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Domino's introduces a 'Siri' to take mobile orders

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 16, 2014 at 12:48 pm •  Published: June 16, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — Domino's is introducing its own version of Siri.

The pizza delivery chain on Monday is introducing a function on its mobile app that lets customers place orders by speaking with a computer-generated voice named "Dom." The rollout is part of an ongoing push by Domino's to take business away from rivals and smaller pizza shops by offering more convenient ways to order.

The company, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, says the updated app for iPhones and Android devices will deliver a "human-like, conversational" experience, but notes that it will take some time to work out the kinks in the technology.

"It is not perfect," Domino's CEO Patrick Doyle said in an interview. "This is the sort of thing, like any other really new technology launch, you're going to learn, you're going to get better."

Already, mobile and online ordering accounts for 40 percent of Domino's U.S. sales. Growing that portion of its business has become a priority for the chain, with customers increasingly saying they prefer to place orders that way. People who order digitally also tend to spend more and return with greater frequency because they like the convenience, Doyle said. Meanwhile, he noted that smaller pizza shops don't have the money to invest in such technologies.

"It is clearly an area where we'll be able to leverage our scale," he said.

Although other factors have played a role, Domino's credits its digital platforms for helping drive sales. Last year, the company's domestic sales rose 5.4 percent at established locations.

Still, compared with many other cuisines, the pizza industry remains fairly fragmented. Four of the national biggest chains — Domino's, Pizza Hut, Papa John's and Little Caesars — together have a little more than 40 percent of the market, according to Doyle.

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