- Wendy's delivery and digital sales are up 325% year-to-date, Chief Digital Officer Laura Titas said during the company’s Investor Day on Friday. Digital sales make up 2% of the company’s overall U.S. sales, but the company plans to grow that amount to 10% of sales by 2024.
- The fast food chain, which currently partners with DoorDash, will expand its partnerships with Uber Eats and Grubhub next year.
- The company will also launch a loyalty program accessible across multiple channels to help drive frequency and engagement.
Wendy's has found its foothold in digital sales, especially with delivery, where orders are 50% to 60% higher than average check sizes and delivery times less than 30 minutes, Titas said. Mobile ordering is about 20% higher than average checks, she said. Digital customers also deepen the restaurant's understanding of consumer behavior since the company can now collect data on these diners.
A loyalty program also will add to the company’s ability to retain customers, while its expansion of delivery partners will open up new diner bases. Many restaurants, including McDonald's, have been moving away from exclusive delivery partnerships to find more customers that are platform loyal.
To improve the customer experience, it plans to use POS integration and create in-app ordering for delivery. POS integration will send delivery orders straight to the restaurant and is expected to shave off three to five minutes of delivery time, Titas said.
With in-app ordering, Wendy's can track and address customer satisfaction issues more easily. It will also use geolocation technology for mobile ordering that will ensure that customers are ordering from the right restaurant and will even send orders to restaurants that are closer to the customer to ensure the food is hot and fresh, Titas said. Using GPS technology is becoming a growing tool among QSRs, with Dunkin' and Shake Shack using Grubhub's geofencing technology to improve delivery. Burger King plans to use geolocation to deliver orders to people stuck in traffic.
The company also plans to expand its ordering channels and currently offers voice order on Google Assistant and plans to add others in the future. This is another growing area among fast food chains, including Domino's, Wingstop, KFC and Pizza Hut. McDonald's also added voice automated capabilities to its job application process a few weeks ago.
Addressing the needs of the digital customer is key to the restaurant increasing customer annual visits. The average customer visits 5.5 times annually while digital customers visit on average 22 times a year. This will help the company bring it closer to its top competitor that averages 25 customer visits annually, Titas said.