Since the start of the pandemic, restaurants that never thought of opening drive-thru locations have changed course in response to widespread demand for the channel. Casual and fast-paced burger brand Shake Shack and pretzel chain Auntie Anne’s are among those that have moved into the space over the past year.
Now Sweetgreen comes aboard. The salad chain announced Wednesday (March 23) that it will open a “sweetlane” drive-thru in Schaumburg, Ill., within the next year.
“We are constantly innovating to offer more comfort to our customers, which is why we are delighted with our first sweetlane concept in Schaumburg,” said Nicolas Jammet, co-founder and concept director of Sweetgreen, in a press release. hurry. “Digital customers are our most frequent users, and we believe this new format will give us more options to connect people to real food.”
According to data from PYMNTS’ new Restaurant Friction Index, created in collaboration with Paytronix, which is based on a survey of more than 500 quick-service and full-service restaurant managers, approximately half of all restaurants offer the ability to retrieve Drive-thru orders.
Read more: New data shows digital loyalty programs are a key differentiator for top-performing restaurants
Additionally, the study also drew on survey results from a balanced panel of over 2,100 US consumers, and 35% of those consumers said they would be more likely to shop at restaurants offering drive-thru. Additionally, 18% of restaurants that don’t offer drive-thru pickup said they plan to add the feature in the future.
Voice control coming in consumer cars
Three months after North Palm Beach, Fla.-based fast-casual chain BurgerFi announced it would launch in-car ordering in 5G-enabled cars in partnership with in-vehicle commerce company Mavi.io, Mavi. io announced Thursday (March 24) that it has secured a $1.775 million investment to bring the technology to life.
“Drivers love the convenience of curbside pickup, and they want to be able to shop from their car safely and efficiently to get the most out of every trip,” said Mavi.io CEO and Co-Founder Cynthia. Hollen, in a press release. “…For retailers and service providers, MAVI’s Automotive Market brings customers back to their stores and drives new customer acquisition, sales and loyalty, ensuring they can meet their customers’ needs. on the go for immediacy and convenience.”
A study from the PYMNTS 2021 How We Eat Playbook, created in collaboration with Fiserv’s Carat, which is inspired by a survey of a census-balanced panel of more than 5,200 American consumers, found that 20% of consumers said they were “very” or “extremely” interested in using their voice to buy food and groceries. Additionally, the study found that consumers who have switched to ordering food and groceries online more often than they did before the pandemic are more than twice as likely to express interest in using voice commerce technology in the future.
See more : 182 million consumers now use digital channels to buy and pay for their food
Voice commerce for restaurant orders can be technologically complex. In a December interview with PYMNTS, Fiserv’s vice president of global digital commerce, Scott Mackay, noted that with all the additions, substitutions, and individual requests that come with a restaurant order, those purchases can be more difficult to process. than buying a single, non-variable. Object.
Read more: Restaurants and grocers embrace voice and contextual commerce to thrive in an omnichannel world
“We’ve found that in voice commerce, single and repeat orders are some of the easiest…but restaurant orders can be somewhat challenging when you go beyond simple coffee orders and that sort of thing,” did he declare.
McDonald’s Leverages Szechuan Sauce to Drive Mobile Adoption
When it comes to getting consumers to sign up and engage with its mobile offerings, McDonald’s just played its ace in the hole. The fast-food giant (QSR) announced on Monday (March 21) the surprise return of its much-requested Szechuan sauce as an exclusive offer for those who order through the brand’s app.
Animated menu items play an important role in McDonald’s strategy to drive digital adoption.
“Our MCD pillars continue to drive U.S. competitors as the strong marketing efforts behind McRib and the Crispy Chicken Sandwich have been complemented by digital adoption by our customers,” said McDonald’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. , Kevin Ozan, to analysts during an earnings call in late January. “Digital growth remains a key driver of success in the United States. Our loyalty program continues to grow, with digital sales increasing month over month.”
Results from PYMNTS and Paytronix’ January study, “The Digital Divide Report: Minding the Loyalty Gap,” which is based on a survey of more than 2,400 American adults, found that 61% of respondents had Earned loyalty rewards for spending in the past 30 days. , and the majority of QSR loyalty program members earned their rewards through the brand’s mobile app.
See more : Restaurants compete for loyalty programs to stand out as consumers join multiple programs