Siri may be the one asking you if ‘you’d like fries with that’ very soon if the fast food giants have it their way (Burger King pun intended).
Taco Bell is in the beta testing stages of its mobile food app designed to eliminate lengthy pit stops at the drive-thru and long lines inside its restaurants. You’ll just need to order the food you want via the mobile app, pay for it virtually, and presto…just pick up that hot goodness inside one of its restaurants. Just as text messaging eliminated the voice aspect of communication, so too may you never have to verbally speak to a human being ever again when ordering your food (who wants that?).
Other major fast food players testing mobile apps for food orders include McDonald’s and Chick-Fil-A, and Chipotle has long been ahead of the curve with a mobile option of their own for years. But before that midnight taco supreme via mobile becomes a reality, there’s three areas fast food giants may want to focus their testing efforts on:
Ordering food via a mobile app is designed to replace the headaches of waiting in long in-person lines and in the drive-thru. Is the fast food ordering process seamless with familiar layouts and is the app easy enough to use? If ordering a taco isn’t as easy as looking up at the board in front of you with food lovingly and intuitively laid out, users may as well just get in line.
Is users’ private information and especially sensitive financial data foolproof from hackers? Starbucks recently beefed up the security of its own popular mobile app and “accelerated the deployment of an update for the app that will add extra layers of protection…out of an abundance of caution.” Without added layers of security that have been deeply tested, users may cling to the security of money they know they’ll be able to control – the cash in their wallets at the drive-thru.
Handling the Lunch-Hour Rush
Can the fast food retail app shoulder the load of the lunch-hour rush? It’s great if the app has passed the checkpoints of secure data and beautiful design, but if the app can’t handle the burden of a 12:30 lunch rush just as well as it can an order placed later in the afternoon, any good qualities the app has go out the door…and it’s back to the (equally frustrating) long lines at the counter and drive-thru.
The fast food big guys certainly have the right idea when it comes to the fast food experience done faster than ever before – taking the waiting completely out of the equation. And the sky’s the limit as to what can be incorporated into this mobile experience, such as saving ‘favorite’ orders for future treks and mobile reward programs integrated into the mix. But can the Taco Bells and the McDonald’s’ of the world take the pain out of long lines and wasted time and truly channel it into a satisfying, secure, convenient and bug-free user experience for all?