As June neared its end, Domino’s Pizza became the latest brand to hop on the Covid vaccination bandwagon. India’s largest fast-food chain, Domino’s is offering those who have got their jabs or plan to—in short, everyone—discounts of up to Rs 400 (US$5.4) over four orders.

If you go looking for this deal on food delivery platforms Zomato and Swiggy, you won’t see it. The offer is only available on the Domino’s app. However, if you’re a fan of the 61-year-old American pizza brand, chances are you already use the Domino’s app. “If there’s a third food delivery app people have on their phones, it’s usually Domino’s,” says an analyst with a domestic brokerage. They requested anonymity since they are not authorised to speak to the media.

The app, backed by attractive deals and an intuitive interface, has pitched itself as a worthy alternative to Zomato and Swiggy for anyone looking to order a Domino’s pizza. And the numbers speak for themselves.

In July 2020, four months into a national lockdown, the Domino’s app had 1.4 million downloads, according to Apptopia, an American analytics firm. Zomato and Swiggy, on the other hand, had 1 million and 680,000 downloads, respectively. The foodtech giants have since clawed their way back to the top. Even so, the 770,000 downloads Domino’s saw in May 2021 was 65% of Swiggy’s numbers and 38% of Zomato’s—no small feat for a single-brand food delivery app. The Domino’s app has been downloaded over 57 million times so far, according to Jubilant.

Jubilant FoodWorks, the master franchisee for Domino’s in India that set up its first outlet in 1996, has been doubling down on its own app even as it uses Zomato and Swiggy as customer acquisition tools. While the Domino’s app has been around since 2012, the current version is a result of a major revamp in 2018, when Jubilant built a dedicated tech team of 40 people, according to a former executive with the company. They requested anonymity since they did not want to be seen talking about the company.

For the three months ended December 2020, the Domino’s app was responsible for over half of Jubilant’s revenue (including a part of takeaway orders that are placed on the app), according to a report by the brokerage Kotak Institutional Equities. Between them, Zomato and Swiggy contributed just a quarter of the brand’s sales.

In addition to its focus on driving customers to its own app, Domino’s, which controls 70% 70% Business Standard Jubilant FoodWorks Read more of India’s pizza market by value, uses its own delivery personnel to fulfil even orders placed on Zomato and Swiggy, unlike McDonald’s or Burger King. “The Domino’s brand experience, like the 30-minute delivery guarantee, cannot be delivered by aggregators,” says Jakarta-based Mayank Singh, head of marketing and technology for Domino’s Pizza Indonesia.

AUTHOR

Seetharaman G

Starting out as a business journalist in 2008, Seetharaman has written about energy, climate change, retail, banking, and technology. He has worked with Business Today, a fortnightly, and the Sunday edition of The Economic Times.

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