Chick-fil-A rolled out mobile payment nationwide Monday, and has expanded a mobile order-ahead option to 130 restaurants in certain cities.
By the end of 2016, the Atlanta-based quick-service operator said customers should be able to order and pay ahead using their smartphones systemwide. Chick-fil-A operates or franchises 1,850 locations in 41 states and the District of Columbia.
“This literally puts the ordering process in customers’ hands,” Khalilah Cooper, Chick-fil-A’s leader of digital ordering strategy, said in a statement. “Mobile ordering is all about giving customers the flexibility and choice to order what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. It’s perfect for any customer who is short on time, and it’s also convenient for families with children who want to customize a large order and avoid standing in line at the front counter.”
Mobile payment using quick response, or QR, codes, at the counter is available at all units except licensed locations via the Chick-fil-A app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices.
The app allows guests to register for an account and load funds with either a credit or debit card. QR codes can be scanned at the counter or the drive-thru window.
Mobile ordering, which goes a step further, began as a test in 2013 and has been expand to 130 restaurants in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Orlando, Fla., and Washington, D.C.
The ordering app allows guests to fully customize their meal, and will save their order for easy reordering in future. Food is prepared when guests “check in” on the app when they arrive at the restaurant, and guests can choose whether they prefer to pick up in restaurants or have the food delivered curbside.
The pay-ahead option can tap either a credit or debit card, or the guest’s preloaded mobile account.
Mobile ordering, however, is not yet available for breakfast or catering orders, the company said.
As mobile ordering rolls out, the company is also looking at new features, like an auto-reload option for mobile payments, or the ability to use Apple Pay within the Chick-fil-A mobile app.
Chick-fil-A is the latest in a growing line of restaurant chains going mobile this year, as consumers increasingly turn to their smartphones and other devices to streamline the dining out experience.
Other large restaurant chains in the limited-service segment that are launching mobile order-and-pay ahead options this year or soon include Starbucks, Taco Bell, Panera Bread, Panda Express, Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway.
Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].
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