This is a generation of internet, smartphones, social media, and instant gratification.
We can instantly download anything from books to movies and have pizza and groceries delivered straight to our doors. All of this can be done from the comfort of our homes or mobile and on the go. Many pizza companies have apps that help you get a pizza delivered. Online shopping sites, such as eBay, have mobile apps to make mobile shopping easier. More and more companies are shifting to mobile-friendly browsers and creating new apps. One of these companies is a popular (and delicious) fast-food chain: Taco Bell.
Taco Bell is making fast-food faster. They’ve developed, and are testing, a mobile application that lets you order and pay for your food before getting to one of their many restaurants. After your order has been placed, you will be able to either walk in or go through the drive-thru to pick up your meal. The app will also save the order data, so the meal can be repeated another time. You don’t have to remember a thing.
But what if Taco Bell prepares your food too fast and it’s cold by the time you arrive? Impossible.
The app will have a GPS feature that alerts Taco Bell when you’re close. Employees will know when to start making the food, so it’s hot and ready when you’ve arrived. Of course, it’s still in testing, but if it works right, your food will be freshly made and ready to go when you get there. The Taco Bell mobile lead, Jeff Jenkins, said, “With the popularity of millennials and smart phones, we saw this coming, and decided to build the ground work a couple of years ago for mobile. Mobile is going to be the biggest sort of innovator, shake-up in the quick service industry since the drive-thru.” Jenkins also believes that more customers will use the app instead of the drive-thru. “When you’re in the drive-thru and there are three cars behind you, you can feel the pressure to order quickly. It’s what we call menu board anxiety,” said Jenkins. “This gives you the opportunity to do it on your own time.”
Taco Bell started developing the app two years ago and it is currently testing in five Orange County locations. The company plans to launch the app in more locations by the end of the year.
If the app works, we can expect other companies to follow suit. McDonald’s has an app that will provide discount-offering coupons to its customers. Kevin Newell, chief brand and strategy officer for McDonald’s U.S., stated, “There are a number of customers out there within the millennial age range that we talk about often who need to be better engaged with our products.” Different companies can see that this generation is moving mobile and they’re doing all that they can to stay connected. Fast-food companies are developing mobile apps and websites, including this one, offer mobile browsers to make viewing easier on devices. As more and more businesses, companies, and corporations move mobile, it’s going to be a lot easier to stay connected with our favorite brands, foods, and restaurants.