Chains like Starbucks are improving the ordering experience.
Starbucks already offers the largest and most robust mobile ecosystem of any retailer in the world, with more than 12 million Starbucks Rewards members (up 18 percent), 8 million mobile paying customers (one out of three now use Mobile Order & Pay), and more than $6 billion loaded onto prepaid Starbucks Cards in North America during the past year alone.
Now Starbucks will unveil an innovative conversational ordering system, My Starbucks Barista, powered by groundbreaking Artificial Intelligence for the Starbucks Mobile App. Customers will be able to place their orders via voice command or messaging interface, delivering unparalleled speed and convenience. The My Starbucks Barista feature will roll out first on iOS in limited beta in early 2017 and be made available to more iOS and Android users in subsequent releases.
Other leading foodservice operators are simplifying the order process in other creative manners. In British Columbia, Canada, McDonald’s customers can now order fresh McCafé Bakery offerings, such as French croissants and Mini Chocolatines, from digital ordering kiosks inside the store.
McDonald's hopes its digital ordering kiosks will modernize dining for its customers.
Guests are also treated to table delivery, allowing them to sit down and enjoy their drinks while they wait for meal or dessert. New “guest experience leaders” engage with guests and greet them from hello to goodbye.
"Since opening our first restaurant in 1967, we've been dedicated to serving Canadians quality food alongside a memorable restaurant experience," says Shelly Hansen, western regional vice president for McDonald's Canada. "We've listened to the evolving needs and taste buds of our guests, to design and deliver a modernized dining experience rooted in the personalization and customization Canadians crave."
With these new positions, processes and technology, McDonald's and its franchisees are investing between $200,000 and $250,000, and hiring 10 to 15 employees in each of the 140 participating restaurants to create more than 2,000 local jobs.
"Our new experience of the future is all about our guests and what they are looking for – from more traditional menu items to new customizable offerings," says local McDonald's franchisee Andy Bates.