Domino’s Pizza has inked an agreement with Amazon Echo that will enable voice ordering for customers as it looks to boost slowing sales growth.
The delivery chain will launch what it called an “industry first” with voice ordering through Amazon’s Echo device as of today, as well as introducing GPS tracking for its pizzas.
Domino’s chief executive David Wild said: “Following a successful trial, we’ll be rolling out GPS, which will enable customers to track their delivery and help franchisees with labour management.”
The firm said the introduction of GPS tracking will provide “significant labour savings” for the franchisee, whilst also enhancing the overall online consumer experience.
However, the group reported first-half sales of £546.5 million which, while marking a 10.5 per cent increase on last year, represented a slowdown on the 17 per cent growth seen in the same period in 2016.
Like-for-like sales grew 2.4 per cent, a marked decline on last year’s 13 per cent growth as the firm flagged a “softer consumer environment and a slowdown in the overall delivery market”.
Pre-tax profit rose 9 per cent to £44.6 million, with the firm to shortly open its 1,000th British outlet.
Wild added: “The first half of 2017 has been another period of good progress for Domino’s Pizza Group, despite a more uncertain UK economic environment.
“The core business delivered strong year-on-year system sales, continuing to take pizza market share, with good like-for-like performance.
“We’ve had a record six months in the UK, opening 40 new stores and have consequently raised our expectations from 80 to 90 this year.
“I’m delighted we’ll shortly be opening our 1,000th British unit and we are well on track to achieve our goal of 1,600.”
Meanwhile, Amazon’s UK chief has expressed his desire to maintain a “diverse workforce” following Brexit as the internet giant revealed it is to create 450 research and development jobs at its new London headquarters.
Doug Gurr said that the firm employs a large number of EU citizens, adding that he is pleased that their status is being prioritised in Brexit talks.
“In common with any large organisation here, we have a large number of EU citizens, and we love that, we’ve always celebrated diversity in the workforce,” Gurr said.
“We benefit hugely from a diverse workforce, we’re very optimistic and hopeful that will continue to be the case going forward.”