Domino’s will give you loyalty points for buying rivals’ pizzas

Points for Pies uses artificial intelligence to determine whether customers are eating pizza and awards points, no matter where it’s from.
Photograph courtesy of Domino's

Domino’s Pizza will start giving customers loyalty points even when they order pizzas from somewhere other than a Domino’s.

The company’s new Points for Pies program starts Saturday and uses artificial intelligence to award points to customers who order anything resembling a pizza, even if it’s from one of the chain’s rivals, one of the thousands of local pizza restaurants or even a frozen pie.

The offer will run through April 28, when members of Domino’s loyalty program will be able to earn free pizzas even if they don’t order a single pie from the chain itself.

“We think it’s a risk worth taking,” Domino’s Chief Brand Officer Art D’Elia said in an interview. “We really believe that no one loves pizza more than we do. We’re willing to do crazy things like this that our competition isn’t willing to do.”

Points for Pies uses artificial intelligence to determine whether someone does in fact have a pizza. Customers download the company’s app and sign up for the loyalty program—existing members’ apps will be refreshed Saturday.

Using the app, customers scan the pizza they’ve just received and get points toward a free pizza.

Domino’s loyalty program enables members to earn a medium two-topping pizza once they get 60 points. “They can earn all of those 60 points without having to purchase a Domino’s,” D’Elia said. “We treat all our pizza equally.”

“You can go get a DiGiorno and take a picture and get points. You can get a Giordano’s pizza and take a picture and get points. We really mean this.”

Domino’s has generated attention over the years by using technology in new and unique ways. It will deliver pizzas to parks and stadiums, for instance. And last year it started paving potholes in communities around the country as part of its Paving for Pizza program. In prior years the company started letting customers order pizzas via TVs, smartwatches and other devices.

In this instance, Domino’s is highlighting its Piece of the Pie Rewards program, not to mention local pizza concepts.

The company shot an advertisement for the program from Antico Pizza in Atlanta, a family-owned concept that was a favorite of Domino’s CEO Ritch Allison when he lived in the city before he came to work for the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based chain. Allison is featured in the ad.

The program is limited. The company expects to give away 100 million points on Super Bowl weekend, a huge day for pizza delivery when the company typically sells 2 million pizzas and 4 million chicken wings. It typically sells 40% more pizzas on Super Bowl Sunday than a typical Sunday.

It will also award as much as 100 million points in the 12 weeks afterward.

For the company, the promotion is being designed to get customers to sign up for the loyalty program and download the app—which Domino’s has used to help generate consistently strong sales growth in recent years.

The promotion has come as chains have grown bolder in their marketing efforts. Burger King last month generated significant buzz by offering customers 1-cent Whoppers if they ordered them through the app from a McDonald’s.

This one goes a step further by actually encouraging customers to eat pizza no matter where it’s from. “We hope that people take full advantage,” D’Elia said. “We want consumers to engage in the brand and category.”

To be sure, Domino’s benefits the most because ultimately the customers have to go to one of the chain’s locations to redeem their free pizza. Domino’s has more than 15,000 locations globally.

“When they come redeem their points, they can sample our product,” D’Elia said. “This is a great way to get people to come back.”

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