Burger King customers will soon be able to order and pay for Whoppers with a simple Google search.
The Miami-based burger chain starting Monday will integrate with Google, enabling customers to simply search for “Burger King” on Google Search, Google Maps or the Google Pay app and then order delivery or pickup.
The idea is to simplify the ordering process as much as possible without the use of one of the third-party delivery apps. “It really is about as simple as you can get,” Ellie Doty, chief marketing officer for Burger King North America, said in an interview with Restaurant Business. “You search for Burger King on Google or in the Google Pay app and you see the option to order anything off our menu.”
The chain is also integrated with Google Pay, and between now and early January, customers can earn 20% cash back on their Burger King orders of $10 or more. Google integration is now available in 5,000 of Burger King’s 7,300 U.S. locations.
Mobile ordering and delivery have become increasingly important for restaurants in the pandemic era, and many of the biggest chains have been pushing hard to integrate more technology into their restaurants. The goal is to make things as simple as possible.
“It’s where the guest is today,” Doty said. “It’s what’s expected. If you’re not playing in that game, you’re really disappointing. Guest expectations have changed. We have to move with the times and keep up with what guests have expected from us.”
Delivery sales have tripled so far this year, executives with Burger King parent company Restaurant Brands International said in October. Burger King has spent much of the past couple of years working to bolster its delivery functionality in a bid to capture more of those sales in the coming years.
“We continue to see some pretty impressive increases in the use of app orders and delivery,” Doty said.
Burger King’s efforts also include completing a “white label” delivery experience that is necessary to get onto Google’s platform.
The company is also getting into ghost kitchens, or facilities that house one or more delivery-only “virtual” brands. Burger King has a unit in a ghost kitchen in Philadelphia. “I would expect more of that,” Doty said. “We’ve got quite a few things up our sleeve as we look forward to ’21.”
Burger King is adding digital capabilities throughout its restaurants and recently unveiled a new design that includes drive-thru lanes dedicated to delivery and mobile order pickup as well as greater use of digital menu boards and other strategies.
Google added an order delivery button onto restaurant searches last year, enabling customers to order delivery without an app. Chains have generally been slow to jump on board even as delivery itself has taken off.
To Burger King, the integration with Google is part of an overarching digital strategy that Doty promises will make the brand easier to use in the coming year.
“We’re really bullish on digital,” Doty said. “We look forward to easier payment and ways to make the drive-thru easier and ghost kitchens that give more access to the brand.”