Domino's Topped Pizza Hut By Wooing Millennials

Surprising news from the pizza world last month: Ad Age and others have announced that Domino's has toppled the longstanding pizza king, Pizza Hut, from the top of the pizza franchise chain. "This is based on 2017 totals for global sales, in which Domino's $12.2 billion figure beat out Pizza Hut's $12.03 billion, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Domino's accomplished this despite a bit of an uphill climb, including a 2009 marketing campaign in which the chain acknowledged it need to improve its "cardboard" crust and "ketchup"-like sauce with a new recipe.

But a new Detroit Free Press article this week points out that what's really surprising is how Domino's accomplished this feat: Not by marketing, but by pitching straight to the millennials with youth-oriented benefits like apps and tech.

The DFP points to the company's innovations like a straight-up pizza tracker. Sounds a bit over the top, but The Takeout's own Kate Bernot enthuses, "The Domino's pizza-tracker app gets why you're ordering Domino's: Because you're having a hunger emergency and need something garlicky and spongelike in your mouth as soon as the space-time continuum permits. I was pretty astounded by the tracker's accuracy and specificity—I could watch the progress bar tick by, informing me my pizza was being made, or was being delivered. Five minutes after it was out for delivery, my doorbell rang. If that's not what the future is all about then I don't know what is." There's also Domino's own version of Siri, named Dom, and the ability to order via a variety of digital avenues.

Kate is not alone: While detailed pizza technology may seem to be excessive at first glance, apparently it's just what fans of pizza in 30 minutes or less demand. And once those millennials get ready to settle down and start a new generation of pizza lovers, there's even a Domino's baby registry. And while Pizza Hut is attempting some driverless delivery vehicles, Domino's is there too:

While this is all well and good for Domino's, we can't help but wonder if part of that profitability is due to this tech eliminating a lot of of pizza-related jobs, like taking orders and fulfilling deliveries. So far, at least, it looks like the pies are still being made by actual people, not robots.