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Zoom Pizza bakes in location for ready-on-arrival mobile ordering

Chicago’s Zoom Pizza Factory is integrating proximity-based targeting in a new mobile ordering application that begins the custom pizza creation process before customers walk into the restaurant.

The pizzeria will allocate a designated mobile prep area in the restaurant to efficiently cater to digital customers’ requests and provide a streamlined purchasing experience. Time-strapped consumers will likely appreciate the ability to begin creating their ideal meal as they near Zoom Pizza Factory’s location, thanks to the app’s location-based targeting capabilities.

“These mobile-first processes enable us to provide our guests two unique experiences, one) ready on arrival and two) a truly out-of-line ordering option,” said JR Werner, owner of Zoom Pizza Factory, Chicago. “We are all about enabling our guests to enjoy their pizzas at their pace without sacrificing speed or quality.

“The proximity algorithms allow our guests placing mobile orders to get a hot out-of-the-oven pizza as they are arriving for a pizza as fresh as if they ordered in the store,” he said. “For those guests hoping to dine-in but are met with a long line they weren’t expecting and may not have time for, we still have them covered.

“They can simply sit down, order through the app and jump to the separate mobile order area. Their onsite proximity jumps them to the top of the queue and their pizza creation is underway.”

Heating up speedy experiences
Quick service restaurants are increasingly acknowledging the necessity of providing mobile ordering and payment options to customers. Whereas some diners may want to spend a night out at a restaurant, many busy consumers enjoy the speediness and convenience offered by fast-casual chains.

Zoom Pizza Factory guests may download its Android app to begin the ordering process even before they arrive on premises. Those who have downloaded it may enable their location settings and allow the app to pinpoint their proximity to the restaurant.

This way, consumers can place their orders and pick up their ready-to-go pizzas as soon as they walk in. This has prompted Zoom Pizza Factory to delegate a separate pizza-making station to accommodate digital orders, a strategy that other QSRs would be well-suited to integrate as well.

“Mobile orders are all prepared independent from how busy our in-house prep areas may be buzzing at that given time,” Mr. Werner said. “We used lean manufacturing principles to minimize bottlenecks through all our processes to better balance speed and quality.”

On-site diners are also encouraged to use the app. Guests who input their orders at the restaurant will be able to skip ahead to the front of the line.

Zoom Pizza Factory’s software will recognize the individual’s location and use a queueing algorithm to send that order directly to the mobile prep area. A push notification will be sent to the user’s smartphone once the pizza is ready.

Additionally, app users may opt to add tip when ordering via mobile, removing the need to carry around cash.

Sprinkling in loyalty
Consumers who prefer customizing their pizzas to an exact degree will likely find much use in the Zoom Pizza Factory app. Users can choose their preferred type of crust and personalize toppings or extras to best fit their preferences.

Frequent customers will be able to collect loyalty rewards for repeat visits as well. After a consumer has accumulated 10 visits, he or she will receive access to a bonus period. The bonus period enables him or her to enjoy 10 percent off a purchase over a two-week timeframe.

The discount may be shared with friends and family, and visits can easily be tracked within the app.

Offering loyalty bonuses and extra methods of in-app engagement is a smart strategy for fast-casual chains to leverage.

Over the summer, fellow QSR chain Firehouse Subs rolled out a revamped app that includes mobile ordering capabilities, a must-have for fast-casual chains, as well as in-app gaming that enables consumers to receive additional loyalty points for extended engagement (see story).

“We believe mobile ordering is just starting to pick up steam in the market place and eventually we expect it to reach a 50/50 split between in-house and mobile,” Mr. Werner said. “The Android version is available now and the iOS will be out within the week.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York