Six out of every 10 digital orders are now carried out via mobile app, putting the smartphone at the center of the modern quick-service restaurant (QSR) experience. More consumers are also using mobile apps for the rewards points and perks, as well as for the fast payment experience.
However, as mobile grows more essential to the dining experience, consumers are becoming less tolerant to friction in the ordering process. Ordering must not only be seamless, but needs to keep customers’ identities and card details safe.
In the latest Mobile Order-Ahead Tracker™, PYMNTS examines developments in the mobile order-ahead world, as well as how consumers are responding to new features and tools designed to augment users’ experiences for the better. The Tracker also looks at the security challenges that QSRs are tackling as they work to keep fraudsters away.
Around the Mobile Order-Ahead World
As the mobile app space gets more saturated, most brands are leaning hard on their loyalty and rewards programs for a boost. Take coffee chain Starbucks, and how focus on its mobile app and Starbucks Rewards program led to the largest growth the brand has seen for its mobile usership in a three-year period.
The brand’s rewards membership, tied to its mobile order and payment app, grew 14 percent in the first quarter of 2019. Yet, it’s not the only brand that’s been upgrading its mobile and online capabilities for better customer service.
Mexican food chain Chipotle is adding further support for mobile in the next year, launching an online “drive-through” that will allow users to pre-order items and pick them up at a time of the customers’ choosing. The service will roll out to select locations as 2019 progresses.
However, the rise of mobile ordering also comes with growth in account takeover fraud.
As mobile ordering gains momentum, the physical locations customers are used to visiting are going through some changes. QSRs are learning to balance the needs of their in-house customers with the needs of those ordering ahead — a journey with a steep learning curve.
To stay competitive, QSRs need to keep customers that are waiting for online orders happy, which often means getting them out the door as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this can clash with diners just walking in, who also want quick and efficient service with a smile.
How are brands responding to the needs of these two distinct customer bases? Find out in the Tracker’s Deep Dive.
Keeping Theaters’ Mobile Drink Ordering Drama-Free
Comedy clubs and theaters need to sell alcoholic drinks to boost their revenues, but while patrons might want a cocktail or beer, waiting in line to order during intermission means they risk missing part of the show. While order-ahead apps offer an easier way to order and pay for drinks, selling restricted items via app requires a careful security approach.
CEO Varun Pathak and COO Matt Draper of theater drink and food ordering service Noble explained to PYMNTS what it takes to design a platform that can provide speedy service, while keeping drinks out of the hands of underage or already-intoxicated customers, as well as keeping personal data secure and complying with state regulations.
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 that highlights the key players contributing across the segments that comprise the mobile order-ahead ecosystem.