The Burger King app offers consumers the chance to order, pay, and earn discounts and rewards.
McDonald’s and Burger King will compete to bring consumers mobile payment, after separately trialling platforms to allow customers to order with a smartphone.
Burger King’s smartphone app – tested in the Miami area ahead of a potential rollout to 7,000 stores in the US – allows consumers to choose menu items on their phone, and add credit to a ‘reloadable virtual card’ that will give them the option to pay for their meal straight from their device.
McDonald’s has also been expanding its pre-existing smartphone app to allow consumers to order and pay for food. The system has been tested in western parts of the US in recent months – first at 29 restaurants in California, before being expanded to a further 51 restaurants in Washington.
McDonald’s plans to implement mobile ordering in 20,000 restaurants worldwide by the end of the year, including around 14,000 in the US ‘by quarter four’ and a further 6,000 stores across Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Australia and China.
Both platforms offer the opportunity to market new products at consumers, including through promotions and discounts. They also include the option for consumers to search for their nearest outlet, while the Burger King platform appears to offer rewards based on how much consumers spend.
By recognising the value in mobile ordering, the two chains will be the latest restaurant franchises to introduce new payment methods for customers.
The most notable is Domino’s Pizza, which, for the past few years, has experimented with emerging payment platforms such as smart watches, smart TVs, text, Twitter, and Facebook Messenger. In April 2016, it launched a ‘zero-click app’ that allows consumers to automatically order a saved pizza preference by loading up the application and waiting for the ten-second timer to expire. And in December, it added the option for consumers to order through Google Home, the technology giant’s voice-activated assistant, by using the phrase ‘OK, Google, talk to Domino’s’.
As competitive as the fast food industry is, the sight of McDonald’s and Burger King working simultaneously on the same concept will be a rare moment of unity between the two rival brands, and a vote of confidence in the future of mobile ordering. In 2015, the two companies came to blows over Burger King’s proposal to sell a hybrid ‘McWhopper’ burger in aid of Peace Day.
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