Chick-fil-A announced in May that when a customer places a curbside or carryout order under the new feature, the restaurant will be alerted when the customer is close so staff can start preparing the food.
“By timing a customer’s arrival with their order, we can ensure they’re getting a meal that is both fresh and served quickly,” Morgan Anderer, senior project lead on the customer digital experience team at Chick-fil-A, said in a statement.
“We don’t believe our customers should have to compromise, and these new features truly balance what our restaurants do best: exceptional quality and efficient service.”
Under the new Chick-fil-A app feature, the app will also show customers an estimated wait time for when their order will be ready.
Chick-fil-A officials said in a blog post that, though the wait time is an estimate, it is expected to be “pretty accurate” since predictions are “based on a variety of factors like order complexity and size, and proprietary restaurant analytics.”
The company said it would roll out this feature to restaurants in the early summer. Customers will have the option to opt in or out of the service, according to a press release.
McDonald’s also introduced a similar feature to its app in March, Restaurant Business reported. The geofencing technology alerts a restaurant when a customer is around three minutes away from the location.
“While it’s still early days deploying this new digital enhancement, initial results are already pointing to improved service times and elevated customer satisfaction scores,” McDonald’s CFO Ian Borden said during an earnings call in April.
Borden also told investors that digital orders, app orders, kiosk orders and delivery orders accounted for about 40% of all sales in the first quarter of 2023, Insider reported.
With more people ordering food online, many fast-food chains have considered upgrading their business models to embrace this new trend.
Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s, for example, have tested online order pickup options through drive-thru lanes and designated an entire restaurant to handle online orders, Insider reported.