February 14, 2017

QSR Mobile Experiences Customers Want

When our partnership with Chick-fil-A bolstered the most successful B2C restaurant loyalty program in the U.S., we traced what created the special something that compelled 4 million users to download their app. It was a combination of a native, custom-built app with a thoughtful mobile strategy. In this post, we’re looking at one aspect of loyalty success: the mobile experience.

The quick and easy answer a lot of brands employ to get their loyalty program in front of customers is a pre-made, out-of-the-box app. But, if you’re serious about accelerating the growth of your quick service restaurant (QSR), you’ll need to deliver a customer experience as rich and unique as your dining experience.

Build Customer Loyalty

If you’re still unsure about loyalty apps improving your QSR brand, think of your customers. You can simplify their orders and payment, ultimately impacting your restaurant experience. When you reduce customer friction in-store, they come back. According to Paytronix, that can mean a 4% increase in revenue from a 20% increase in return customer sales. As younger generations develop brand loyalty, your earning potential through a mobile experience also grows. Millennials are more than twice as likely to pay higher prices if they earn rewards.

Placing a logo in a pre-built template may get your loyalty app out there quickly, but now you face another dilemma. What is unique to your brand in the hands of customers? If you’re using a template, your customers will be opening an app with the same interface, providing the same experience as their competitors. Your brand is worth more when the mobile experience is unique.

Develop Native Apps

We know increased average ticket size is a primary reason for wanting a branded loyalty app. Just look at Taco Bell, whose app-based ticket size were approximately 30% higher than those in store. But there are more benefits to your business than more money (though more money is pretty sweet).

When a mobile app adds another sales channel, the customer experience and your backend operations align. Customers can place and pick up orders without cook time affecting wait time…with the right app, of course. Bottle Rocket develops natively for each device our partners’ customers prefer. Since we work closely with brands during development, we build custom apps to address present and future business and customer needs. This sounds like a given for a mobile experience, but not every major brand boasts a custom native app. A recent study revealed of the top 100 chain restaurant brands, 34 don’t provide a native app for customers. More than 10 other brands’ apps were used so sparingly that they didn’t qualify for the study.

Think Beyond the App

We’re successful in building native loyalty apps for QSR partners, but we’ve been around long enough to know customers will soon demand other mobile experiences to simplify their lives.

Ordering online from home or the office is great, but from the parking lot in a connected physical space could be better. We’re also developing voice integration, so ordering anywhere involves less labor for customers. As we’ve learned in 2016 from working with our international partners, 27% of customers wanted faster payment and delivery from their QSR brands. To us, mobile means more than phones and tablets, so we’re utilizing car interfaces in drive-through or delivery scenarios to address both customer needs.

Okay, Now What?

QSR brands need mobile experiences to galvanize loyalty programs. If they want to really make an impact, those experiences need to be custom and natively built. You don’t have to take our word for it, though. Just look at your own brand’s success. It certainly wasn’t built by imitating another store’s approach. Ask for a mobile experience as unique as you to give users what they want now and in the future. Download our three principles for QSR mobile experiences to learn how to make that happen.

While you’re at it, fill out the form below to read our approach to mobile loyalty too!

August 31, 2015

Mobile Ordering Boosts Quick-Service Restaurant Sales

Quick-service restaurants are starting to make the switch to mobile ordering and payments with apps. Services vary between restaurants and even by location, but what remains constant are the results. Taco Bell and Chick-fil-A were some of the first to adopt the new mobile offering and others are working to follow their lead. When Taco Bell first launched their app, 3 out of 4 Taco Bell restaurant locations processed a mobile order in the first day. Now, they are at the upwards of 2 million downloads after only a few months.

Mobile ordering is not the only feature proven to drive sales. Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, for example, have also seen success offering customers multiple options for mobile payment. These options make it easier for both restaurants users to track rewards points. Instead of customers having to keep track of punch or rewards cards, everything they need to know is within the app. The ease of use and access to rewards programs in mobile apps ultimately increases brand loyalty, goodwill and user engagement.

Mobile Payment and Ordering Statistics

Business Insider recently released a case study showing the success of mobile ordering and mobile payment apps, outlining the following stats:

  • Taco Bell’s app orders are 20% higher on average than in-store orders as they tend to include extra toppings and group orders.

  • Starbucks mobile payment revenues continue to grow quarter to quarter.

  • Quick Service Restaurant sales continue to climb and the rate is growing.
  • According to Greg Creed, CEO of YUM!, Pizza Hut’s digital sales grew 40% year-over-year in Q4 of 2014 and a majority of the orders were made through the mobile app.
  • Domino’s created a voice order-ahead app that processed 200,000 voice orders from June - October of 2014. Now, 50% of the company’s orders are digital.

Mobile Ordering Takeaways

Quick service restaurant sales and mobile payments continue to grow year-over-year. At this point, it is safe to say that mobile ordering is here to stay.

Looking at increased order sizes with mobile apps, whether it is because the user was previously unaware of the option or because they were presented the choice of hyper-personalization, Taco Bell has seen proof that customers are willing to pay more to get what they want; as long as its convenient.

While mobile order-ahead may not be a fit for every quick service restaurant, mobile payment options and in-app loyalty rewards tracking is enough incentive for many users; as seen with Dunkin Donuts. The key again: convenience.

Contact us to learn more about mobile ordering and to find out how your loyalty app can drive sales.

Fill out the form below to download our latest Mobile Loyalty POV or click here to learn more.

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