How much transparency is really necessary when it comes to ordering restaurant delivery? Not enough warrant fake staff preparing meals, we think. Just give us an accurate time when the pizza (or whatever) will arrive.
— Kristen Hawley
Connect with customers, speak to your fans, give your brand a voice — digital media is great for these things and has revolutionized the way that restaurants operate. Domino’s has been on the forefront of technology and logistics for some time, but now, according to some people — dubbed “app truthers” by a piece in the Wall Street Journal — the Domino’s app isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Specifically, the app attempts to personalize the pizza delivery experience by including the names of the people who make and deliver your pizza, as well as a live tracking app that purportedly shows said pizza on its way to you. The problem is, people are often finding that what the app is reporting isn’t actually what’s happening, from driver names to delivery times.
The WSJ piece puts it well, saying we’re “falling in love with all manner of logistics in the internet age.” It’s true. Your phone can track your friends, your ride, your Amazon order, even your other phone — and we’ve gotten very, very used to it.
The funny thing is, this is all very new technology. Domino’s debuted its mobile pizza tracker, specifically designed for the iPhone, in 2011. Pizza Hut and Papa John’s added similar functionality even more recently. But thanks to the changing pace of technology and the uberification of everything, consumers are super into this information — so much so that they feel duped when it’s not accurate. The end result doesn’t matter, either — in most cases, pizzas are delivered hot and ready to eat. A decade ago (five years ago, even!) this may have been good enough. It is no longer good enough as delivery-savvy consumers demand total transparency from food delivery apps.
The Grubhubs and UberEats of the world have contributed to this; order tracking is a big part of their ordering and delivery process. And anyone who has ordered an Uber knows the feeling of watching your car come to you. Is this enough to make people stop using the Domino’s app, or others like it? Probably not, but it is a signal to restaurants and larger groups that consumers expect transparency through every step of the process.