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Domino’s upgrades store network ahead of more online orders and drone-delivered pizzas

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Image: Domino’s

Online orders accounted for nearly 80% of Domino’s total global sales during the 2022 half-year financial results — and the company only expects this number to grow further.

Domino’s, which operates in 10 markets globally, has signed a deal with Macquarie Telecom to roll out NBN, VoIP, and SD-WAN with 4G back-up services to more than 720 Domino’s stores across Australia to accommodate for the expected continued growth online.

“We want a telco infrastructure solution that’s going to be capable not just for now, with a large percentage of online sales … [but] will grow to the future, that will be reliable for up and downstream for data, and also smarter stores be it technology in-store or out of store that needs to return to base,” Domino’s group chief digital and experience officer Michael Gillespie told ZDNet.

The upgrade has been rolled out at 400 sites within five months, with the remaining 320 sites expected to be completed in the next four months.

The decision by Domino’s to upgrade its network is also ahead of potential plans by the pizza delivery company to bring drone deliveries to Australia.

“We’re not just investing for a telco solution now; we’re looking at the future. We obviously know with a clearer picture where we’re heading … and we’re validating that what we’re doing is allowing a more convenient store over time,” Gillespie said.

This year, the company said it will be relaunching trials in New Zealand in partnership with SkyDrop, formerly known as Flirtey. The pair first teamed up in 2016 and completed what they claimed was a world-first pizza drone delivery.

“Working with Flirtey, and now SkyDrop, we realised we practically could deliver [using drones] but the actual volume we could deliver in size of order, compared to what the consumers were ordering and moving to in New Zealand, there was a discrepancy,” Gillespie said.

“So, we needed to go back and say, okay, how can we work with them on a drone that can carry more and have a few other advances to get a higher commercial volume.

“We’ve let SkyDrop do what they do best and now they’ve returned with us to say we’re going to get back into trialling in New Zealand. That’s an exciting message and shows that what we’re doing in this space really is a focus, but we’re not going to do it without the opportunity of validating, ‘Can we get to scale?’.”

Gillespie believes that using drone deliveries would complement the company’s existing delivery services.

“Sometimes there is a volume of orders that just surpasses what we can even hire to do at the moment. Also, there’s a distance for some customers that we can’t [get to]; we’re all about getting hot, fresh pizza, so can we go further and reach locations which just don’t make sense for the driver to drive to or for the customer because it’ll be a diminished product that is not satisfactory, so robotic delivery comes into that,” he said.

Improving the company’s digital connectivity is also expected to underpin the company’s plans to introduce more technologies in-store, and upcoming revamp of its online ordering system that Gillespie described will be “slicker and faster”, featuring service enhancements relating to features such as its e-commerce shopping basket.

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