Domino’s is a company that has been a trailblazer in the use of technology to enhance customer service. But, the company is now facing a major obstacle: third-party food delivery services like Uber Eats and DoorDash. These companies may not only steal Domino’s market share, but they are also threatening its profitability.
A domino is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic, with one side blank and the other marked by a number of spots resembling those on dice. It is usually twice as long as it is wide and, in the most common variant (double-six), its ends have a value ranging from six pips down to none or blank. These values are called pips, and the sum of all pips on a tile is its rank or weight.
In the early 1800s, the game of domino appeared in Italy and Austria and spread to southern France. It became a fad there and in Britain by the end of the 18th century, when it acquired its name. The word “domino” has since been adopted by many other languages.
The most popular domino games are positional, in which players place tiles edge to edge against each other so that they form a chain or tessellation of matching sides and totals. The number of pips on each end and the rank or weight of a domino determines its ability to form chains, as well as the number of pieces it can play against.
A key element of a positional game is the use of doubles. The rules of a specific game determine whether or not a double can be placed square to the side of a line or whether it must be placed perpendicular to it, but in general a player must play a double so that the two matching sides are touching fully. This provides a large part of the fun and challenge of the game, as well as allowing for interesting formations of snake-lines, zigzags and other patterns.
Besides being used for games, dominoes can be arranged to form patterns and are sometimes made into sculptures. They are also sometimes used to teach basic arithmetic. Some people even use them to meditate.
The domino effect is the phenomenon that a change in one behavior can initiate a chain reaction of changes in other related behaviors, and even in entire groups or populations. For example, when people begin to spend less time watching television and more time walking or playing sports, they are likely to change their eating habits as a result. Then, as they eat less fat, their cholesterol levels will decrease.
Nick Mazza, owner of the Ypsilanti-based Domino’s Pizza, was inspired by this theory to create an innovative way for customers to order pizza. Mazza wanted to develop a method that would allow customers to make their orders using only their smartphones, without needing to speak with a human being. He came up with a simple algorithm that could be programmed into Domino’s app. Then, he began to test the system by changing various parameters until it worked perfectly.