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Tech Tracker:  Denny’s expands Amazon relationship Courtesy of Denny's

Tech Tracker: Denny’s expands Amazon relationship, Dunkin’ refreshes app

Plus, Seattle-based Restaurants Unlimited rolls out rewards app

Denny’s on Demand expands: Denny's love affair with Amazon continues to blossom. The full-service family-dining chain, which in March introduced Amazon Alexa voice ordering, has expanded its relationship ­­­with the e-commerce giant by adding delivery through Amazon Restaurants.  Amazon’s delivery arm is part of a handful of third-party delivery operators such as DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grub Hub and Postmates vying for dominance in the doorstep meal-delivery marketplace. The Amazon partnership builds on the company’s year-old Denny’s on Demand platform, which allows diners in about half of the chain’s more than 1,700 restaurants to order food 24 hours a day using a variety of digital services. Various digital platforms under Denny’s On Demand have generated more than 3 million orders to date, Denny said.  “As our guests continue to seek convenient ways to enjoy their Denny’s favorites, delivery has become increasingly important and the addition of Amazon Restaurants brings another delivery option to our platform,” CMO John Dillon said in a statement.  

Evolving apps: Dunkin’ Donuts, who along with rival Starbucks, has been a mobile ordering innovator recently refreshed its app. The new design allows time-strapped consumers to order as soon as they launch the app. No scrolling required.  Other new features include uber-customization, such as indicating how much ice you want in a cold beverage. The app for Dallas-based Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is now available for Android users. The chain debuted its in-house developed app in January, but it was limited to Apple users.  The Android features are the same as the Apple version, and include the ability to order group catering or individual meals. Meanwhile, Lake Forest, Calif.-based Del Taco has begun testing its own app.  Mobile ordering is now available in Las Vegas, Sacramento and parts of Southern California. Some stores offer orders for pickup only near the company’s home base in Orange County. Most Nevada locations offer delivery. The Mexican quick-service chain also is testing third-party delivery operators including Grub Hub.  

IHOP inks delivery deal: After testing delivery with different providers, IHOP is now partnering with DoorDash on delivery. About 300 of the chain’s 1,650 restaurants now offer delivery through DoorDash in 22 states. The company expects to make an additional 600 to 700 IHOP restaurants available for delivery by the end of the year.  To celebrate the partnership, IHOP is offering free delivery on orders of $10 or more from July 18 through July 22.

Driving loyalty: Seattle-based Restaurants Unlimited, which has 42 restaurants throughout the U.S. under 19 concepts, recently debuted an app. The app allows fans of the company to access to each of the company’s full-service restaurants in one spot. The app is not for ordering but instead is designed to generate loyalty and frequency.  Through the app, customers can see their points balance, get directions to any restaurant and call a restaurant and see its hours of operation. Diners can also use the app to “check in” when they arrive.  Diner loyalty points are combined from each restaurant, and rewards can be redeemed at any Restaurants Unlimited restaurant.  The app will also notify guests about new menu specials. Brands owned by Restaurants Unlimited include Portland City Grill, Palisade, Cutters Crabhouse and Skates on the Bay. Multi-unit brands include Kincaid’s, Palomino Restaurant & Bar, Portland Seafood Company and Stanford’s. The company also recently tapped TakeOut Tech to provide food pickup or delivery at Henry’s Tavern in South Lake Union in Seattle. The off-premise ordering, available online or through TakeOut Tech’s mobile app, should roll out to other restaurants before fall.

Got a tech tip? Contact tech editor Nancy Luna at [email protected] 

Follow her on Twitter: @FastFoodMaven

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