In a bid to encourage online ordering, Dominos looks set to begin using automated robots to deliver their customer’s pizzas. Over the next 6 months the prototype will be trialled across restaurants in each capital city, before being released across the chains network at a later date.
The Dominos Robotic Unit (DRU) arises as a solution to reduce labor costs in the chain, where current drivers can earn approximately $19 an hour in Australia. However, the robot can only travel up to 18 km/h which suggests a required close proximity to a store to ensure the customer’s pizza remains hot.
The announcement of the DRU comes just months after the chain was accused of breaking child employment laws in Australia, where it’s alleged they pressurised underage employees to take a $2.37 pay cut or have their hours reduced. This lead to some 14 year old workers earning an hourly rate of just $9.49 and consequently the backlash lead to the introduction of weekend penalty rates by the chain giant last month.
Analysts suggested the introduction of penalty rates would increase labor costs for the company from 14 per cent to upwards of 24 per cent. However, last month Dominos chief executive Don Meij hinted at the foresight of DRU in his interview on the new wage agreement, “We don’t believe this will break the business given technology and product development should drive continued sales momentum.”
With over 1983 stores worldwide, the giant is hoping it’s new Abacus Tech Series will help them compete with new food delivery options that are starting up in Australia such as Foodora, UberEats or Deliveroo.