Domino’s Pizza has opened a new global innovation lab in Brisbane that it hopes to use to incubate technology to shape the future of fast food.
DLAB, as the space has been called, is a 153 square metre “innovation open space” that will be used to elicit innovations that “focus on adding value to the customer and the overall store experience and will allow us to remain competitive on a global scale,” CEO Don Meij said.
The DLAB consists of collaboration spaces and meeting rooms, and breakout areas “designed to encourage creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.”
Meij said that the company had employed a “head innovator” to run the space and that “a number of internal project and prototypes” had been moved to DLAB to progress them to a minimum viable product (MVP) stage of readiness.
It was unclear exactly what these projects might entail, though Meij told Fairfax Media that the first batch of projects may involve artificial intelligence, robotics and the “future of food”.
“We have been running internal creative hackathons and innovation sessions for some time but we now have a creative space designed to solve business problems and disrupt and revolutionise the industry,” he said.
Meij said it was intended that DLAB would not just be an internal innovation space, but that it would also host a “range of start-ups, entrepreneurs and next generation thinkers”.
He said that Domino’s had already entered partnerships with start-ups and was in the process of “working at the viability of applying those ideas to the business and investing in those” companies.
Meij said that Domino’s innovation model was to “capture emerging technology and innovation created by both our Domino’s employees, as well as the outside community.”
Meij said he was committed to driving an innovation agenda in Australia.
"We need the great entrepreneurial talent we have in Australia to remain here and to not go searching for opportunities offshore,” he said.
“We need to be able to cultivate innovation right here in Australia so that we can spark change and push out of our comfort zones - that’s what we intend to deliver out of the DLAB and we can’t wait to see what ideas are cooked up.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk attended the opening of DLAB and welcomed the decision to set it up in Brisbane.
“No longer does Domino’s just move pizzas. They move industries into the digital age,” she said.
“It’s fascinating, globally scaleable work done here in Queensland.”