When I first heard that Domino’s Pizza in Japan had released an iPhone app, to be honest I wasn’t tremendously excited. After all, such apps have been available in the US App store since it opened up. But after a quick review of the announcement, I had to admit I was dying to try it out.
Dominos’ highlight three points for this app. Easy, GPS, and Coupon, and they hit each point right on the head.
Easy: The app is quite well designed and very comfortable to use. After logging into your Domino’s Pizza web account (you must create the account on a PC. There is a reason for this), you can place an order for anything on the Domino’s online menu. The menu looks nice and is fast, offering all the options you would expect like half/half pizza’s, custom toppings, side dishes, and size and crust selection.
The interface is pretty intuitive and I was easily able to load up my order into the cart and confirm my order. The whole thing took just about 5 minutes, and most of that was deciding what to order.
GPS: Here is the big surprise. You are prompted to pick your delivery location. The quick option is to select your preregistered address, but you can also use the GPS function of the iPhone to automatically pick up your location. Once your location comes up on the map, you can move it around to correct the fix or pinpoint a better location for a pickup.
You can even select a non-fixed address like a park or public building. With Cherry Blossom season about to hit Japan, this is a killer function. In a few weeks, parties will flood public parks across the country and anyone with an iPhone will be able to easily summon extra food directly to the spot they are staked out. You can also enter a street address as a backup in case they miss you, and of course the drivers can call the phone number you registered on your account (best to use your iPhone number I would assume).
When I tested this out, I picked a street corner down the block from my apartment. My plan was to head out and wait at the corner to see if the delivery guys would give me my pie right there. Ironically this didn’t work out because the food came early. So just as I was getting ready to head downstairs, the doorbell rang and there was my food! Well, can’t really complain about that right? I did confirm with the delivery guy that he would have been ok delivering on the street, but since I wasn’t there and my registered address was just down the block he decided to try my apartment before calling my cell.
Coupon: Actually had a lot of fun with this. The app also includes a simple game where you try to slice a pizza into evenly sized slices. with the points you win from the game, you can buy coupons.
There are currently three coupons you can win that will get you a free 1 liter bottle of Coke, an order of cheezy fries, and a dried potato/chicken nugget pack. You can even use all three coupons on the same order, but it took me around half an hour to get enough points to buy all three coupons. Still it’s a fun way to add free stuff to your order.
I have to say I am very impressed with the app. It’s useful, fun and adds something new. Also the timing is perfect and I can image I will be using this this spring as the weather gets better.
Now if only Starbucks would offer a similar app for GPS based coffee delivery!
Domino’s App is free and available only on the Japan iTunes App Store. Click here to go to the download page.