How would you like to order from your favorite fast food restaurant from your cell phone, pay for the order, and have it ready when you get there? Even just a few years ago, that might have seemed too much to ask, but it is quickly becoming a reality. Early technology adopters like McDonald’s and Starbucks have started a mobile evolution in the industry that is now paving the way for other companies like Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Burger King.
Businesses have been using apps to engage with customers for a few years now. For example, Domino’s Pizza Tracker app allows users to track their delivery and share updates via social media. Krispy Kreme doughnuts has an app that tells customers when a store close to them has fresh doughnuts available. Other chains have partnered with gaming companies to create mobile promotions. However, the trend is definitely moving towards apps that allow people to order directly from their phone.
Domino’s Pizza has Pizza Hero, which allows customers to create and order pizzas. Domino’s ordering app has been available since 2011. Starbucks launched their Square Wallet app in late 2012, but as of March 2013, the company has had numerous problems implementing the service due to faulty technology and lack of employee training. McDonald’s and Burger King have done testing in various areas, but have yet to roll out a nationwide program. KFC is just beginning trials of their KFC Fast Track app, and as of this writing, the trials are only in ten locations in the United Kingdom. Although, the company that designed KFC’s new app, Airtag, predicts that it will account for as much as 5% of KFC’s sales by the end of 2013.
What Lies Ahead
Fast food restaurants are based on the idea of providing convenience to their customers, so mobile ordering is a natural move for them to make. As concerns about credit card and identity theft continue to grow, it is likely that more restaurants both fast food chains and otherwise, will offer more mobile payment options. Juniper Research estimates that the mobile payment market will reach $1.3 trillion by 2017. USA Today did a recent study in which 54% of the restaurant owners they surveyed plan to spend more money on technology in 2013 with the goal of making payments easier for credit and debit card customers.
Technology helps the world move at a faster pace and in order to keep up, it is inevitable that fast food chains will have to become faster as well. The mobile web isn’t a trend or fad that is likely to go away anytime soon. In fact, there is every indication that eventually it will become more common to pay for orders via your cell phone than with a card or cash. Even though only a few chains have rolled out nationwide programs so far, you can be certain that more will come.
About the Author: Wesley Davidson loves following tech news and enjoys seeing advances in business due to technology and its simplicity. Check out the telephone system from RingCentral for your own business needs.