Ordering Pizza on Facebook Won’t Save You Money and Could Make You Hangry
Some of the most popular pizza chains have made it easier to order and pay for your dinner using Facebook, and pizza lovers are eating it up.
According to Bloomberg, when Papa John’s added Facebook ordering back in June, it immediately exploded. Within hours of launch, hundreds of orders poured in across the country.
Pizza Hut and Domino’s have also implemented similar strategies, leaving chains like Little Caesar’s, which does not have a social media ordering option, in their dust.
As if the incredible and immediate success Papa John’s saw this summer wasn’t indication enough, the arrival and adoption of UberEats and Facebook’s “Order Food” feature have proved ordering takeout is shifting from direct phone calls to online.
The proof is also in the numbers. Nearly 70% of people say they’ve ordered food online, and another 18.6% of respondents say they haven’t used online ordering before but probably will in the future, Bloomberg reported.
And Papa John’s reported that 60% of its revenue came through one of its digital platforms.
Until today, I had never used Facebook ordering for pizza night. I generally order my pizza through the restaurant’s website.
While Facebook is obviously helping pizza companies rake in the cash, we wanted to see if this was the best way for Penny Hoarders to order without overspending.
I checked out how Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s use Facebook ordering. Each one is a little different, and some make it easier to save than others. Here’s what you need to know.
Which Pizza Chain is Best at Facebook Ordering
As Bloomberg said, “The stakes are high to make restaurant technology as effortless — and fun — as possible.”
When ranking the social media ordering tools all three chains use, Domino’s is the obvious winner in terms of being effortless and fun.
The pizza chain created a chatbot named “Dom” that talks you through placing your order via Facebook Messenger almost as seamlessly as talking to a real person. Minus all the stressful human interaction, of course.
To access it, all you have to do is search for Domino’s Pizza in Messenger or go to the Domino’s Pizza Facebook page and click “send message.” From here, it will prompt you to sign in to your Domino’s account or continue as a guest.
You won’t talk to a real person, so the responses are limited, but ordering is straightforward. The bot asks you for your phone number and address, then shows you menu items.
If you’re signed in to your Domino’s account, you have the option to pay with the credit or debit card you have on file. If not, you can’t submit payment through the Messenger app — you will have to pay cash when your delivery arrives. The bot reminds you about this several times before you check out.
Pizza Hut tried to create a similar order-taking chatbot but so far has not been as successful as Domino’s. As far as I could tell, you don’t have the option to check out as a guest. But every time I tried to sign in, I got an error message. That could be frustrating in a pizza emergency.
And what about the beacon of success that is Papa John’s?
It skipped creating a chatbot altogether and added a “Start Order” button to its Facebook page that takes you straight to its website. From there, you can put in your address and begin your order.
Despite saying “no” to the chatbot, Papa John’s made it possible to order from Facebook’s “Order Food” feature. (Don’t worry, I didn’t know this was a thing, either.) On your computer, you can find it on your Facebook homepage in the left-hand rail under “Explore.” On your phone, it’s in your menu.
That means you don’t have to take the extra step of finding the Papa John’s Facebook page to start your first order.
Yes, Facebook Ordering Is Convenient. But Will You Save?
While ordering Domino’s via Messenger is pretty easy, it’s not the best option for Penny Hoarders because Dom, the chatbot, doesn’t make it easy for you to know what’s on sale.
Instead, he offers some of the priciest options first.
I tried ordering one of the suggestions, a large, hand-tossed Pacific Veggie pizza, and my total was $19.61, including tax and delivery fee but not the tip.
If, by chance, you order something that is on sale, Dom applies the coupons automatically. For example, when I tried adding a second Pacific Veggie pizza to my order, my total only jumped to $29.24 without any special codes.
But if you want to see what specials are available so you can plan to base your order on savings, you have to head to Domino’s website. But if you’re already on Domino’s website, why not just place your order there?
While the other chains have not done as great a job of fully integrating their ordering features into Facebook, that lack of technological advancement actually makes it a bit easier to find savings when you place your order.
While your preferred pizza is mostly decided by your taste buds, if we’re judging just based on social media ordering, Domino’s is the only chain that lets you order without ever leaving Facebook, so it wins this round.
That said, Penny Hoarders might want to keep ordering their favorite pizza from the company’s website for the biggest savings.
Desiree Stennett (@desi_stennett) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.