Domino’s Taps Apple CarPlay Ordering to Boost Pickup Adoption

Domino’s Pizza

In its effort to drive pickup orders, Domino’s is making curbside easier with in-car purchasing.

The quick-service restaurant (QSR) giant, which has nearly 20,000 locations across more than 90 countries, announced Monday (April 10) an integration with Apple CarPlay to power in-vehicle ordering, enabling consumers to make purchases via the pizza chain’s app on their car’s console by tapping or by calling.

“We know how frustrating it can be to wait in a drive-thru line just to place an order,” Christopher Thomas-Moore, Domino’s senior vice president and chief digital officer, said in a statement. “Domino’s app on CarPlay is a great alternative to that, as customers still have the convenience of staying in their car, and can place an order from wherever they are, without waiting in a long drive-thru.”

The move comes as the QSR chain continues to seek ways to direct customers away from its delivery channels, which are costlier for the restaurant to fulfill, towards its more margin-friendly pickup channels. The brand has gone so far as “tipping” consumers for picking up their own orders. By making it easier for customers to order from their vehicles, Domino’s is reducing friction for curbside pickup orders.

In this iteration of the brand’s CarPlay integration, voice ordering is not possible, but given CarPlay’s Siri capabilities, this move seems to be a step toward the rise of voice ordering on the go. Certainly, consumers are becoming more accustomed to making purchases via voice. Research from the latest edition of PYMNTS’ ConnectedEconomy™ series, “ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: The Evolving Digital Daily Edition,” which draws from a February survey of more than 4,000 U.S. consumers, finds that 86 million consumers now use voice assistants each month.

Last year, Uber Eats announced an integration with Google Assistant to enable voice ordering via the Uber Eats marketplace.

Fast-casual giant Panera Bread, for its part, recently announced  that it has begun letting its loyalty membership customers order by voice via Amazon’s Alexa on Echo Show devices. Last fall, the brand announced its own integration with Apple’s CarPlay for in-car ordering.

In an interview earlier this year with PYMNTS, Karl Goodhew, chief technology officer at fast-casual dining brand BurgerFi, discussed the potential of the technology, which the restaurant had just unveiled. He noted that, in addition to the opportunities to drive sales from individual consumers, in-car ordering also unlocks new B2B opportunities.

“One of the big areas of opportunity here with in-car ordering is with fleets,” Goodhew said. “There’s a lot of people who drive around [for work]. They’re pharmacy reps, they’re sales reps, they’re mechanics or delivery drivers, and they have to eat. So, the idea is, [the] expense reports are taken care of automatically [for the employee].”

Overall, online ordering has become the norm, with the majority of consumers engaging digitally with restaurants. Research from PYMNTS’ study “12 Months Of The ConnectedEconomy™: 33,000 Consumers On Digital’s Role In Their Everyday Lives,” which draws from responses from tens of thousands of U.S. consumers, notes that 57% of consumers order from restaurants digitally each month.