Since 1985, Domino's Pizza UK has rescued scores of students and late-working staff from nights of hunger with its trusty fleet of mopeds just a phone call away. But, keen to attract the newer generation of web-happy nocturnal types, it launched an online ordering service last Christmas (www.dominos.co.uk). And according to Domino's Chris Moore, who set up the site, it has exceeded all expectations.
'We're selling 3,500 pizzas a month - up 60% since January. We tested it with one shop, then expanded it to five, but took a gamble to launch it nationally based on the success of another pilot - ordering through BSkyB's Open TV service.'
Online sales average pounds 50,000 a week, and together with orders taken from interactive TV, represent 3% of all sales. An unexpected bonus is that customers order more online than they do in shops - enticed by the web site's colour photographs, says Moore. 'Consumers feel they are in control,' he adds. 'They don't feel pressurised to order quickly as they might in our stores.'
Orders are delivered quickly from the nearest Domino's outlet, but you can't pay online yet - although Domino's may change this. The aim, says Moore, is for the company to be selling one-third of its pizzas through the internet or interactive TV within 10 years.