There is no denying that mobile is the way of the future. Everything in our lives from our choices of clothing accessories to the how we care for our pets is going the way of mobile. The driving force behind a lot of this recent mobile push is convenience. Want to know what the weather is like outside? Just check your weather app. Need to cash a paycheck? Just open your banking app. All of these steps make our life easier, but more importantly it makes everyday actions go much faster.
With all that in mind, fast food, one of our favorite forms of convenience, has become even more, well, convenient thanks to mobile ordering. The days of yelling your order from your car window into a short-circuiting speaker, hoping that they didn’t forget your french fries will soon be gone. Mobile ordering is a feature that big coffee brands, such as Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, have already launched on their own mobile apps, but the fast food industry hasn’t been able to quite get the same traction behind it. Taco Bell is hoping to change that by launching the first mobile ordering app to make fast food even faster.
Taco Bell’s chief operating officer, Mark Grams, told QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) Magazine in a recent interview why mobile ordering is so important to not just their brand, but also their loyal customers:
What we learned long ago was that the biggest pain point in the drive-thru experience is actually placing the order. The stress of finding it on the menuboard or remembering what your friend told you that they wanted from Taco Bell is a huge piece to the consumer that we can relieve with mobile ordering. So our ability to get that out to market and have consumers go through our drive thru, place their order in advance, and simply roll through and pick it up is pretty cool. … Mobile will change drive thru. No doubt.”
According to The Washington Post, this new feature will include GPS tracking that will allow the consumer to see how close they are to the restaurant location, which will indicate when the restaurant should begin cooking their meal. While this seems like a dream come true for those of you who are pressed for time yet still want your order freshly prepared, it does leave each user’s location data vulnerable to potential security breaches.
Along with eliminating the tiresome process of the drive thru order, this new mobile ordering feature will allow those living in bigger cities to avoid the sometimes long lines at Taco Bell. The thought came to Lynn Lloyd, Taco Bell western regional franchise development, after noticing the habits of their customers at some of their Manhattan restaurants:
People would come in the door for lunch, see the queue and walk out. We don’t want that to happen. They only have a certain amount of time. Mobile ordering as they walk seemed like a good idea.”
While the mobile ordering feature is not yet available on Taco Bell’s already existing mobile app (on iOS and Android), you can still look at the menu, find a store location, and even help satisfy your cravings with the CRAVINATOR (see below).