How fast is too fast for your fast food? That may be the question facing many quick service food chains pretty soon. The popularity of online and mobile app-based ordering has reached new heights for many casual dining chains like Five Guys and Chipotle. Pizza has been in on the trend as well. Many pizza restaurants and chains allow you to order your food from home or on the road from your mobile phone or tablet. It offers an added layer of convenience and customization. However, should fast food restaurants incorporate online and mobile ordering into their restaurant services? It’s really a tough call.
For the most part, fast food restaurants have veered away from the idea of mobile and online ordering because of the logistics involved. Fast food restaurants are already geared towards fast, convenient food and some feel that mobile and online ordering may interfere with these operation plans or affect the quality of the food. It was never cost-effective as many customers are on-the-go or in a hurry anyway. However, with the successes mentioned above, some quick service restaurants are beginning to question whether there might be a market for online ordering in quick-service restaurants too.
Recent news from Sonic Drive-In restaurants suggests that this may be the case. Sonic will be testing out online ordering in a select number of its restaurants in Arizona. Snapfinger, the service provider that includes several restaurant chains like Subway, Baja Fresh, and Outback says that it has the technology to ensure that food quality doesn’t go down. If this is the case, food consultants might encourage more online ordering in quick-service restaurants. It should be interesting to see what the future holds.