April 24, 2017
In the food business worldwide no significant change occurred after the drive through the idea. With the widespread use of mobile phones especially among the youth, many food chains are adopting the idea of mobile apps that let you order and pay with the convenience of your mobile phone.
According to Business Insider report, the fast food giant McDonald's is all set to launch its mobile order and pay app in this year. The app will initially be available in the USA only and then hit the international market accordingly. A limited version of this mobile app was launched in 2015. However, McDonald's is not the first company to launch a Smartphone app for its customers. Big names in food business like Starbucks, Taco Bell, Dominos and Chick-Fil-A already have applications that allow their customers to order and pay through the convenience of their smartphones.
The famous coffee house chain of America Starbucks launched their mobile app in 2011. Loved by the customers the company noticed a drastic increase in its sales because of the application. The convenience and time saving offered by the app were the major reason behind its success. Within the first year of its launch, the transactions made by using the application exceeded 26 million.
According to recent reports, a whopping 21% of total Starbucks transactions are made using the mobile phone order and pay application. More than 11 million people are using the Starbucks application making it a success for the company. There were many marketing tactics that were used by the company in order to make the use of their application widespread. The company realized that the best way to keep people constantly engaged in the app is by giving away special gifts and bonuses like discounts, free beverages, birthday gifts etc. Another interesting feature that they incorporated in their application is the "loyalty program". This program works by giving reward points or stars to the customer on every purchase. These stars can then be redeemed for special discounts or free beverages.
Mobile order and pay is the latest feature that they added in the application. This allows the customer to not only order but pays for the beverage as well making it extremely time-saving. Starbucks is planning to expand their mobile application even more. It is estimated that this expansion can result in almost 50% increase in individual purchases.
Dominos the famous pizza restaurant chain also launched their application a long time ago. However, the application did not give the expected results until 2012. That is when the company decided that it was time for overhauling of the application. A completely new look and tons of interesting and graphic features were added which did the trick and the sales of the company experienced a boost up. A lot of versions of the application containing different features were released on all major platforms like apple, android, windows etc.
According to the latest surveys more than 12 million use one of these versions of Dominos mobile application. In 2015 the Dominos application won the Most Effective Mobile App award in London. In 2016 the application also won the prestigious Chairman's Award at The Drum MOMAs. The interesting new application that Dominos launched is called the "Zero-Click" this application orders the pizza just by launching. Of course, you have to setup an account initially but after that, it's just one tap and your pizza is ordered.
There are major indications that Domino's inclination towards mobile technology and online ordering is working its magic. The company claimed that almost 50% of the total sales generated from the US in 2015 were from the digital channels. And according to most recent surveys and reports E-commerce is now responsible for almost 77.8% of the total sales. More than half of these sales are only because of the Dominos mobile application.
Taco bell is another giant food chain that experimented successfully with the mobile pay and order application. Launched in 2014 they experienced some issues and bugs in the application that were quickly catered for. After that, it was a smooth ride that benefitted both the customers and the company a lot.
Orders can be easily placed using the application that offers exclusive menu items and deals specific for application users. For a quick and easy experience at the restaurant window, the payment is taken in advance via a credit card or debit card. The application forwards your order to the nearest Taco Bell location and when you reach there you just have to press the "I am here" button and your order is already waiting for you at the pickup window. It was estimated that customers using the application actually spend 20% more that the normal dine in, take away or drive through customers.
With millions of users, the mobile application significantly increased the overall sales of Taco Bell.
The famous Atlanta-based fast food chain Chick-Fil-A is another example. This chain initially had an application that had a very secret and selective loyalty plan and was not beneficial for most of the users. However, when an updated version of their app was launched it became the number one most downloaded free app in the iTunes store. This new application offered a free chicken sandwich to anyone who downloaded the application which is a very clever marketing tactic.
The Chick-Fil-A's mobile application is called Chick-Fil-A One. This application performs two basic functions first is that it allows you to order your food and pay for it before time so you don't have to wait in long line, especially during rush hours. The second function is related to the renewed loyalty program. It allows you to have free food by collecting reward points known as "Treats". A circular chart tells you how close you are to earning your next treat. One of the best features if this website is the freedom it orders when it comes to customizing your order.
The renewed loyalty plan and the freedom of customization the order attracted a lot of customers towards their mobile application and resulted in a significant increase in sales and customer satisfaction.