National

Unruly reindeer steer Domino's pizza delivery plan off course

Staff Report

Domino’s could have used Santa Claus’ help to train its reindeer.

The franchise has dropped plans to use the animals to deliver pizza in snowy Hokkaido this holiday season because it encountered difficulties controlling them.

Instead, it said it will introduce “reindeer-ornamented scooters” at some outlets.

Since the pizza delivery chain announced the delivery plan last month, it has trained reindeer at the Domino’s Pizza Delivery Integrated Research Center in Hokkaido.

But the “reindeer headed into fields where there is no road. They also could not stop in front of a customer’s house,” Domino’s said in a press release on Thursday.

During the delivery training, pizzas were turned almost upside down. So the company concluded that “it could not fulfill its safety and certainty standards,” it added.

Domino’s said Nov. 17 that it started to train the animals to help its delivery service in Hokkaido, where the Meteorological Agency has forecast heavy snow this season.

Several delivery methods were tried, including strapping the pizza to the backs of the reindeer and hitching the animals to a driverless sleigh fitted with a Global Positioning System, but the animals were too unruly, according to a company video.