Technology is an essential ingredient that connects consumers with their favorite food brands. Whether they have a hankering for burgers, pizza, tacos and any other type of fare, consumers have a wide range of digital channels to place orders for delivery or for eating in-restaurant.
Many fast food, fast casual and quick service restaurants (QSRs) in the industry are realizing that using technology to deliver a seamless ordering experience is essential to remaining competitive in a $273 billion market. Whether consumers place an order from a desktop website, a mobile device, a branded app or a third-party delivery provider, the smoother the ordering experience, the more likely consumers will return to place a new order.
In addition to an efficient tech platform for placing orders, it is beneficial to restaurants of all stripes to offer a loyalty program that can reward customers for their decision to place an order. These programs can help restaurants improve their customer relationship management (CRM) operations and harness the power of data to understand the best way to improve their customers’ experiences.
The all-new Order To Eat Tracker, a collaboration between PYMNTS and restaurant loyalty solution provider Paytronix, explores how the restaurant space is responding to shifting consumer expectations. The monthly report highlights how various restaurants are embracing loyalty programs and partnering with aggregated delivery services to provide an enhanced ordering experience.
Find these and other stories on how the restaurant space is shifting in the Tracker’s inaugural edition.
Some of the biggest coffee brands are brewing new ordering experiences for their customers.
On the heels of a strong second fiscal quarter, Dunkin’ recently released a new mobile app that aims to offer users a simplified ordering experience. The new app offers a multitender feature at over 1,000 locations that enables guests to earn loyalty points regardless of the method of payment they use. In addition to a new mobile app, Dunkin’ also updated its DD Perks loyalty program with the aim of simplifying enrollment and enabling new users to sign up in a single step.
In China, fellow coffee giant Starbucks debuted a new store model aimed at enhancing customers’ delivery and mobile ordering services. The company opened its Starbucks Now store in Beijing, featuring a new store layout that caters to both in-store visitors and delivery workers. For the latter group, new store features a new section for Starbucks Delivers designed to accommodate orders that will be picked up for delivery by scooter riders.
Coffee companies aren’t the only ones that are changing the way they operate. Fast casual chain Panera Bread, for example, recently made its digital ordering service available at two U.S. airports. Panera will offer access to its digital kiosk ordering system and Rapid Pick-Up service at airports in Charlotte, North Carolina and Salt Lake City, Utah starting in 2020. By providing new digital ordering channels at airports, Panera is targeting airport travelers as they move to catch their flights.
Find these and other stories in the News and Trends section of the Tracker.
Voice-activated technology is increasingly being leveraged for food ordering. PYMNTS research recently found 27 percent of all U.S. consumers owned a voice-activated device in 2018, up from 14 percent a year earlier. As voice-activated technology becomes increasingly prevalent among consumers, many restaurants are seeking opportunities to enable consumers to place orders using this technology. This month’s Deep Dive highlights how voice technology is changing the way restaurants engage with their consumers.
Domino’s Delivers Tech To Meet Consumer Preferences
Some major restaurant chains like pizza giant Domino’s have already invested in voice-based solutions to connect with consumers. In addition to voice-based tech, the company has also invested in a wide range of solutions that include mobile apps, a new loyalty program and even self-driving delivery vehicles. In a recent interview with PYMNTS, Christopher Thomas-Moore, vice president of digital commerce and eMarketing for Domino’s, explains how a broad technology portfolio and loyalty program helps the company to focus on “meeting customers where they are and where they’re comfortable.”
Download the Tracker to read the Feature Story.
About the Tracker
The Order To Eat Tracker, a PYMNTS and Paytronix collaboration, is a monthly report that examines the evolving restaurant space. Each edition of the report highlights how fast food, fast casual and quick service restaurant (QSR) establishments are embracing technology, enhancing loyalty offerings and working with aggregated service providers to offer more seamless in-house and delivery ordering experiences and improve customer engagement.