Not every consumer wants to add yet another app to their mobile phone. In fact, smartphone users aged 35 to 54 delete their existing apps more frequently than they download new ones, according to a recent report. That’s a problem for fast-casual and quick-service restaurants (QSRs), which are betting on apps to boost mobile ordering.
In the August Mobile Order-Ahead Tracker, PYMNTS explores how restaurants and service providers alike are working to find new ways to reach app-weary customers, including offering ordering through new channels and appealing to consumers via rewards and promotions.
McDonald’s is turning to promotions to encourage customers to try out its mobile ordering service, which launched in 2017. The fast food giant has been promising freebies — including the chance to win free food for life — exclusively for those who place mobile orders.
Other restaurants, hoping to make mobile ordering more enticing, are making deals to gain greater control over the customer experiences they offer.
Dunkin’ Donuts, for one, recently signed a deal with CARDFREE that will give it a perpetual license to the software behind its mobile ordering and payments platform. The company expects this move to provide increased control over its mobile app and enable it to accelerate work on initiatives like group ordering.
However, perhaps the biggest news in deals is Grubhub’s acquisition of mobile order-ahead platform LevelUp. The deal adds new features to the company’s offering, including the ability to craft customer experiences with new customer relationship management (CRM) and loyalty technology. Some, including PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, say that in the long-run, the acquisition could position Grubhub to become “the Amazon of Restaurants.”
Rewards, meanwhile, are a focus of the mobile ordering experience and appeal at the Chicago-based fast-casual chain Naf Naf Grill. The company launched a combined mobile ordering and loyalty app in January, and has since turned to promises of reward points and speedy service to get customers to take a chance on ordering.
So far, results are encouraging, said CEO Paul Damico. That’s important for the company, because when lunchtime hits, crowds line up — and the demand for meals is sometimes more than a store can handle.
Though it may take a prep line of five employees to customize and whip up an in-store customer’s pita sandwich or chicken shawarma bowl, an online order can be handled by just one staff member. This means more orders can be made with the same number of employees, making online ordering critical to increasing restaurants’ service capacity.
In this month’s feature story, Damico explained how Naf Naf Grill prepared to avoid order-pickup confusion and delays, and how the service is prompting the chain to start building smaller stores.
Find the full story in the Tracker.
About The Tracker
The Mobile Order-Ahead Tracker™, powered by Kount, serves as a monthly framework for the space, providing coverage of the most recent news and trends, along with a provider directory highlighting the key players contributing across the segments that comprise the mobile order-ahead ecosystem.
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