Tag Archives: delivery

Re-imagining Drive Thru Restaurants – Innovation or Not

Food Locker Pickup Pizza Hut

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed our world with the subtlety of a sledgehammer and now billions of people around the world are under ‘stay at home’ orders. In many communities restaurants and bars are closed or only allowed to deliver meals or make them available as ‘to-go’ or takeaway orders.

But, even with the plethora of food delivery services in the United States and elsewhere, people still prefer drive-thru to food delivery when they choose not to dine in. But what are you to do when your restaurant isn’t configured with a drive-thru window?

One answer would be to re-imagine the drive thru and takeaway by learning from the automats of the 1930’s and 1940’s (the last one in New York City closed in 1991) and Amazon Lockers.

Food Locker Automat 1936

You can create lockers for warm food and lockers for cold food. Before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began spreading across the globe some companies were experimenting with food lockers combined with mobile ordering at ballparks:

Food Lockers with Mobile Ordering at Ballparks

And, Pizza Hut was experimenting in Hollywood with Pizza Lockers to eliminate interactions with employees (picture top of article).

One could imagine that as Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdowns stretch from weeks from months, and the virus lingers for the next 12-24 months, and fears of individuals linger potentially even longer, restaurants may want to re-imagine how they configure and leverage their physical space.

Is it worth redeploying an external wall of the restaurant to optimize to go or takeaway orders?

The idea isn’t that difficult for an individual restaurant to adopt as there are companies manufacturing food lockers already, and they can be combined with PIN’s to unlock them that can be delivered by email or mobile platforms and reset after each use.

During a virus outbreak (or on an ongoing basis) sanitizing wipes could be provided or if the lockers are on the street, then one employee could be staffed for delivering food from the kitchen to the lockers and then sanitizing the lockers on the outside of the restaurant.

Have you seen this type of solution growing in your part of the world?

Innovation or not?


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Delivering Pizza to the Homeless

Delivering Pizza to the HomelessInnovation can come from a number of different potential sources of inspiration and insight. The most typical source of course is understanding customer needs. This is the source for the whole design thinking movement, but there are still a number of other potential sources of inspiration and insight for potential innovations. But, in this case we will be examining a potential innovation building not only on an unmet customer need, but one that iterates on previous attempts by a company to address the same unmet customer need – the desire to have a pizza delivered when you’re not at home.

In the world of pizza delivery, the process has always had at its core, a street address, because the context for both the pizza ordering system and the delivery driver was linked to the world of the street map. But sometimes customers want to enjoy a hot delivered pizza in a place that doesn’t have a street address and companies like Domino’s Pizza had no way to address this scenario. The street address had become an orthodoxy.

By understanding this unmet customer need and challenging this orthodoxy, Domino’s arrived at the concept of the pizza door on a beach in the Netherlands back as early as 2009 (if not earlier). The phone number for the local Domino’s Pizza was on the door and after the order was placed the Domino’s Pizza delivery person would bring the pizza(s) to the door and ring the doorbell to let the customer know when they have arrived.

A creative solution to the unmet customer need, an interesting invention to challenge the street address orthodoxy, but definitely NOT an innovation as it can’t scale to replace the street address centric approach to pizza delivery.

But, Domino’s Pizza hasn’t given up iterating on this unmet customer need and recently launched their latest approach to solving it which they call Domino’s Hotspots.

Domino's Hotspots

The concept is simple:

Stop defining delivery locations by street addresses, and instead define them by GPS coordinates.

As soon as you stop limiting potential delivery locations to places with street addresses and instead view it through a mobile-centric lens (including GPS coordinates and location-based services) then you can start mapping popular locations without street addresses to GPS coordinates that both customers and delivery drivers can use to get pizzas to customers, while also sending customers text updates of both the progress of the order and the pizza’s ultimate arrival at the chosen location.

It’s all driven out of the Domino’s Pizza mobile app, which also makes it a great way to create customer loyalty, to gather customer behavior data, and to drive repeat business.

So, what do you think?

Innovation or not?


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Value Access Example – Domino’s Steady Pizza

Helping People Extract the Value You’ve Worked So Hard to Create

I came across this great video from Domino’s Pizza Brazil that shows their new Steady Pizza concept.

It’s a perfect example of the Value Access component of my Value Framework for Innovation, and how Value Access can help you better deliver the value you’ve created for customers (literally).

The concept of the video starts with a simple question:

How do we help to reduce the chances of a delivery fail?

I love this.

The result of the concept is a piece of delivery equipment that not only helps to reduce the chances of a delivery fail, but also serves as a great marketing gimmick.

Too many people after working so hard in the Value Creation step of innovation (which in large part is invention), just stop there and think they’re done. Don’t!

So ask yourself:

Value Access — What can we do to help people access this value?

Value Translation — And even more important, you must keep in mind how you are going to translate that value for people, to help them understand how this new solution will fit into their lives AND is better than their existing solution and worth the trouble of replacing it.

Always remember:

Innovation = Value Creation (X) Value Access (X) Value Translation


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