As 2021 comes to a close, the Paytronix team took a look at some of our favorite apps from restaurants and c-stores.
In its early days, order and delivery services were an indulgence, a treat for the occasional lazy night-in after a long workday. But during the pandemic, online delivery became a lifeline for people stuck at home, and a competitive edge for c-stores and restaurants. Now we’re entering the next phase with “ghost kitchens” and “dark stores” rising out of vacated storefronts that were once home to traditional mom and pop businesses. These stores operate virtually, fielding orders digitally, fulfilling them behind closed doors, and dispatching couriers within minutes.
Today, mobile apps have become front and center for all brands, which means that restaurants and c-stores are transforming their apps to seamlessly integrate all of their services into a single touch-and-go hub. These services include:
NFC and in-app payments
Customizations such as product favorites and re-order capabilities
Experience is everything. A successful app captures the essence of your brand and delivers your services to customers in seamless and exciting ways.
One of the great things about being in this industry is helping iconic brands grow and adjust to the market. Checkers & Rally’s offers our latest opportunity to be part of such a change. The brand has always been known for its great burgers and its drive-thru locations, but just this week announced that it closed $20 million in funding to fuel new growth. Now its new Paytronix-driven loyalty program and mobile app will be a key part of that strategy, as the company predicts the rewards program and app will help increase guest visits by as much as 20% and increase guest spend by as much as 15%.
I recently sat down with my fellow product manager, Joel Udwin, to talk about where our worlds collide: integrating mobile at the point of sale. We like to think that a mobile strategy is placed in the pocket of the consumer, but it doesn’t stay there – mobile engagement must integrate with in-store operations to be successful. Joel, who manages our mobile products, explains why:
Q: Why is a POS integration important when it comes to mobile engagement?
A: Wow, Paige. I thought that since we worked together, you would give me easy questions, but you just knocked it out of the park. [Chuckles] I don’t like bucketing mobile into this separate silo of mobile engagement. When we talk about mobile engagement, we are really just talking about guest engagement. At restaurants and convenience stores, a large portion of customer engagement occurs at the point of sale, where most transactions take place today. Implementing an engagement strategy without considering your point of sale is like driving a small car on an icy road – you’ll move around, but you won’t necessarily be able to control where you are going. Basically, if your engagement program doesn’t translate at the POS, your employees will be too frustrated by it to evangelize it, and your guests won’t want to use it. Successful mobile engagement programs need to work in harmony with point-of-sale technology and operations.
Last week, California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) introduced version 2.0 of its Pizza Dough® Rewards mobile app, a new mobile app built in concert with rewards systems provider Paytronix Systems, Inc. CPK has rolled out v2.0 of its mobile app to 197 of its company-owned locations in the United States. CPK operates 300 restaurants in 16 countries.
We recently spoke with CPK CIO Andy Mai and Senior Vice President of Marketing Ashley Ceraolo to find out more about the new mobile app.
Tell us what’s new in version 2.0 of the CPK Pizza Dough Rewards app.
Andy Mai: We’ve recently introduced v2.0 of our mobile app. It’s the primary guest engagement vehicle of the CPK Pizza Dough® Rewards program. The app was designed from the bottom up to enhance our guests’ experience with an easy-to-navigate home screen, pay-at-table functionality, and the ability to access and redeem rewards.
Why did CPK believe it needed to overhaul its Pizza Dough Rewards app from the ground up?
Ashley Ceraolo: More than 80% of our guests engage […]
Turn customer engagement into meaningful guest experiences.