In a recent Harvard Business Review article about the astounding reinvention and success of the Domino’s, their CEO, Patrick Doyle, was quoted as saying “we are as much a tech company as we are a pizza company.” I can confirm their tech chops after meeting with some of the technical and marketing leadership at CES a couple years ago.
At that meeting, we were discussing the launch of the new “Dom” virtual assistant that Nuance built for them. It was pretty clear that they looked at pizza ordering like any kind of complex e-commerce conversion problem. When you have a bunch of different variables to configure your pizza, you quickly get to a complex configurator challenge. Using a natural language voice assistant collapsed the ordering process for their online system and dramatically grew the number of online pizza orders processed.
It must be pretty easy to recruit young engineers to work in technology at Domino’s – just put a bunch of pizzas out in the common areas at the computer science department of your local college – it works like catnip.