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Domino’s Training Reindeer to Deliver Pizza in Japan

Domino’s Training Reindeer to Deliver Pizza in Japan

PETA starts howling in 3, 2, . . . .

http://www.fox5dc.com/news/trending/219681351-story

Domino’s Pizza Japan is training reindeer to deliver pizza to areas prone to cold, icy, snowy winters.

Fox News reports:

Domino’s is taking a page out of Santa’s book on efficient winter transportation.

The global pizza chain, which has already invested in high-tech delivery methods like autonomous robots, drones, “zero-click” ordering apps and satellite tracking to deliver food, is now training reindeer to transport pies.

Yes, reindeer.

Reindeer delivery may be part of a contingency plan for Domino’s Japan ahead of what is expected to be a particularly cold and snowy winter, RocketNews24 reports.

The chain is attempting a trial period for performing training exercises in the city of Ishikari– a particularly ice-prone area in Hokkaido– to figure out if its reindeer delivery initiative is feasible. The technique will involve insulated pizza containers strapped to the animals’ backs.

Delivery tests, Domino’s says, are monitored by animal trainers. The trials are taking place on the grounds of a driving school.

Tipping a pizza delivery reindeer with a carrot sounds good to me.

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Comments

It seems like dog sleds would make more sense and, yes, they have mushers in Hokkaido.

“…The chain is attempting a trial period for performing training exercises in the city of Ishikari– a particularly ice-prone area in Hokkaido– to figure out if its reindeer delivery initiative is feasible.”

Frankly the immediate problems that come to mind are so obvious I think this just have to be a publicity stunt. How many reindeer would you need at just one location to keep up with orders? And then how many locations do they have in areas that experience snowy, icy weather in Japan which isn’t just Hokkaido but also places such as the Tohoku region in northern Honshu? You’d need to start getting into reindeer breeding business just to have large enough herd for Hokkaido alone.

How does Dominos plan to keep and feed these animals. Are they going to build stables for the animals at their stores? I can’t imagine any health department in the world seeing that’s a good idea. What are they going to do with them in the Summer? You still need to work with the animal during the Summer to keep it in condition and in practice (the same goes for dog sled teams; if you go to Alaska it’s not unusual to see dog teams hitched to pick-ups and pulling them as a form of “weight training”). Also, all the pictures show people leading the animals. I saw one picture of a reindeer towing a sled, but nobody was riding in it. So, your pizza will get your house or apartment only as fast as the person leading the animal can walk. I hope Dominos doesn’t offer a “30 minutes or it’s free guarantee” because the customer is going to have to within a kilometer of the store or they’ll be giving out lots of free pizzas.

I don’t think dog sleds make much more sense. I know they have them in Hokkaido, but I don’t think they’re enough of those to go around. And how mushers will be interested in delivering pizzas? You’d have pay your delivery people an awful lot of money to make it worth their while given the cost of maintaining their teams. Also, like the issue of stabling the reindeer, what are you doing with the sled teams while the mushers are waiting around to get a delivery order? I don’t know what it’s like in Hokkaido but parking lots aren’t very common in the Tokyo/Yokohama/Yokosuka area. Parking is a problem for cars, I imagine it would be worse for a couple of dog sled teams.

I suppose that’s why when I saw people delivering food orders where I lived they were riding mopeds or small scooters with the order strapped to the rear grocery rack. I hope that’s not how Dominos expects people to deliver their pizzas through a Hokkaido winter.

Like I said, this has got to be just a publicity stunt. They say it “may be part of a contingency plan for Domino’s Japan ahead of what is expected to be a particularly cold and snowy winter.” I can’t see anyone going to all this trouble just for a contingency plan for a winter. The article mentions trials and training exercises in the city of Ishikari, but it never even mentions actually using the reindeer on the streets of the city.

“Delivery tests, Domino’s says, are monitored by animal trainers. The trials are taking place on the grounds of a driving school.”

The article may be poorly written, but it may well be that they’ll keep the deer at the driving school. And of course around Christmas time families can bring the kids down and see the deer, and then the kids will be so happy they’ll bug the parents to get Dominos pizza for dinner, and Dominos will get some good will and advertising.

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