QSR INSIGHTS

Mobile Ordering and Loyalty Programs Primed to Thrive in 2022

OneDataSource Blog Post Brand Mark

The OneDataSource Editorial Team

Mobile ordering extends beyond simply convenience and drive-thru experience. It’s also about solving friction points throughout the guest experience, innovating in new ways, and building digital customer relationships. Those are key to positioning QSRs to thrive in the future.

Mobile Ordering & Customer Loyalty for QSR Brands

The best QSR and fast casual brands have leaned into mobile to gain a competitive advantage.

One chain that’s had the digital customer in mind for some years now is Panera. For example, they launched their 2.0 initiative in 2014 that included digital ordering, payment, and operations capabilities. Now, they’re staying on the cutting edge by incorporating technology like contactless service, letting customers order and get notified of pickup when their order is ready. They also added geofencing, signaling the customers’ arrival to the back-of-house so that staff can prepare orders promptly.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though. Many brands, including Panera, know that data can be a defining element. Knowing who is ordering – and what – is powerful in building a better guest experience and brand relationship.

For example, in one report, Panera notes that they recently rolled out personalized product recommendations, personal reorder suggestions and a look at each customer’s last 90 days of orders.16 Another innovation they’re adding to stores includes automatic identification for loyal customers both in and out of stores.17 Of course, reward points and in-app loyalty offers help extend the connection between brand and customer. But imagine a loyal customer walks through the doors, and a staff member acknowledges them by name. Then, that staff member is empowered to offer them an extra perk. That goes a long way in building goodwill long after the customer has left the premises.

McDonald’s is another example of adding personalization with its launch of the MyMcDonald’s loyalty program in 2021. The program includes personalized order suggestions and deals at the chain’s kiosks, mobile app, and digital menu boards at the drive-thru. A report from Incisiv indicates consumers want that as they order digitally, with McDonald’s taking a step further to offer those recommendations and customizations in person.

What’s ahead for creating a frictionless process for consumers and a brand’s most loyal customers?

Quick service is an industry that’s already undergoing significant evolution thanks to technology. That will only continue as more brands adopt innovative ways to transform the customers’ experience.

That includes a digitally enabled experience inside the restaurant, drive-thru lane, and app. Further, it will involve removing friction in payment. Incisiv reports that 50 percent of guests prefer paying from a mobile wallet, but just 20 percent of limited-service chains provide expanded payment options. So, look for QSRs to adopt consumer trends like expanded digital payment options, whether that’s a preference for real-time payment like Zelle or Venmo, digital wallets, or Apple Pay.18

Faced with a global pandemic, rising food costs, higher labor costs alongside labor shortages, and stress of the supply chain, QSR operators found ways to pivot.

In our 5 QSR Trends to Watch in 2022 Report, we explore how you can navigate those trends to deliver sales growth and improve your bottom line next year.

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