By Clint Rainey
Domino's thinks it's figured out what the pizza world is missing, and that's a pie that can be baked and delivered in ten minutes flat. The company has unveiled Phase Two of its crazy plan to become the pizza chain of tomorrow that, for now, is being limited to trials in Australia. The scheme has been given a symbolic code name of sorts ("Project 3:10"), and the fleet of autonomous delivery robots is all but ready to march toward customers Down Under. Domino's Australia CEO Don Meij says the next step is to focus on accelerating the cooking process with some sort of proprietary super oven they've been developing. He says the ultimate goal is cranking out three-minute pies, and adds there are already plans to expand the technology to Japan and six other markets once it's ready. Domino's has so far given six Australian locations the special ovens, which blast pizzas with heat from multiple directions as they travel along a conveyor. Meij says other pizza-makers are lucky to get edible pies after a near-eternity of seven minutes, so this device slashes the cook time by more than half.
Or it will, eventually: Right now the ovens have only shaved the time down to four minutes and ten seconds. Those seconds count, as Domino's will need every one of them (or a Star Trek transporter) to reach the even-less-realistic-sounding goal of ten-minute deliveries. By their math, Meij estimates that benchmark is attainable within three years. And who knows -- by that time, maybe someone will also have invented a reason to need a pizza that ridiculously fast.
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