March 14, 2014
Starbucks and McDonalds are working towards implementing mobile ordering and digital payment systems. Besides the pizza industry, most fast food chains have been reluctant to adopt digital ordering systems, while small businesses have been quick to accept GrubHub, which allows customers to order food online or through a smartphone app. Since GrubHub recognizes that fast food chains will likely create their own apps, the company is focused on partnering with independent restaurants.
Starbucks, McDonalds, and other chains could significantly benefit from online ordering, which would reduce wait times and help the companies gather more customer information.
Starbucks has declined to release details about the app other than it will allow for online ordering.
In contrast to the potential benefits, “without enough space to create a separate line and money to invest in more staff, experts say pre-ordering could make lines at Starbucks move even slower than they are now,” reports MarketWatch.
Experts also say that with the slow growth of the current restaurant industry, it will be difficult for Starbucks and fast food giants to hire more employees to handle the pre-ordered drinks or meals.
“To the extent that mobile ordering becomes the norm, these apps will be another way for giants like McDonalds and Starbucks to reap the benefits of scale over their smaller competitors and make fast food even faster,” suggests Businessweek.