Restaurant innovation

Mobile Order-Ahead Feeds Restaurant Sector

Mobile Order-Ahead Feeds Restaurant Sector

“I don’t know. What do you feel like eating?” That ping-ponging Q&A session often seems like a riddle designed to make hungry couples bicker – until they decide to get the usual. When it comes to mobile order-ahead (MOA) apps, quick-service restaurants (QSRs) and fast-casual eateries no longer have the luxury of that tedious debate. Consumers have decided for you.

In the February 2020 Mobile Order-Ahead Tracker®, a Kount collaboration, we confront the fact that any restaurant ignoring mobile order-ahead stands to lose up to 70 percent of their customers by the end of this year – as in 10 months from now. If that’s true, it’s a grim prospect.

The sunny side of this story can be found in other relevant figures, like this one from the latest MOA Tracker: Third-party delivery app DoorDash has grown the number of restaurants using its service by 206 percent in the past 18 months. That’s a pretty solid indicator that no one intends to get left behind on a market opportunity that’s currently doing almost $27 billion a year in topline sales and generating over three billion restaurant visits.

Cooking Up a Good Program

Mobile order-ahead is one humongous case study in adaptation, and the February 2020 Mobile Order-Ahead Tracker® shows how some of the most delectable brands in food have been successful at it. The latest Tracker profiles P.F. Chang’s impressive and ambitious efforts to go its own way with MOA. First, the chain built its own MOA app. Then, bypassing mainstream third-party delivery services, they instead chose order-to-eat platform Olo to power their order-ahead business, with last-mile services provided by their own delivery drivers for total QA.

Having integrated its points-based rewards program with the new app, P.F. Chang’s is already seeing results. As the latest Mobile Order-Ahead Tracker details, the restaurant increased off-premises dining by 3 percent in a single quarter (Q3 2019), and 35 percent of that was comprised of deliveries.

The popular pan-Asian chain took no chances with the security of its MOA app, and that sense of safety has contributed to the program’s early success. “We partnered with [a customer engagement provider], which uses a single sign-in and multifactor office authentication to secure access to data,” said Director of Digital Marketing Whitney French. “Encryption and tokenization are [also] used, and [our partner] actually uses a [payment card industry]-compliant third-party payment processor as well.”

Prove It

No discussion of connected commerce, mobile ordering or the app economy is complete without analyzing the fraud threat. MOA has several, as we discover in a study jointly done by identity verification firms Kount and Javelin Research. In MOA, as in the wider world of eCommerce and mCommerce, identity is basically the whole ballgame.

“Establishing identity trust provides businesses with the unique ability to deliver personalized customer experiences to different types of audiences based on multiple factors, such as buying behaviors, return habits, policy abuse, preferences, fraud and other risk identifiers,” Kount CEO Brad Wiskirchen told PYMNTS. “Personalized customer experiences are key to improving customer satisfaction, reducing friction, acquiring and retaining customers and building and maintaining high brand reputations. These successes translate into revenue, margins and repeat business.”

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