Dunkin’ Donuts is the latest fast-food restaurant hopping on the bandwagon to cater to the laziness of Americans, democratically put as responding to calls for “convenience” by Dunkin’ Brands Chairman and CEO Nigel Travis.
Yesterday the coffee and bakery shop signaled plans to someday test delivery and mobile ordering, with full service expected to launch in 2016.
The company is currently running a private test, with plans to launch a more public test later in the year, according to Travis. Details surrounding the plan remain murky, but Dunkin’ will most likely partner with Postmates, a delivery service app, that other restaurants are using.
A partnership with Postmates allows the various fast-food chains to integrate the ordering process into the restaurants’ own mobile application, control the transaction and track consumer response and interest.
Tech investments could be the punch Dunkin’ needs to compete with coffee and bakery rival Starbucks, which is already experimenting with both concepts. The company’s U.S. same-store sales grew only 1.6% for fiscal 2014, while Starbucks reported a 6% jump for its latest fiscal year.
In March, Starbucks partnered with Postmates, which had already been delivering orders without the company’s involvement, to increase the productivity of deliveries. The deal allowed Seattle-based Starbucks to expand its mobile ordering across much of the Pacific Northwest and to begin testing delivery in Seattle and in New York City’s Empire State building.
Starbucks offers a flat delivery fee and plans to launch a new initiative, “Green Apron,” that would have actual baristas delivering coffee in New York later this year.
Chipotle also partnered with Postmates in March and is currently delivering in 67 select cities. The company saw a 30% increase in online delivery orders in April from March. The fast-casual chain has a delivery fee capped at $7.99, and costs are usually between $4.99 and $7.99, based on the order.
During Chipotle’s investor call in April, the company revealed that about 6.6% of sales, including catering and Burritos by the Box, were through online orders. However, first-quarter revenue was recorded at $1.09 billion, short of the $1.11 billion Wall Street expected.
McDonald’s McDelivery is in a pilot program with Postmates, but so far the service lacks a cap on delivery costs, which means fees can range from $5 to $20, depending on how far your Quarter Pounder has to travel.
The full McDonald’s menu is available for delivery, except for ice cream cones, during the normal operating hours of participating restaurants. Some restaurants are offering delivery 24 hours a day.
Executives for Yum Brands, owner of Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken, say there is potential for delivery service in the future.
Burger King was the first fast-food giant to offer delivery services, starting in 2012 in Washington, D.C. BK Delivery, as it’s called, has since expanded to other U.S. cities, such as New York, and this year plans to broaden the service to select U.K. locations.
Convenience or laziness, I’ll take a medium French vanilla swirl with cream and sugar.
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