Jan 07, 2014 Dave King
Many of the nation's biggest restaurant chains implemented mobile payments this year, and Chick-fil-A followed suit toward the end of 2013. According to CNBC, the chain is testing a mobile ordering and payment phone application at a number of locations in Ill., Texas, Calif., Ga., Fla., and Va.
"We're testing a mobile ordering app. We're still trying to figure this out - this being mobile ordering and what it means for the fast-food industry," a spokesperson told the source. If the pilot leads to a national rollout, franchisees will be able to choose whether or not to opt in. A decision should be made "within the year or so."
It wouldn't be a surprise if more restaurants implemented an electronic payment system in 2014, as this method of completing transactions offers numerous benefits. For one, it can help cut down on the time people wait in line, according to Open Forum. As a result, revenues may increase as restaurants are able to serve more customers.
Another advantage of offering mobile payments could be an improved loyalty program. Instead of requiring customers to carry around a plastic rewards card, this information could be incorporated directly into a mobile application. Restaurants could also push targeted rewards to customers. For instance, if one person orders a certain type of burrito a lot, they can be alerted when a coupon is available for that option.
Restaurants could also better track inventory. Items purchased with the mobile application provides the necessary data for businesses to know what products to keep in stock. So, if meatball subs are a popular item on Mondays, restaurants can ensure they have enough inventory so they don't run out.