deployment, monitoring, management, governance and validation of the chain's artificial intelligence models, according to a press release. Datatron will help the chain improve its in-store operations, generate revenue and improve the customer experience.
- The Datatron integration also allows Domino's to forecast in-store labor, streamline delivery vehicle routes for efficiency and better identify real estate locations for new stores.
- The rollout is expected to not only provide Domino's with labor efficiencies in its stores, but also at the corporate level. The press release notes that Datatron reduces efforts required by data scientists and IT resources, for example.
This partnership suggests the chain is relying more heavily on AI and machine learning systems to improve its system.
"Machine learning models can provide significant value to an organization in several business applications, but without a solid [machine learning] operations pipeline, that value cannot be truly realized," Zack Fragoso, manager, data science and AI at Domino's, said in the release.
The chain began testing AI in 2018 with an Alexa-like voice recognition application called DOM. In 2019, Domino's began piloting Dragontail Systems' AI technology at its Australian and New Zealand locations to scan each pizza and ensure they measured up to quality standards. The pilot was expanded after improving quality scores by 15% in its first month.
The chain also deployed AI technology across its Malaysia and Singapore division to automate delivery operations and consolidate operations. Further, during its most recent Q4 earnings call, CEO Ritch Allison said the chain has added AI-enabled forecasting alongside GPS driver tracking, enhanced makeline and cutting technologies to "better match demand with capacity in our stores."
"These innovations are all designed to increase speed, accuracy and efficiency, allowing us to continue to better serve our customers," he said.
As all these technologies are deployed disparately across a system as big as Domino's, it's important to streamline them to optimize management weigh viability to scale. Such a streamline is particularly critical now. While Domino's has been ahead of the curve on this technology, its rivals are catching up. Pizza Hut parent Yum Brands recently announced the acquisition of AI company Kvantum to improve consumer insights, for example. Pizza Hut U.K. also started using an AI-powered data analytics solution in 2020.
Meanwhile, Papa John's in November added kea's Indecisive AI to its system, which helps the chain better manage phone calls, easing some labor pressure.
On Domino's Q4 call, Allison said the company will continue to invest in technology to both drive efficiencies in store and improve its corporate team's ability to support the business. The company will likely be able to maintain a technology advantage through both those investments and through its fledgling Innovation Garage, which is focused specifically on advantageous technology innovations.