Is Domino’s two-minute curbside wait guarantee a big deal or no big deal?

Discussion
Source: Dominos
Jul 06, 2021

Domino’s, which once had been known for its 30-minute home delivery guarantee, launched a new promise of curbside pickup availability within two minutes of arrival.

Under the scheme, customers check in when they arrive at a Domino’s and have their orders brought to their cars within two minutes. They receive their next pizza free if they don’t get it within two minutes.

“We want to make every delivery to customers’ cars an easy and fast experience, and if we don’t, we’re going to make it right,” said Art D’Elia, Domino’s EVP and chief marketing officer, in a statement.

Domino’s 30-minute delivery guarantee was introduced in 1984 and helped make it the leading pizza chain in the U.S. It was retired in 1993 after criticism that the policy encouraged reckless driving.

The pizza giant’s two-minute guarantee, which launched last week, arrived a day after Office Depot introduced a 30-minute guarantee for in-store and curbside pickup. If the order isn’t ready in 30 minutes, customers receive $5 off their next qualifying purchase.

“As work models and learning environments continue to evolve, customers are looking for solutions to meet their school and business needs in near real time to maintain productivity,” said Kevin Moffitt, chief retail officer for Office Depot. “By improving our fulfillment time from one hour to 30 minutes, we are reinforcing our commitment to speed and convenience.”

By all accounts, Domino’s and Office Depot are the first national establishments to offer guarantees around curbside or store pickup times.

A number of retailers, including Apple, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kohl’s, Nordstrom and Staples, promise curbside/store pickup orders are typically ready within one hour of placing the order, but make no guarantees. Gap and Macy’s promise to have orders ready within two hours. Walmart’s pickup orders are available within four hours; Target says select stores may take up to six hours.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Should time guarantees be made around curbside or in-store pickup? Does a two-minute guarantee for pick-up from car arrival and 30-minute guarantee for overall order turnaround make sense?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"This is just formalizing and marketing a service that is already extremely efficient."
"I see this as another convenience that retailers have cooked up to make news, but no consumer has asked for. It’s getting ridiculous."
"A time guarantee around curbside/in-store pick-up is another part of the ever-growing omnichannel package that can make or break a sale."

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18 Comments on "Is Domino’s two-minute curbside wait guarantee a big deal or no big deal?"


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Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

For people who want to collect their pizza and get home as quickly as possible, this is a good thing. However the two minutes starts from when you arrive and check-in – and, in my experience, most Domino’s locations usually bring out the pizza in under two minutes from that point. As such, this is just formalizing and marketing a service that is already extremely efficient.

Rick Watson
BrainTrust

I’m not sure this is that big a deal. It seems safer than driving to deliver in less than 30 minutes ;-).

David Naumann
BrainTrust

Timing is important for consumers when ordering take-out food, especially pizza. A pizza that is piping hot has a better chance of staying warm on the drive home. Domino’s two-minute promise for curbside pick-up is a smart strategy and it will lead other QSRs to follow suit. Consumers expectations continue to raise the bar and restaurants and retailers need to modify their processes to meet the consumers’ demands.

Christine Russo
BrainTrust

People do not like to wait, period. So this guarantee is great and simply reinforces the emphasis on digital for food services — it’s more profitable and certainly helps work through the current labor shortage. It would be nice to see brick-and-mortar stores use technology to guarantee 2 minute checkout. Self checkout helps. As does line management software.

Bob Phibbs
BrainTrust

This is PR wrapped as a news item. Are they responding to those thousands of dissatisfied people waiting three minutes or more? Kudos to the CMO but I highly doubt new customers will find this compelling.

Raj B. Shroff
BrainTrust

I do think time guarantees should be made around curbside or in-store pickup. It gives employees a goal, forces operations to streamline processes, satisfies convenience demands of shoppers and is good leverage for marketing.

I think a two-minute guarantee for pick-up makes sense until someone comes out with a one-minute guarantee, then a 30-second one. (reminds me of the 7-minute abs scene in There’s Something About Mary) As for a 30-minute overall turnaround, sure, that seems to be the default in shopper minds.

Venky Ramesh
BrainTrust

For customers, this is great news. However I can imagine the pressure the curbside staff is facing day in and day out to deliver in under two minutes.

David Mascitto
BrainTrust

A time guarantee around curbside/in-store pick-up is another part of the ever-growing omnichannel package that can make or break a sale. For example, companies like Target, Walmart, Office Depot, Best Buy and Staples may be competing for the same customer with similar or identical products. If the prices/products are the same and the stores are a similar distance from each other, but at one retailer I can swing by in an hour, wait a couple minutes in the lot, have someone load the trunk and I’m on my way — the other retailers will need some major differentiation to get me to wait an extra two to five hours.

Al McClain
Staff

Yes, it will probably improve loyalty and provide a point of differentiation, for now. As a society, though, I’m not sure it’s such a great thing to keep sending messages to consumers that they can have whatever they want as fast as they want it. It feeds false expectations and slowly but steadily undermines our need to be patient and work together sometimes.

Kai Clarke
BrainTrust

This is a great communications effort, feedback loop and promise to the customer that Domino’s is listening to them. How could it ever be considered no big deal? That might be a better question.

Melissa Minkow
BrainTrust

Time guarantees should be made around onsite pickup, as the motivation behind onsite pickup is time savings. Just like Amazon’s two-day delivery set the industry standard for what speedy looks like, brands establishing time guarantees right now will soon turn into a universal expectation for shoppers. Smart retailers will determine what time guarantee will be competitive and they’ll adapt their models to achieve that.

Dave Bruno
BrainTrust

I’m not so sure this two-minute guarantee is a big deal from Domino’s (or their customers) as I believe they already get most orders to the curb in about that time already. However the PR and marketing of the offer will raise expectations for all curbside pickups, and while I doubt shoppers at Target will expect their orders in two minutes, I suspect curbside shoppers’ internal clocks will soon be a little bit less patient if they know Domino’s can deliver in under 2 minutes…

Shep Hyken
BrainTrust

Customers love a promise or guarantee. And when the retailer predictably and consistently delivers on that promise, the consumer builds confidence in that brand.

The drawback to curbside service has been unpredictable wait-times. The experience has been less than consistent. So if you’re promising a two-minute wait, or that something will be ready in two hours, don’t let the customer down. It’s that simple!

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

I see this as another convenience that retailers have cooked up to make news, but no consumer has asked for. It’s getting ridiculous. What’s next, Star Trek’s transporter? Beam me up, Scotty.

storewanderer
Guest
30 days 2 hours ago

It makes it tougher on the employees. Given understaffed conditions there will surely be increased pressure to meet these metrics.

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

Great point, storewanderer. I have no idea who you are but I always enjoy your comments!

SSheiner
Guest
30 days 5 hours ago

The two-minute wait raises the bar for Domino’s competitors. The two-minute guarantee is to pick up what the 30 minutes or less delivery was to home delivery. The fact that they can do it without changing any of their processes makes it a no-brainer.

storewanderer
Guest
30 days 2 hours ago

Were customers complaining about waiting at the curb too long?

It looks like the timing will be automatically tracked by the app so that is good — system tracks if someone is due the reward or not and there should be minimal interaction with staff involved if it goes above 2 minutes and a customer is entitled to the reward.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"This is just formalizing and marketing a service that is already extremely efficient."
"I see this as another convenience that retailers have cooked up to make news, but no consumer has asked for. It’s getting ridiculous."
"A time guarantee around curbside/in-store pick-up is another part of the ever-growing omnichannel package that can make or break a sale."

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