Domino’s Japan trains reindeer to deliver pizza as winter approaches

Lucy Handley, special to CNBC
Domino’s Japan trains reindeer to deliver pizza
Domino’s Japan trains reindeer to deliver pizza

Domino's Pizza in Japan is training reindeer to deliver takeaways during the country's freezing weather over the winter season.

The brand has released a video showing employees leading the reindeer around a parking lot, with delivery boxes attached to its back, and then on a red sleigh.

Staff monitor the reindeer's progress via smartphone, which shows a map and an image of the animal's face as it moves around.

Domino's Pizza

Although at the moment, the takeaway may not necessarily reach any customers. The video shows pizza boxes falling off the animal's back and employees running to keep up with the reindeer.

In two press releases published on Domino's Japan website, the company claims it is working on a variety of delivery methods around the world. It has published a "pizza delivery action plan" and is working with the Research Center of Hokkaido to make sure the animals are safe.

Domino's has also set up a "snowfall delivery measures room" to monitor conditions, with the expectation of "severe cold" caused by weather phenomenon La Nina following a record heat wave over the summer.

The company is posting the information (in Japanese) via its snowfall delivery response office, with a view to rolling out the reindeer deliveries from December 1.

Earlier this month, it delivered pizza via drone to a couple in New Zealand, with Domino's Group CEO and Managing Director Don Meij claiming the unmanned aerial vehicles are "future" of deliveries because they are faster than other methods.

The company has also sent food via canoe steered by a pizza "buoy" in Kent, UK, and customers can order via text and Twitter, using a pizza emoji. In Aruba, pizza pies have to be sent by truck because motorcycles can't handle the Caribbean island's high winds, while store locations in the Philippines are selected based on Feng-Shui principles.

Domino's – which claims to be the "world's fastest pizza maker" – operates in more than 60 countries. It opened its first store in Japan in 1985, and squid is now the most popular topping in the country.

Its shares rose 3.2 percent Thursday and the company said it would push to expand, according to a Reuters report.

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