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Watch: In Japan, Domino’s Pizza Tries (And Fails) Delivery-By-Reindeer

Domino’s wanted reindeer to deliver pizza, but the new helpers weren’t into any reindeer games.

By , a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy.
reindeer

Santa doesn’t have to worry about job security anymore, at least in Japan. Domino’s Pizza sadly scrapped their plan to provide customers in Japan with a festive twist on their favorite fastfood dish: reindeer delivery.

The company first announced the idea on Nov. 17, stating it was working with the Hokkaido Delivery Integrated Research Center’s team of reindeer breeders to train the animals to deliver sleigh-driven pizza. Domino’s released an update on Nov. 24 stating the reindeer would come equipped with GPS trackers so hungry customers could track the progress of their delivery real-time.

It wasn’t just a PR stunt either; Domino’s said it rolled out the unusual delivery program in anticipation of an extremely cold and snowy winter in Japan — a climate in which reindeer feel right at home. Indeed, Japan is expecting severe cold fronts this year, and last week snow fell on Tokyo for the first time in 54 years.

Santa doesn’t have to worry about job security anymore, at least in Japan. Domino’s Pizza sadly scrapped their plan to provide customers in Japan with a festive twist on their favorite fastfood dish: reindeer delivery.

The company first announced the idea on Nov. 17, stating it was working with the Hokkaido Delivery Integrated Research Center’s team of reindeer breeders to train the animals to deliver sleigh-driven pizza. Domino’s released an update on Nov. 24 stating the reindeer would come equipped with GPS trackers so hungry customers could track the progress of their delivery real-time.

It wasn’t just a PR stunt either; Domino’s said it rolled out the unusual delivery program in anticipation of an extremely cold and snowy winter in Japan — a climate in which reindeer feel right at home. Indeed, Japan is expecting severe cold fronts this year, and last week snow fell on Tokyo for the first time in 54 years.

If Domino’s and the Japanese trainers had high hopes for their furry deliverers, the reindeer had other plans. Pizza delivery doesn’t exactly come natural to reindeer, as this video of the trainers in action shows:

Unfortunately, after weeks of effort, the company scrapped their reindeer-delivery plan on Dec. 1. The reindeer were “difficult to control,” and thus not reliable enough for delivery service, according to the company’s press release.

This isn’t the first unusual delivery gambit the company has tried. In August, Domino’s began delivering pizza in New Zealand by drones, which are apparently easier to manage than reindeer.

As a small consolation for Japanese customers, the company is outfitting delivery scooters with fake reindeer garb and antlers, per Eater.com. It’s a nice thought, but it just won’t be the same.

Photo credit: Domino’s/YouTube

Robbie Gramer is a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @RobbieGramer

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