Domino's delivers a slice of innovation to Queenslanders

Pizza giant Domino's has opened its Brisbane doors to budding entrepreneurs, feeding creative minds with DLAB, a launchpad it said will facilitate innovation and collaboration.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Domino's is opening the doors of its Brisbane headquarters to allow entrepreneurs and startups to use its facilities to collaborate and innovate.

According to Domino's CEO Don Meij, the newly fitted-out workspace with adjoining offices, dubbed DLAB, is designed to attract a dynamic range of entrepreneurs from food science to digital technology.

"The centre will allow startups to use our facilities while being exposed to our commercial culture and how we bring innovation to life," he said. "Vice-versa we are exposed to that enthusiastic, paranoid, dynamic culture of startups that we'd love to bounce off.

"It is a way for us to speed up our innovation and to do more."

Chief digital officer for Domino's Michael Gillespie said previously that in order to succeed, companies need to embrace startup thinking.

"Learn what makes those startups special and keep that aggressive innovative thinking -- make people want to use you," he said.

"We've remembered our core; we've just used digital as a method to enhance that experience and delivery of our core product, which has evolved."

Meij said more than 65 percent of Domino's sales last week came from digital devices, most of which were made from mobile phones.

"We have more than 60 digital projects that have already been built or are under construction this financial year," he said. "We are a digital business."

For the 2015 financial year, Domino's delivered record net profit after tax of AU$64.4 million, attributing a big portion of the 40 percent year-on-year increase to its innovative use of technology.

It recorded Australia and New Zealand EBITDA of AU$71.6 million, which was up 23 percent year-on-year, and total revenue in the ANZ marketplace of AU$216.8 million.

"Domino's has seen record profits and explosive growth over the past five years which is largely attributed to product innovation and world-first digital initiatives," the company told shareholders in August.

Such digital initiatives include a Live Pizza Tracker which shares real-time data with customers on the progress of their order; a GPS Driver Tracker in partnership with Navman Wireless that sees delivery drivers tracked via GPS when en route to making a delivery; and the ability for customers to order a pizza by sending a text message displaying only a pizza emoji.

Another notable initiative was Pizza Mogul, a crowd sourced project that allowed customers to either create a pizza and share it on their own social media network. As a reward for each sale, people earned between 25 cents to AU$4.50 per pizza, and, as two teenagers from Toowoomba, Queensland who pocketed AU$55,000 from the venture found out.

Kicking off the official launch of DLAB on Tuesday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed the pizza giant's initiative, saying the platform Domino's is offering is the same launchpad approach she wants to emulate through the Advance Queensland agenda.

"Domino's employs more than 5,000 Queenslanders and from Brisbane they coordinate the company's operations across Australia, New Zealand, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Japan, and Germany," she said.

"No longer does Domino's just move pizzas. They move industries into the digital age. It's fascinating, globally scalable work done here in Queensland."

On the eve of the state's 2015-2016 budget, Palaszczuk announced a AU$24 million startup initiative, forming part of the AU$180 million Advance Queensland scheme.

"As a government, we know that the real driver of economic change are entrepreneurs and ambitious businesses," Palaszczuk said at the time.

"Every big corporate starts as an emerging business that took a chance. Startups can reshape entire industries through technology and business model innovation. They are vital to job creation and prosperity -- in fact studies have found that each technology job created leads to five additional jobs in other sectors."

With AAP

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