- Chipotle, Panera and Starbucks have the fastest in-store pickup times overall, according to a new study from mobile commerce platform Rakuten Ready. The company had secret shoppers order for pickup at 25 leading QSR, retail and grocery brands across the U.S. to evaluate pickup experience and wait times. Other QSRs surveyed included Burger King, Chick-fil-A, Dunkin', Five Guys, McDonald's, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.
- Chipotle led the QSR pack with 88% of orders ready in less than two minutes.
- The average wait time for the QSRs analyzed in the survey was about two-and-a-half minutes, with 58% of all orders ready in less than two minutes and 78% ready in less than four minutes.
As digital ordering becomes more mainstream, retailers are now homing in on what will separate their service from the pack and keep consumers coming back. This survey concluded that diners who wait less than two minutes to receive their orders are four times more likely to order again compared to customers who wait 10 minutes. Chipotle, Panera and Starbucks were top performers when it came to short wait times, but they also posted high consumer satisfaction. McDonald's had lower scores when it came to both wait time an satisfaction, coming ahead of only Pizza Hut, Five Guys and Burger King of the nine QSRs studied.
A common thread between each chain's approach to pickup appears to be streamlining ordering capabilities while providing dedicated space within the store to make sure orders get in customers' hands as soon as possible. The report called out Chipotle's pickup racks, which allow consumers to walk right in and find their order in lieu of having to communicate with an employee. One of the downsides to the dedicated order station was that consumers reported food being cold or poor quality as a result, the study concluded. Chipotle's dedicated drive-thrus for mobile orders, called Chipotlanes, are also performing well, and it plans to build 60 by the end of 2019.
Starbucks has been one of the longest-standing players in the digital ordering game with its top ranking loyalty program and app. It grew its rewards program to 17.6 million active members during the company's fiscal year ending Sept. 29, 2019, and updated the program to allow users more flexibility. The brand opened its first U.S. pickup-only store in New York City on Tuesday that will be based solely on mobile orders and has plans to launch more express concepts in dense urban areas.