With the many advances in ordering tech, it’s no wonder that 45% of North American consumers would like more restaurants to integrate tech into the ordering process, according to Technomic. But not all digital ordering is equal, at least in the eyes of consumers and how frequently it's used.
Using its Consumer Brand Metrics data, Technomic is able to gauge which chains have the systems favored by consumers. Scores are based on the percentage of customers who marked that a chain is “very good” at integrating tech into the ordering process.
Here are the five operators that consumers rate as the best at incorporating tech into the ordering process, from fifth to first.
5. Panera Bread Company
The clean food-focused brand has increased investment in ordering tech over recent years as part of its Panera 2.0 initiative, offering customized ordering through its website, app and in-unit kiosks. The chain also set a 2016 target of offering offering self-run delivery (rather than using a third party) in 10% of its stores.
One survey responder said of Panera’s system, “They have great food at a great price and easy ordering kiosks.”
4. The Habit Burger Grill
This growing fast-casual burger chain wanted to prevent potential customers from seeing long lines in the store or in the drive-thru and turning away, so they implemented tablet ordering and sent employees to take orders from customers waiting in line in order to decrease wait times. The moves reduced customer wait times by 35%, according to a supplier. Additionally, the first drive-thru to implement tablet ordering broke previous drive-thru sales records by 10%, which the company partly attributed to the addition of technology.
Burger and frozen custard concept Culver’s allows users to customize their options through its mobile app. Customers who download the app can choose a favorite location and see the frozen custard flavor of the day for that location on the home screen of the app. Customers can also save their favorite frozen custard flavors, and the app will tell them the location of the closest units serving those flavors.
It’s easier than ever to order a pizza from Domino’s without speaking to another human being. The pizza brand unveiled Zero Click ordering, allowing customers to place an order in seconds simply by opening an app. Domino’s also launched chatbot ordering through Facebook Messenger and Twitter, emoji ordering through Twitter, and voice-command ordering through Samsung Smart TVs, Amazon Echo and Google Home. One survey responder wrote approvingly, “The food was delivered quickly and the online tracking and ordering system was efficient.”
In New Zealand, Domino’s partnered with drone maker Flirtey to make flying deliveries and announced plans to eventually bring drone delivery to the U.S., giving customers eager to order via drone a preview of what’s to come.
Despite Domino’s many updates in the field of online ordering, consumers placed Chick-fil-A at the top of the tech pecking order. The chicken brand’s Chick-fil-A One app, released last summer, allows customers to place a customized order, pay through the app and pick up their food without waiting in line. The app also serves as a loyalty program. It offers a sandwich or sides as a “treat” once customers have made enough purchases. Users can look through the menu, filter menu items by allergies and locate units.
Chick-fil-A has also invested in tablet technology to speed along the ordering process. “There was a huge line and they were outside with tablets walking through the line [and] taking orders to get us on through quicker,” said one survey responder.