Domino's Launches DRU Assist Virtual Assistant

Nuance Communications has partnered with Domino's Pizza Enterprises to deploy Nuance's multichannel virtual assistant, called DRU Assist. Based on Nuance's Nina virtual assistant engine, DRU Assist uses conversational artificial intelligence to help customers across Domino's mobile app and online ordering website.

DRU Assist is launching first in Australia and New Zealand.

Domino's DRU Assist engages with customers in human-like conversations via text or speech recognition. Beyond ordering, DRU Assist can converse with customers about menus, ingredients, store locations, and operating hours. DRU Assist also has a social side, engaging customers with a personality tailored to the Domino’s brand.

"Domino's is already a recognized industry leader in digital innovation," said Robert Schwarz, managing director for Nuance Enterprise, Australia and New Zealand, in a statement. "Through our partnership, we collaborated with Domino's to deliver a tailored, first-to-market solution that supports the brand and is on the cutting edge of innovation."

"We at Domino's are always on the lookout for new ways to engage with our customers by leveraging the latest in technology innovation. Our partnership with Nuance Communications has not only enabled us to continue on our digital journey, but it has also allowed us to deliver an easy and seamless ordering experience for our customers, who are at the forefront of everything we do," said Don Meij, group CEO and managing director of Domino’s Pizza Enterprises, in a statement. "The partnership has also allowed the company its first step into AI and machine learning, a platform we intend to continue across all of our future developments."

In mid-2014, Domino's added a voice-enabled virtual assistant to its iPhone and Android mobile apps for ordering pizzas. The platform, launched in June of that year in beta format, was named Dom. Like DRU, it was powered by Nuance's Nina Mobile, an intelligent virtual assistant that leverages speech recognition, speech synthesis, and natural language understanding technologies.

Domino's this week also updated its Google Home ordering so customers can start new orders without the need for a Pizza Profile. 

"The Google Assistant on Google Home is the second full-ordering platform to launch on Domino's lineup of AnyWare ordering capabilities this year," said Dennis Maloney, Domino's senior vice president and chief digital officer, in a statement. "Our in-house technology team has created a simple and convenient ordering experience that is now open to everyone, not just those who have a saved account."

Anyone can place an order for Domino's with the Google Assistant on Google Home by saying, "OK Google, order Domino's." Dom, Domino's voice ordering assistant, will then guide the customer through the ordering process using natural-language ordering technology. Voice assistant technology isn't the only fun part of ordering either. Customers who ask for a deal can receive 20 percent off every menu-priced item in their order.

Customers can also track their order progress with Domino's Tracker.

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