Domino's, which has described itself as a technology company that sells pizza, said on Tuesday it will use hundreds of e-bikes to deliver its food across corporate-owned stores in Miami, Salt Lake City, Baltimore and Houston later this year.
The world's largest pizza company, based on sales, tested e-bikes in New York, Houston and Miami earlier this year, "and those stores saw improvements in overall delivery and service," according to Tom Curtis, Domino's executive vice president of corporate operations.
Curtis said the move also meant the stores could hire from a wider pool of candidates, including people who don't have a car or driver's license. "Plus, stores that were already delivering with traditional bikes saw improved team member satisfaction with e-bikes," he said.
The expanded e-bike program comes as Domino's faces growing competition from third-party delivery companies such as Grub Hub and Uber Eats. In a recent interview with Jim Cramer, Domino's President and CEO Rich Allison cited increased competition and higher labor costs as two negative pressures on the company.
Domino's is rolling out the program using e-bikes custom made for pizza delivery through a partnership with Rad Power Bikes, described as North America's largest e-bike brand.
The custom bikes include insulated soft-sided cargo areas that hold Domino's Heatwave bags, drinks, sides, and dipping cups. The company said one e-bike can hold up to 12 large pizzas. The e-bikes have small integrated motors to assist with pedaling and can run for 25 to 40 miles before needing a recharge. Each two-wheeler is equipped with lights in the front and back, reflective materials for driver safety, and have a top assisted speed of 20 mph, the company said.
Domino's said it uses bikes to deliver pizzas and other menu items in various markets around the world, adding that the U.S. is one of the few global markets dominated by car delivery.
Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Domino's said the move in America acknowledges that "cars aren't always the most efficient way" to make food deliveries. "A bike is often a better solution to traffic congestion and parking challenges."
Domino's has more than 16,300 stores in over 85 markets worldwide. It said global retail sales reached more than $13.5 billion in 2018, with nearly $6.6 billion in the U.S. and more than $6.9 billion internationally. New Year's Eve is the busiest delivery day of the year for Domino's, followed by Super Bowl Sunday, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Eve and Halloween.