Chick-fil-A is upgrading its mobile app, giving the company the ability to start preparing orders when customers are getting close to the restaurant.
The company said this week that it will also provide customers with an estimate of how long an order will take if it is placed for takeout, curbside service or dine-in.
The features will roll out throughout the 2,800-unit chain this summer.
The app uses geofencing technology that will notify the kitchen when customers are getting close to the restaurant so they can start preparing the order. The idea is to ensure that an order is hotter when a customer arrives than it might be otherwise.
It also reduces customers’ wait times. “By timing a customer’s arrival with their order, we can ensure they’re getting a meal that is both fresh and served quickly,” said Morgan Anderer, senior project lead on the customer digital experience team at the Atlanta-based chain.
Chick-fil-A is one of several large fast-food chains starting to use location technology to start preparing orders at a more optimal time for customers’ arrival. McDonald’s, for instance, recently enabled geolocation technology in its mobile app to enable better-timed mobile orders.
Chick-fil-A has tested geofencing technology and estimated wait times at 100 locations across the country. The company said customers on average reduced wait time between one and two minutes. Estimated wait times, meanwhile, were accurate more than 90% of the time.
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