Domino’s Pizza operations in Malaysia and Singapore have partnered with SingularityNET, a platform for artificial intelligence (AI) services, to use decentralized AI to improve its last-mile delivery process. Though retail businesses working within the food niche like Walmart or Carrefour have shown interest in decentralized solutions (blockchain is a decentralized ledger), this appears to be the first initiative where a company tests a decentralized AI solution.
“Our newest transformation effort is occurring in our operations function, where we are automating significant portions of our delivery operations and consolidating our operations centers. SingularityNET’s AI algorithms and services will allow us to explore these efficiencies at scale,” said Ba U Shan-Ting, the CEO of Domino’s Malaysia and Singapore operations, in a statement.
Though Shan-Ting did not explicitly mention the use of blockchain or a decentralized ledger in his statement, the connection to the technology comes from SingularityNET’s infrastructure. SingularityNET is a full-stack AI solution that is powered by a decentralized protocol with the goal to provide people the possibility of creating, sharing and monetizing AI services at scale.
For now, all that we can deduce from Shan-Ting’s statement is that the company is working to improve its last-mile logistics, but it could be anyone’s guess on the specifics of the “automation.” However, based on Domino’s history of innovation, it is reasonable to expect the company to step beyond technical jargon and bring decentralized AI networks to mainstream attention within the food logistics space.
Domino’s former CEO Patrick Doyle caught the attention of the industry when he insisted that Domino’s was primarily a tech company that sold pizzas. The company understood early on that one of the biggest costs to the business was delivery, and it has consistently attempted to drive down delivery costs while increasing customer satisfaction.
For instance, the company introduced Domino’s Delivery Hotspots in the U.S. last year, that allow the company to deliver food to unexpected locations with hard-to-locate addresses – like beaches, parks and parking lots. Customers find nearby drop-off points using their smartphones, where they can coordinate with Domino’s to receive their order. “We know that delivery is all about convenience, and Domino’s Hotspots are all about flexible delivery options,” Russell Weiner, COO and president of Domino’s Americas, said during the feature’s unveiling.
The new partnership will help Domino’s leverage SingularityNET’s AI algorithms that can enhance the pizza chain’s operational capabilities and possibly open new frontiers and opportunities for the company to improve customer satisfaction levels in Malaysia and Singapore.
The push towards technology is critical to the success of Domino’s as it has continued to surprise investors with remarkable growth. On the back of 30 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth, Domino’s became the largest pizza chain in terms of annual sales in the U.S., even when second-placed Pizza Hut has about 2,000 more domestic storefront outlets. The company now expects to hit $25 billion in revenue by 2025, which would be more than double what it did in 2017.
“Embracing AI is what every company is going to need to do if they are going to succeed and flourish in the coming period. The projects we are discussing with Domino’s now are envisioned as the start of a long series of creative and transformative AI collaborations. We are proud to embark on a future partnership with Domino’s to achieve their ambition of becoming the leader in pizza delivery and customer brand loyalty by 2020,” said Ben Goertzel, CEO of SingularityNET.