As pizza delivery giant Domino’s delivers faster and faster, it continues to invest heavily in carryout. According to CEO Ritch Allison, nearly half of the brand’s customers now come to Domino’s locations to pick up their orders.

“Our carryout business in the U.S. is now approaching 45 percent of our total orders, helping us to diversify our business into this carryout segment, which, as we discussed in the past, is significantly larger than the delivery segment today,” said Allison, referring to the total addressable off-premises market.

It’s been a big part of the company strategy for years now, pushing people to utilize the growing number of Domino’s locations as outlets for pick-up instead of the typical delivery. A recent store remodel dubbed “pizza theater” updated the look and feel to make the experience more welcoming, and because Domino’s is so heavily utilized for delivery, someone coming in for a pizza drastically changes the economics of an $8 order. More locations via the company’s “fortressing strategy” makes it easier to drive by a Domino’s and puts delivery drivers closer to customers.

“This not only improves our delivery service and economics, but it also brings a significant number of incremental carryout orders into our stores. When we look across the U.S., we now have over 90 percent of our U.S. system in our modern pizza theater image. This has truly elevated the carryout experience for our customers,” said Allison.

A novel part of that push is what the company calls Pie Pass, extended functionality that makes the carryout experience as frictionless as possible. Carryout customers who order and pay in the Domino’s app (plugging them into the loyalty program) can mark themselves as arrived when they reach the store, alerting employees to get the order ready and digitally welcome them on the store menu board.

Chief Innovation Officer Dennis Maloney told Food On Demand all the brand’s recent investments have paid off.

“With our old stores, the first thing carryout customers would see were pizza boxes and a cash register. It wasn’t very exciting, but now carryout customers have a front row seat to see all the action of pizza-making,” said Maloney. “Pie Pass is yet another way we’re adding value to the carryout experience. It makes carryout customers’ experience even better, as it provides speed and simplicity.”

As the delivery industry broadly moves toward profitability and more sensible delivery, restaurants can’t forget about creating a great carryout experience. Right now, shelves and getting customers out of the order line is just the first step. As Domino’s is showing, smart technology can push that experience even further, tap into loyalty and make the massive carryout segment even better for operators.