Domino’s, PF Chang’s Adapt To Make Off-Premise Stick In Post-COVID Future

Domino’s, PF Chang’s Adapt For Off-Premise

More consumers are ordering restaurant meals through digital channels than ever before — but with lifting dining restrictions and growing mobility, the digital gains restaurants saw last year are at risk of normalizing. To encourage consumers to continue to frequent these channels, many restaurants are making improvements to their off-premise online ordering options.

Domino’s announced on Monday (June 28) that it is guaranteeing all carside delivery orders — where a Domino’s employee brings the food directly to the customer’s car outside the restaurant — will be brought out within two minutes of arrival. With this guarantee, if the order is not out within two minutes, the restaurant promises that customers will receive a free pizza the next time they order.

This initiative aims to combat the wait time frustration that can keep consumers from ordering for pickup. One report published in February found that when they see long lines, 77 percent of consumers will leave or consider leaving a restaurant, and that the amount of time consumers are willing to wait for pickup orders is quickly decreasing.

To incentivize consumers to take advantage of the carside two-minute delivery promise, Domino’s announced a partnership with popular sports betting platform DraftKings, welcoming app users to make predictions on the ability of Domino’s to follow through on this promise, with a chance to win cash prizes.

“We want to make every delivery to customers’ cars an easy and fast experience, and if we don’t, we’re going to make it right,” Art D’Elia, Domino’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “As a company that prides itself on transparency, and to show how much we believe in our franchisees and stores across the country, we’re giving customers the opportunity to predict how we’ll do and have a little fun.”

As Domino’s improves its digital ordering options with this chainwide guarantee, P.F. Chang’s is investing in its off-premise options through the opening of new delivery- and pickup-focused locations. Also on Monday (June 28), the restaurant brand announced two new P.F. Chang’s To Go locations, a store format that the company launched in 2020 that is smaller than other stores and does not offer on-premise dining. In addition to delivery, in-store pickup and curbside pickup, these locations can also fulfill catering orders. The two new locations, one in Irving, Texas and one in Orlando, Florida, join eight other P.F. Chang’s To Go stores. The company aims to have 50 such locations by the end of 2022, with 20 of these already in the works.

“Since launching P.F. Chang’s To Go last year, Asian continues to be a go-to take-out cuisine, and we have seen a tremendous response from our customers,” Damola Adamolekun, CEO of P.F. Chang’s, commented in the news release. “P.F. Chang’s To Go is not a replacement for our full-scale restaurants, but we know consumers across the country are seeking convenient dining options, and our evolving business model accommodates this desire. Looking ahead, we are excited to help our customers across the country enjoy all of their favorites faster and easier than ever.”

PYMNTS’ research from the new study,  The Bring-it-to-Me Economy: How Online Marketplaces and Aggregators Drive Omnichannel Commerce, created in collaboration with with Carat, by Fiserv, finds that consumers are now more than 30 percent more likely to eat restaurant meals at home than in the restaurant, and that two-thirds of consumers are taking advantage of these off-premise ordering channels. Additionally, almost six in 10 consumers are ordering restaurant meals online now more than they did before March 2020. For restaurants to retain their customers post-pandemic, it is essential to win their off-premise loyalty.

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