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Cousins Subs builds on self-service trend via mobile ordering

Cousins Subs is the latest restaurant chain to add mobile and online ordering to its menu through a partnership with remote ordering guru Olo.

Fans of the Milwaukee-based sandwich company will now benefit from customized catering and group orders among other enhancements such as the ability to order ahead and skip the line as trends evidence that consumers are demanding more self-service options. The faster, more accurate and personal experience on digital offers greater value than ordering from an associate, as 50 percent of consumers said they would prefer this type of experience versus full-service, according to findings by Google.

“It is all about convenience. Convenience is something that consumers are seeking,” said Shannon Spence, associate integrated media director at Zimmerman Advertising, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

“We see it in the way TV viewing habits have evolved. We even see it in the way our smartphones have become a control for nearly everything in our homes – having the ability to turn lights on or off, act as a key to our front doors and even arming in-home security systems.”

“So it is no surprise that brands in the fast-casual space are utilizing technology such as mobile ordering to provide consumers with the convenience they seek,” she said.

Cousins Subs and its franchisees operate more than 130 sub sandwich shops in Arizona, Florida, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Stacking up value
The submarine shop tapped Olo’s experience with menu design and digital ordering best practices to deliver a seamless transition between the brand site and ordering channels.

Olo reports it is seeing the percentage of digital orders rise steadily and in some cases matching or surpassing person-to-person interactions.

When accessing the app, the user is immediately greeted with the option to create a new order. If a profile has been created, users may also review past sandwich builds, or select a prior combination they have favorited. Cousins does well in directing the consumer path to purchase from first-take, without prompting users to navigate through menus and slides to place an order.

Secondary information comes from tapping a hamburger menu in the top left where nearby locations, user profile information and connectivity to social networks can be found. With crisp colors and carefully chosen graphics, there is no overcrowding or content fighting for attention from the user, thus allowing for an easy and uninterrupted experience.

Consumers are seeking engagement and service in valuable content that serves as a liaison between themselves and a brand. As retailers recognize this new breed of shopper has no patience for one-way advertising, they must prioritize meaningful interactions to drive purchase decisions.

Boosting ticket size
Positive customer experience and relations with a brand lead to loyalty via emotional connections which turn one-time shoppers into repeats and more admirably, brand advocates.

Mobile apps are one of the most effective ways to increase, achieve and develop conversation with consumers. Olo reports that the average ticket sizes of its clients surge 25 percent when integrating an existing app with a mobile ordering platform.

Famed all-American burger specialist Five Guys executes this well as it turns app users’ mobile devices into a personal POS terminal. With downloads reported to be over one million, hungry diners waiting in line can place their order from the app and watch it print out on the prep line as they prepare to pay.

Five guys makes fast-casual even faster

“Today, this process relies upon connectivity with the POS system, but that need not be the case in the future,” said Noah Glass, founder and CEO of Olo, New York.

“A restaurant could store all of its menu and pricing details in the cloud and eliminate the front-of-house POS terminal entirely.”

Final Take
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York