Domino’s fourth-quarter results reported shy of Wall Street expectations, with same-store sales growing 3.8 percent at company-owned stores and 4.2 percent at franchised locations. Analysts called for 5.93 and 6 percent lifts, respectively. One possible detractor: the rise of delivery options—a category once fronted by the pizza chains and local Chinese joints of America.
But Domino’s wasn’t going to sit back for long. On Monday (April 16), the 14,000-plus unit chain (5,491 in the U.S.) announced its latest innovation in the accelerating delivery wars. And it involves more than 150,000 new locations to bring its product to guests nationwide.
Domino’s activated over 150,000 “Hotspots” that allow customers to receive delivery orders without a traditional address. In other words, if you don’t have a residence, or simply don’t want to go home, Domino’s will still deliver your order—to a park, sports field, beach, or thousands of other unexpected sites. WiFi, despite the name, isn’t part of the equation.
The local Domino’s picked these “Hotspots” where drivers can meet customers curbside to hand off orders.
“We listened to customers and their need for pizza delivery to locations without a traditional address," Russell Weiner, president of Domino's USA, said in a statement. "We know that delivery is all about convenience, and Domino's Hotspots are an innovation that is all about flexible delivery options for customers."
“Hotspots” are available for guests who order online and through mobile apps. Once a customer’s location has been identified, Domino’s “Hotspots” will appear on a map for customers to choose from. Also, before checking out, customers can leave instructions to help the driver find them.
After the order is complete, customers will receive text message alerts about their order’s progress, including a final text that gives the estimated arrival of the driver at the hand-off spot.
"Now customers spending time at some of our new Domino's Hotspots locations, like Tommy Lasorda Field of Dreams in Los Angeles or even next to the James Brown statue in Augusta, Georgia, can have a pizza conveniently delivered to them, thanks to our innovative Domino's Delivery Hotspots," Weiner added.
While this service targets guests without traditional addresses, it also opens the door for Domino’s to play a role in a different segment of consumer’s lives. For example, “Who wants to go home and order pizza?” can now become, “Let’s have 10 pizzas ordered to the stadium parking lot for the tailgate.”
Domino’s told Reuters that it has no immediate plans to hire additional drivers, and that about 60 percent of its orders are digital and Domino’s delivers about 65 percent of overall orders. Reuters also pointed out that strategy firm Pentallect Inc expects the third-party food delivery industry's sales to grow from $13 billion in 2017 to $24.5 billion by 2022.
Domino’s has posted 27 consecutive quarters of positive domestic same-store sales growth and 96 straight quarters of international gains.In January, Domino’s announced that CEO J. Patrick Doyle was leaving the company.
Weiner is stepping into a newly created role of chief operating officer of Domino’s and president of the Americas, effective July 1. Richard Allison, president of Domino’s International, is succeeding Doyle as CEO.