Dunkin’ Donuts has announced that it will start offering online ordering through a smartphone app and delivery at some of its establishments. The company will play catch-up to other quick-service restaurants, such as Starbucks, that have already embraced technological advances to make ordering easier for their customers.
Starting on Wednesday, Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in Portland, Maine will start allowing their customers to pre-order food or coffee using a smartphone app. Additionally, about 19 establishments in Dallas will test a delivery service. The company will work with the delivery company DoorDash in providing this service. The company is promising that it can deliver donuts, coffee and sandwiches in 45 minutes or less.
The company’s vice president of global consumer engagement Scott Hudler said, “The morning space and the coffee space are incredibly crowded. Speed is one of our brand differentiators."
Restaurants have been largely working to obtain customers by offering fast and convenient options for ordering food. The ability to order food using a smartphone app or receive food delivery are ways that companies are hooking customers. This can create customer loyalty and increase sales. Many companies also offer rewards programs for frequent customers.
Stock for Dunkin’ Donuts has been in decline in recent months. Last month, the company experienced its largest ever decline in its share price after its profit forecast missed the expectations of market analysts. The company went public 2011.
Dunkin’ Donuts has largely lagged behind rival Starbucks in terms of technology. Starbucks started offering mobile ordering across the United States in September. Some Starbucks locations in the United Kingdom and Canada have also started using the feature. In the future, the company could also consider testing a delivery service.
Hudler said, “This is how the next generation of consumers are going to engage with brands. This is the future of the restaurant business."
For now, it remains to be seen if embracing technology can turn Dunkin’ Donuts around.