Domino’s Pizza Inc. has partnered with Ford Motor Company to launch the Easy Order platform for the pizza chain’s mobile app, which would allow customers to place orders hands-free from their cars through Ford’s voice-activated SYNC system.

The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based restaurant company will unveil the platform Wednesday at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The in-car capability is expected to be ready for the more than 1 million Ford cars equipped with the SYNC AppLink in-car system by the middle of 2014.

“This is, no question, one of the coolest in a long list of recent technology innovations for Domino’s,” chief executive Patrick Doyle said in a statement. “To be able to partner with a brand like Ford, with its terrific SYNC technology, to offer yet another way to bring our ordering app experience to life makes it all the better.”

The new platform leverages previous upgrades to Domino’s digital-ordering offerings, including “Pizza Profiles” that save customers’ demographic information, payment methods and favorite orders.

Domino’s spokesman Chris Brandon noted in an interview that the mobile app’s forthcoming tie-in with SYNC AppLink is limited in scope to “Easy Orders” — which are the saved, favorite orders contained in users’ Pizza Profiles — to maximize the convenience for the customer.

“It’s not an open-ended ordering solution where you can sync the app to the car’s system and get the Domino’s on X road in X city,” he said. “While it’s really cool, innovative and advanced, it’s actually very simple from the consumer standpoint. For the stores, it’s just like taking another order from the mobile app.”

He added that, while the ability to place an order from the car hands-free could lead to some increased frequency, Domino’s does not have targets for getting incremental orders for more carryout versus more delivery, or more core menu items versus more limited-time offers, through the new in-car function on the mobile app.

“It’s not about pushing anything in particular,” Brandon said. “It’s about pushing the ability for customers to get what they want from us, and having a cool, convenient way to place that order. Our mobile-app users are a little more savvy with having the app, a ‘Pizza Profile,’ a saved favorite order and all those elements.”

Domino’s gets more than 40 percent of its sales at its nearly 5,000 domestic locations via digital ordering, he added.

“Within that, mobile is easily the fastest-growing method for us,” Brandon said. “That’s why we’re looking for more ways to bring this app to life through additional partnerships.”

Domino’s operates or franchises more than 10,500 restaurants in the United States and 70 international markets.

Contact Mark Brandau at mark.brandau@penton.com
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN