Sleuth tracks Domino’s pizza tracker, wins heart of The Takeout

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Truth is a valuable, and precious, commodity. Democracy dies in darkness, and all that. So today, we’re saluting Brian VanHooker of MEL Magazine, who’s doing the work, fighting the good fight, relentlessly pursuing that elusive beast. VanHooker wanted the truth, and he got it. He tracked the tracker, one lie at a time.

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The resulting investigation is sensational, and reader, we know a thing or two about Domino’s investigations.

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In total sincerity, VanHooker’s story, titled “I staked out my local Domino’s to see just how accurate its pizza tracker it,” is a story after our own hearts. It has it all: A precise methodology applied to silly ends (like this one). A specific task of both dubious and unquestionable value (like this one). A question many may have asked, but few dared to answer (like this one, this one, and this one).

Here’s what he did. VanHooker had a hunch that the Pizza Tracker might be bullshit. (He is not alone in that hunch.) He arrived at his local Domino’s, ordered some boneless chicken so that he could watch the proceedings without arousing suspicion, and then from his phone, placed a delivery order for a half cheese, half Hawaiian pan pizza, so “that way my order is plenty distinct and it can’t be confused with anyone else’s (plus, pineapple on pizza is delicious, go fuck yourself).” (Seriously, Brian, stop reading our dream journals!) Then he watched. And readers, the house of cards began to tumble almost immediately.

6:56 P.M. — “WE’RE FIRING IT UP”

The Domino’s Tracker says “We’re firing it up,” and I’m not quite sure what that means. The ovens have been on all day, after all — they’re not firing them up for me, that would just be weird. I guess that means they’re beginning to make my pizza, but despite this notification, I see no signs that my pizza is being made. Several pizzas at this time are swiftly put together — a plain, a pepperoni, another pepperoni — but none are in pans and none have pineapple. I HAVE UNCOVERED THE FIRST LIE.

We heartily encourage you to read the whole piece, which grows increasingly more delightful—though we do feel a bit for the diligent delivery guy, the true hero of the piece, who probably thought he was being stalked. And to be fair, he sort of was.

In short, it’s a great read. Mr. VanHooker, The Takeout salutes you.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.

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DISCUSSION

youguesseditfrankstallone
You Guessed it: Frank Stallone

Here’s what he did. VanHooker had a hunch that the Pizza Tracker might be bullshit.

It is bullshit. The manager at my local Dominos confirmed it to me a few years ago. The tracker said “It’s delivered!” but no pizza was at my house. I called and asked and the manager said something like “Yea that’s not accurate. It’s just an estimate based on the usual timing of deliveries by corporate. Your driver had a few stops before yours and it’s probably taking her a little longer than usual”. Most of the time people stop checking the tracker when it says “It’s on the way with Tisha!” so nobody notices when it flips to “Delivered!” even if it isn’t delivered.

Congrats to this guy for the hard work. But he could have just saved himself a little time and called and asked.