January 31, 2008, - 1:58 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Since Superbowl Sunday is the busiest day of the year for retail pizza purveyors, you could be waiting for a few hours until your delivery arrives. But many pizza chains are now taking advance orders for Sunday, so you don’t have to wait when the big day arrives.
That’s one thing.
But now, Domino’s Pizza is offering online pizza status tracking. That’s a bit absurd. Are you that anxious for your pizza that you’ll be checking its current state on your computer, like you would a Fed-Ex delivery of important documents or financial instruments? The online info even gives you the name of each worker that touched your pizza. Is that really necessary?
Here’s what you might find (and please don’t say I’m an elitist against pizza store employees–I worked at Little Caesar’s Pizza in college):
* 8:32 p.m.: Pimply-faced teen, Luke, takes order for pineapple mushroom anchovy pie.
* 8:37 p.m.: Dough tossed in air by Sunshine. Accidentally falls to floor.
* 8:37:30 p.m.: Dough returned to counter by Sunshine. Sauce slapped on.
* 8:39 p.m.: Joaquin sneezes. It’s all good. Cheese spread around surface to cover germs. Toppings added, pizza put on oven belt.
* 8:41 p.m.: Annoying customer calls back, decides no anchovies. Call taken by annoyed Luke.
* 8:42 p.m.: Pizza dude, er . . . Joaquin, pulls anchovies off, but fish juices remain on the ‘za. Pizza put back on oven belt.
* 8:47 p.m.: Pizza emerges from industrial oven conveyer belt. That mushroom looks good enough to taste. Yum . . . it was good enough to taste. Tasting by Sunshine and Tina.
* 8:52 p.m.: Fast cooling pie inserted into microwave for re-heating by Todd. Hope it’s not chewy.
* 9:02 p.m.: After make-out session with girlfriend in backseat of car, delivery guy Rob starts on his way to your home.
* 9:17 p.m.: Signed for delivery. Cheapo gave bad tip to Rob. Must play for the Detroit Lions. Was it Roy Williams?
The point is: Do you really need to see what is going on with your pizza every step of the way? Is your life that uneventful?
More on this absurdity of TMI (Too Much Information):
Domino’s, (DPZ) the pizza-delivery kingpin, on Wednesday will unveil a technology, Pizza Tracker, that lets customers literally track their pizza from the moment they place the order until it leaves the store en route to them. What’s more, Domino’s vows that its online tracking system – for phone or online orders – is accurate to within 40 seconds.
“We’re filling that black box of uncertainty – ‘Has my pizza been forgotten?’ – with information and entertainment,” says Chris McGlothlin, technology chief at Domino’s.
The system goes up Wednesday at 3,400 Domino’s outlets and will be in all stores by June 30, he says. It even gives folks the first names of the workers who take their phone order and deliver their pizza – and asks customers to rate them. . . .
In a nation ever eager to track delivery of everything from FedEx packages to Amazon.com orders, it’s now come down to tonight’s pizza. The move by Domino’s is aimed at its youthful target: consumers under age 30 who spend gobs of time online.
Sadly, there are probably a bunch of people who will be enamored of this, says Christopher Muller, director of the Center for Multi-Unit Restaurant Management at University of Central Florida. “I guess they’ll sell a ton of pizzas to people with no social life who are sitting in front of computers.” . . .
“It’s technology in search of a problem,” says Brian Kardon, chief strategy officer at Forrester Research, a technology researcher. “I don’t know how many consumers are twisting and turning over the state of their delivery pizza.”
Domino’s says plenty are. “It’s an emotional roller coaster when you order,” McGlothlin says. [DS: HUH?!] . . .
With the new system, after an order is placed, the customer can go to dominos.com, click on the Pizza Tracker icon and follow the progress of the order. The site confirms that the order has been received, when the pizza is in the oven, when it’s been boxed and when it’s left the store.
Alas, a key part of the pizza’s journey cannot be pinpointed: the drive from Domino’s to your home. . . .Rival Pizza Hut is unimpressed.
Ordering a pizza is now “an emotional roller coaster”? Did I miss something? Or maybe this is a new problem introduced on a day I missed “Oprah”.
I liked it better when pizza was just a cover for Islamic terrorist illegal aliens.
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