Domino’s Pizza CEO on drawing customers with AI-enabled pizza giveaway

Domino’s Pizza is setting out to expand the pizza industry — and its own customer base — with a new tech-forward promotional program called Points for Pies, CEO Ritch Allison told CNBC on Wednesday.

The campaign, enabled by Domino’s machine-learning technology, gives consumers 10 rewards points for each photo of a pizza they send to Domino’s, even if it isn’t a Domino’s pizza. People can submit once a week, and once they hit 60 points, Domino’s will give them a free pizza.

“We don’t know the exact number of how many customers will come on board with us, but as the leader in the pizza category, we see this as a great opportunity not only to grow the overall pizza category, but also to invite new customers in to download our app and to try our product,” Allison told CNBC’s Jim Cramer in a “Mad Money” interview.

“We feel that when customers try our product, we’ve got the opportunity to bring them back again and again,” the CEO said.

Domino’s techy approach to pizza isn’t new: last summer, the company rolled out “hotspots,” an initiative that allowed customers to order pizza to non-traditional places like the park or the beach through Domino’s app.

This next step not only adds a “compelling offer” to the mix, but also shows off Domino’s artificial-intelligence wares, Allison told Cramer.

“Our team got together and created something called ‘The Piedentifier,'” he said. “What it does is it uses your phone to look for what they have referred to as the open-faced expression of crust, sauce and cheese. So, basically, anything that looks like a pizza, you’re getting 10 points.”

The project could compound the boost in sales Domino’s will already get from this weekend’s Super Bowl.

“It’s a huge day for us, Super Bowl Sunday,” the CEO acknowledged. “We’re typically up about 40 percent over a normal Sunday. We’ll sell about 2 million pizzas and about 4 million chicken wings.”

Domino’s shares inched up 0.8 percent in Wednesday’s trading session, settling at $277.06. The company is expected to issue its next earnings report in February.

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