Domino’s is inching closer to enabling the American dream of eating a pizza without ever having to interact with another person in the process. The company is now testing a voice recognition–based AI pizza ordering platform as a replacement for human employees manually taking orders.
This step is no great leap for the company. The virtual ordering assistant, called DOM, has been around since 2014, but Domino’s plans to put the platform in charge of answering all of its franchises’ phones, assuming its test batch of 20 goes off without a hitch.
“We believe natural voice recognition is the future, as seen by the rise in virtual assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home,” said J. Patrick Doyle, Domino’s president and CEO, in a statement. “More importantly, artificial intelligence provides great learning platforms that will enable us to do more to deliver convenience for our customers and better job experiences for our team members.”
The pizza chain’s phone ordering system has already been withering on the vine for some time. As of 2018, more than 65 percent of Domino’s sales in the US are transacted through digital platforms.
“With DOM on the phones, our AnyWare ordering technology and plans we have for future in-store technology, our goal is to one day be 100 percent digital,” Doyle added.
The company’s goals for the platform aren’t limited to the initial order, however. DOM will also act as voice-based version of the Domino’s Tracker, a service launched in 2008 that allows impatient customers to monitor exactly where in the pizza-making process their order is at any given moment.
“Some calls to the stores are from customers who have already ordered,” said Dennis Maloney, Domino’s chief digital officer in the press release. “Based on the phone number, this system will automatically determine if this is a new call or a follow-up.”
AI-based phone ordering is one of the least out-there digital investments Domino’s has made in the past, which have included a Facebook chatbot and its AnyWare initiative, which allows users to order a pizza just by texting a pizza emoji.