Domino’s partners with Roush and GM to create specialized DXP delivery car.
By Tom Kaiser
After first rolling out its proprietary DXP pizza delivery cars last fall, Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Domino’s is doubling down on its funky hatchbacks with the announcement that it’s rolling out an additional DXPs across 23 markets in the United States—for a total of 155 visibility-boosting vehicles.
The cars are designed to improve the pizza-delivery process, thanks to more than 100 innovations, including a remote-operated, flip-up exterior pizza-warming oven; special compartments to hold side items; and a flat-load floor that accommodates 80 pizzas.
“It’s real, it’s functionally superior, it’s gorgeous and no other brand has anything like it,” said Russell Weiner, president of Domino’s USA. “So when people ask, ‘Did Domino’s really build a car made just for pizza delivery?’ I say, ‘Oh yes we did.'”
Dave Cesarini, a Michigan-based Domino’s franchisee with four locations and a fifth under construction, was one of the first franchisees to purchase three DXPs last fall. The vehicles, which he said cost between $20,000-$25,000 each, “absolutely has a direct impact on our sales.” To prove the wisdom in Domino’s investment in developing the cars, he added they make him more willing to invest in the brand’s future.
“It has an impact on how we run our operations and it’s a lot of fun,” Cesarini said. “It gets my team, myself and other franchisees really excited about how we’ll be able to keep improving the efficiencies of how we do business behind the counter for our team, and how we connect more directly with our customers through technology.”
Following a Domino’s worldwide rally in Las Vegas where the company laid out additional high-tech enhancements for the near future, Cesarini believes the company is “innovating with a purpose” and expects to see his sales increase, partly due to the rolling high-tech billboards.
“They didn’t just go out and build this great looking car that might not be functional—they had a purpose behind it and brought a lot of fun to the brand,” he said. “From my internal standpoint, my team members see that I’m making investments on technology that makes their jobs easier.”
He’s open to buying more DXPs in the future, but said that he wouldn’t purchase more than “a couple” additional vehicles because of the additional responsibility and maintenance of running a franchisee-run fleet.
The DXP is based on the Chevrolet Spark small car platform. To promote the car, the company created a website (dominosdxp.com) that includes videos on making the video, desert and city ad spots and an interactive pizza delivery video game.
Dennis Maloney, vice president of multimedia marketing at Domino’s, said the company’s IT division is working feverishly on customer-facing tech upgrades that has led to recent innovations like smartwatch and emoji ordering—all designed to make the delivery process more compelling and increasingly convenient.
Peering further into the increasingly Jetsonian future, he wouldn’t say whether Domino’s is readying its own fleet of drones like Amazon, but admitted they will soon “impact a whole range of industries moving forward.”
When he started working at Domino’s five years ago, Maloney said he feared running out of “what’s next” ideas. But that hasn’t come to pass.
“We have pages and pages and pages of what comes next,” he said. “This is a business for us that is really just getting started…this is going to be a big part of who we are and there is an astounding amount of stuff still to do.”
Beyond on-the-street marketing benefits, the DXP is designed to make the life of a Domino’s delivery driver easier and more fun.