Published:  12:42 AM, 17 April 2018

Domino's unveils pizza delivery 'hotspots'

Domino's unveils pizza delivery 'hotspots' People pass by a Domino's Pizza restaurant in New York City, US. -Reuters

Domino's Pizza Inc is ramping up the food delivery wars, adding online ordering for more than 150,000 new delivery "hotspots" at US parks, beaches and other destinations that do not have traditional addresses.Executives say the move opens new sales opportunities for the company, a pioneer and dominant player in restaurant delivery, as traditional eateries and supermarkets face pressure from third-party delivery "disruptors" that are flush with venture capital or subject to less stringent expectations when it comes to profits. "We know that delivery is all about convenience, and Domino's Hotspots are ... all about flexible delivery options," said Russell Weiner, president of Domino's USA.

While customers previously could ask Domino's to deliver to offbeat locations, the initiative establishes set drop-off points that customers can find with the location services on their smartphones. This will help customers order via and the chain's mobile app, said Dennis Maloney, the chain's chief digital officer. Such orders previously were only available by telephone.

Customers pre-pay the orders, select a location from a menu and have the option to add instructions to help drivers identify them. Domino's texts them order status updates, including estimated arrival times. Customers also supply mobile phone numbers in the event of a hiccup, he said. Despite the company's name for them, the locations are not wifi hotspots. Domino's declined to disclose costs related to the project and said it had no immediate plans to hire additional drivers. Roughly 60 percent of its orders are digital and Domino's delivers around 65 percent of overall orders.

US sales from third-party restaurant and grocery delivery services are forecast to nearly double within five years, significantly outpacing growth in the US food industry overall. Strategy firm Pentallect Inc expects the third-party food delivery industry's sales to grow from $13 billion in 2017 to $24.5 billion by 2022. The firm say the industry has a 13.5 percent annual growth rate, versus the 3 percent rate for the US food industry overall.Restaurant delivery companies GrubHub Inc, UberEats and DoorDash, the latter of which has raised funding totaling $722 million.

-Reuters, Los Angeles

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