RUDOLF'S AT THE DOOR

Domino’s plans to use reindeer to deliver pizza in Japan this winter

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Getting There

Reindeer pizza delivery may soon become a reality in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of the Japanese archipelago, according to a recent Domino’s Pizza Japan press release.

Various weather agencies have predicted that the winter 2016 will be “particularly cold” in Japan, with severe snowfalls, Domino’s Pizza Japan explained, so the company said Nov. 17 it is in talks with reindeer breeders (link in Japanese) to have special “snow delivery” done by the sturdy, cold-resistant animals. This would ensure that Hokkaido residents can still eat pizza in the comfort of their own homes even if the roads are blocked by heavy snowfalls, according to this detailed “action plan” (link in Japanese).

Proposal A: Re-adapt the motorcycle delivery standard. Proposal B: A system adapted around a gyroscope to stop shaking. (Dominos)

It is certainly an eye-catching publicity stunt, but Domino’s also seems to be taking it seriously. The company is working with a Hokkaido research center for “full-scale introduction” of the program starting in December, it said. Domino’s is taking “all possible steps” to ensure the welfare of the animals, by coordinating with experts especially to calibrate the weight the reindeer are expected to carry, and the distance they are supposed to carry it for.

This is not the first delivery gimmick that Domino’s has rolled out. It launched a selected “drone delivery service” in New Zealand, just this month, but apparently the weather conditions expected in the Hokkaido winter are such that even drones might find them difficult. As the pictures released by the company show, reindeer pizza delivery on a white Christmas is a pretty irresistible holiday season stunt—bound to bring a smile, no matter how well it works.

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