Profitable Pizzas: National, Local Chains Benefit from Online Ordering

When Dayton customers get a craving for a Domino's pizza, picking up the phone isn't their only option anymore. Many now get on their computers or flip open their smart phones and opt for online ordering, writes Tom Demeropolis, senior reporter for the Dayton Business Journal.

Tristan Koehler, the franchisee for 19 Domino's restaurants in the Dayton area, said ordering online is the wave of the future.

Domino's Web site has a unique "pizza builder" that lets the customer see exactly what their pizza will look like. Koehler said the ease of using the site is the reason why he believes online orders will continue to grow.

"Once a customer orders online, they always order online," he said.

Since launching last August, Koehler said online ordering now accounts for 20 percent to 25 percent of all orders.

Dominos is far from alone in going to the Web. Restaurants all over the Dayton area and around the nation are making the investment.

Proponents say not only does it provide ease for the customer, an online ordering system allows restaurants to track purchases and allow for troubleshooting, such as figuring out why an order is delayed.

However, investing in technology can carry a hefty price tag and some glitches.

Koehler said he invested roughly $400,000 installing new computer systems to accommodate online ordering. And Domino's Pizza Inc., one of the largest pizza chains in the world, has seen so much online ordering that it is now the No. 4 online retailer, trailing industry giants such as

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