Let’s talk about Domino’s online ordering system, and how it’s both very flashy and fails to be in any way accurate or useful.
Full disclosure: I have an inordinately hard time ordering pizza for someone living in a major city. The very first time I tried to have pizza delivered here, I had this conversation, verbatim:
Me: Good afternoon; can I give you a delivery order, please?
Guy on Phone: No.
I switched to Papa John’s after that, who lets me order through their website. This weekend, however, I placed my standard order and then got this followup phone call:
Guy on Phone: This is Ed from Papa John’s. The location where you placed your order is closed, so I’m canceling your order and refunding your credit card.
And thus I turned to Domino’s for the day, whose online ordering system is all but legendary among my kind (i.e., the geeky and nerdy).
For the uninitiated, you place your order using a flashy interface that draws a picture of your pizza with the toppings you’ve selected (including which halves of the pizza get which toppings). It comes with this disclaimer:
The Pizza Builder will always show a large pizza. If you choose a different size, the topping amounts will vary. The deliciousness, however, will not.
Then, you can follow the progress of your pizza as it’s prepared, baked, put in a box, and delivered — up to and including the name of the person performing each task.
I remain entirely underwhelmed.
First, a minor point: I can’t place a tip on the website; I have to sign a credit card slip at the door. This delays the driver, who could be out earning his next tip if he weren’t waiting for me to write down mine. (Papa John’s drivers hand me a box, thank me, and walk away.) Plus, the driver doesn’t know until arriving if I’m going to tip well. How old fashioned!
Second, and more importantly, the flashy pizza tracker reported my pizza “delivered” fully 20 minutes before it got to my door. It even, rather tauntingly, “hopes I’m enjoying my meal.” Nope. I’m still hungry, Mr. Pizza Tracker, ’cause I still don’t have pizza.
The next time Papa John’s is inexplicably closed, I’ll just make a sandwich.