Wednesday, March 05, 2008

You Got 30 Minutes

This Consumerist article talks about the new Domino's Pizza ads and their "you got 30 minutes" catchphrase. Not a guarantee, mind you, more like a guideline. They imagine a conversation between the driver and customer:
DRIVER: I am sorry valued customer but Domino's Pizza no longer honors the thirty minute guarantee anymore thirty minutes is just an estimate I apologize for the inconvenience.


CUSTOMER: You're serious? What a f*cking crock, you expect me to pay for this? I just saw the ad on tv!
They're kidding, but speaking from experience, this is exactly how the conversation would go. Even when I delivered pizzas in 2002, I had to explain many times that we dropped our 30 minute guarantee in favor of our safe driving policy more than a decade ago, and everyone involved is better off for it.

Apparently they have a history of bad ideas. When I first started working there in 2000, we had daily requests for Bad Andy merchandise. Bad Andy was the recently-canceled promotion featuring a stuffed monkey mascot who encouraged children to pour water on live electrical appliances:

Anyway, this 30 minute guarantee/catchphrase/whatever is unnecessary for a few reasons:

First of all, the vast majority of pizzas are delivered in under 40 minutes anyway. This does not include 6pm on Fridays, but what did you expect?

Second, customers do not care how long it takes as long as your estimate is accurate. If I'd say 20 and it took 30, they were almost always upset. If I'd say 45 and it took 45, they were pleased that I was right on time.

Finally, if they would focus on the quality of the finished product -- i.e., getting it to taste more like pizza and less like corrugated cardboard box it arrives in -- they wouldn't have to distract their customers with these irrelevant marketing ploys. Unfortunately, "Domino's Pizza: Excellent ingredients delivered right when we say it will be, or sooner!" just isn't catchy.


Bryan said...

Those are all good points. However, Domino's has come up with something really cool lately. It's the Pizza Tracker.

The gizmo tells you when an employee starts making your pizza (as well as that employee's first name). It tells you when it goes into the oven, comes out of the oven, and when it is passed off to the driver (whose name you are also given). Is it completely useless? Of course. But I still love it.

Jeremy said...

For the record, the proportions on that are all off. Order and prep time are essentially nothing. The two longest waits are sitting in the queue waiting to be prepped, and sitting under the heat lamp once it's out ("box" I guess).

And now you know.

Peter said...

Actually, the couple of times I've used the Pizza Tracker, it's been remarkably accurate. I even addressed the delivery person by name, and she was shocked that I knew her name. I like the Pizza Tracker, however there's a better local pizza place in town, so I only order Domino's when I just want to surf up to their excellent web-based order form, and I don't want to speak to/wait for a human at the other place.