Dunkin Donuts is the latest brand rumoured to be testing a mobile delivery service following announcements made by rival chains including Starbucks, Chipotle, and McDonald’s. During a recent interview on CNBC, Dunkin’ Brands Chairman and CEO, Nigel Travis, shared “Delivery is clearly a big opportunity”, but also hinted that testing of the mobile ordering service had been slowed down to “make sure it’s operationally simple at the store level.”
The introduction of Mobile ordering and the adoption of Apple Pay are stepping stones to the eventual mobilization of the Dunkin Donuts’ menu. “The trend in this country is convenience” said Travis, continuing “so I think delivery plays very strongly. I think the next few years you’re going to see us get more and more into delivery.” Another path to add convenience to the ordering process is curbside delivery, a service reminiscent of the glory days of drive-in food stands, but now a very real possibility as an adjunct to mobile ordering as the quick service foods business evolves.
Beyond technology challenges, there are other logistics issues proving to be formidable foes to launching mobile ordering. According to Travis, 60% of U.S. sales come from beverages, and liquid is not the easiest commodity to transport intact. Dunkin’ will surely implement a “smart” strategy to pull off its goal, and their deliberate pace of testing should prove wise as they address these and similar challenges and prepare for large scale introduction of on-demand delivery services.
Soon, it seems Dunkin fanatics will be able to consider whether to pick up their favorite items via curbside delivery or by a few clicks on their mobile phones. Either way, the thought of having a coffee coolatta delivered directly to my desk is very appealing!