Send in the Drones: Elevating Service in A Technology-Driven World

Have you been watching Domino’s global strategy over the recent number of years? If not, I think the pizza giant it worthy of study. Unbeknownst to many, Domino’s is an amazingly forward looking company. While other brands like Polaroid or Blockbuster have run into a bit of a complacency trap (thinking that what brought them success would also assure them sustainability), Domino’s restlessly agitates their industry by rethinking their product and their delivery platform. All of this disruption is designed to create an enriched customer experience!

For the purpose of this blog let’s just focus on two elements of the Domino’s pizza delivery innovation. The first started in 2015 when Domino’s began testing driverless delivery vehicles (something Domino’s calls DRU – Domino’s Robotic Unit).


Domino’s describes DRU as “cheeky and endearing”, while also noting that, “he is a four-wheeled vehicle with compartments built to keep the customer’s order piping hot and drinks icy cold whilst traveling on the footpath at a safe speed from the store to the customer’s door. DRU is able to navigate from a starting point to his destination, selecting the best path of travel. His onboard sensors enable him to perceive obstacles along the way and avoid them if necessary.”

Now let’s take DRU aerial! This year through a partnership between Domino’s and Flirtey, a tech company based in Reno. DRU the drone has been testing pizza deliveries in New Zealand – a country with legislation favoring commercial drone deliveries.

DRU the drone

In the official press statement concerning DRU the Drone, Domino’s Group CEO and Managing Director, Don Meij, suggests that a 2-ton automobile is not the most efficient way to deliver a 4-pound order noting, “Drones allow us to extend [our] delivery area by removing barriers such as traffic and access [and] deliver further afield than we currently do to our rural customers while reaching our urban customers in a much more efficient time.”

Others have talked about drone delivery (e.g. Amazon and Google) but Domino’s has set its sights to be the first to make drone delivery a common phenomenon. Domino’s, with a little help from regulation changes in the US, could literally change the way we receive not only pizza but all other deliveries.

I imagine future conversations going something like, “Who’s at the door dear? Oh, it’s DRU. He’s hovering outside with our Domino’s.”

How are you disrupting your service platform to create an expedited customer experience? Let your innovation take flight!

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Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

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