When going out for a quick bite to eat most of us pick what is tried and true, like the McDonald’s, the Domino’s, the KFC’s, or any other popular fast food chain that comes to mind. The reasons are simple, there are many locations, advertisements are everywhere, and their vast size allows them to offer services not normally affordable to mom and pop restaurants such as delivery and a large web presence. For a while now the smaller establishments were able to survive as a hidden gem, attracting customers with their excellent food even if their prices are no where near competitive than their multi-chain counterparts, but it’s online web presence that is starting to make it hard even for the little guy to compete.
Domino’s recently has come onto the forefront of popularity and what is most surprisingly is that it has nothing to do with it’s pizza or any new menu item. It has become popular because it is slowly turning into a tech company. Yes, a tech company. It has utilized technology successfully with an application that lets you track your delivery driver to their exact location rather than wait in the dark, have a reward system that lets you earn free pizzas, and remembers your favourite order and payment information to make your order as easily as possible. Consumers are taking notice to these innovations and are quick to jump on board.
This success has led to other chains incorporating more technology into the operating process but what is a solution for many multi chain organizations has led to a problem for small operations as they do not have the recourses to create such a presence. This does not mean all is lost; however, as start-ups try to give them a helping hand.
Now, there are lots of applications like Uber Eats that connects small restaurants with a delivery service and this is helpful but does not provide the same feel as what Domino’s is doing and often has high fees. One start-up company, Slice is trying to change that. This application focuses only on pizza, it allows you to order from a selection of pizzerias where you can save your order from your favourite place or try something new if you are feeling adventurous. This not only gives small pizzerias a chance to compete with larger chains, it lets them take advantage of digital ordering which lowers labour cost.
This of course means little to restaurants focusing on other types of cuisines or in areas where this type of service is not available. Nonetheless, this could open a new opportunity for app developers all over the world to reach out to small business and try to find a way to connect them. Hopefully technology will help us discover more hidden gems rather than destroy them.