Domino’s Pizza, the popular quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain, has introduced a new feature that integrates with Apple CarPlay to facilitate in-car ordering for its customers. The feature allows consumers to order pizza via the Domino’s app on their car’s console by simply tapping or calling. Christopher Thomas-Moore, Domino’s senior vice president and chief digital officer, explained that this feature was developed to reduce friction for curbside pickup orders, making it easier for customers to order from their vehicles and reducing the need to wait in long drive-thru lines.
The move is part of Domino’s efforts to direct customers away from delivery channels, which are more expensive for the company to fulfill, towards its more margin-friendly pickup channels. The brand has even started incentivizing customers who pick up their own orders by offering “tips”. Although voice ordering is not currently possible with this iteration of the CarPlay integration, the move seems to be a step towards the rise of voice ordering on the go. Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with making purchases via voice, with research from PYMNTS’ ConnectedEconomy™ series showing that 86 million consumers now use voice assistants each month.
Other QSR chains have also started embracing voice ordering. Uber Eats announced an integration with Google Assistant last year to enable voice ordering via the Uber Eats marketplace. Meanwhile, fast-casual giant Panera Bread recently announced that its loyalty membership customers can now order by voice via Amazon’s Alexa on Echo Show devices. The brand also announced its own integration with Apple’s CarPlay for in-car ordering last fall.
The potential of in-car ordering was discussed by Karl Goodhew, chief technology officer at fast-casual dining brand BurgerFi, in an interview earlier this year with PYMNTS. Goodhew noted that in-car ordering offers new business-to-business opportunities, especially with fleets. He explained that there are many people who drive around for work, such as sales reps, mechanics, and delivery drivers, who have to eat. In-car ordering would simplify the process for these individuals and automatically take care of expense reports.
Online ordering has become the norm in the restaurant industry, with research from PYMNTS’ study “12 Months Of The ConnectedEconomy™: 33,000 Consumers On Digital’s Role In Their Everyday Lives” showing that 57% of consumers order from restaurants digitally each month. The rise of in-car ordering is yet another indication of the continued shift towards digital engagement between consumers and restaurants.