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Sonic Drive-In rolls out mobile ordering pilot program in 71 locations

The Sonic On the Go program has launched in 71 locations. Via the program, Sonic customers can order via their smartphone by accessing the company’s mobile Web site and pick it up via the drive-through window. 

“Restaurant brands are looking for new ways to let customers order and pay ahead for faster, easier, and more accurate service,” said Noah Glass, CEO of OLO Online Ordering, New York.

“OLO clients report a 32 percent increase in average order size and 83 percent of customers ordering more often, when customers make the transition from ordering over the phone to ordering through OLO,” he said. “Mobile means that customers can access the same pre-order and prepay capabilities that we offer while on-the-go.

“Customers can save their favorite orders and securely store a credit card on file, which makes it easy to get expedited service by ordering through text message, mobile web, or through a mobile app.”

Sonic originally started as a hamburger and root beer stand in 1953 in Shawnee, OK, called Top Hat Drive-In, and then changed its name to Sonic in 1959.

OLO provides mobile and online ordering capabilities for top brands such as Cold Stone Creamery and Five Guys Burgers & Fries.

The Sonic On the Go program is being tested in 71 stores in 5 different markets including Phoenix, AZ; Lubbock, TX; Rockford, IL; Chicago, IL and Augusta, GA.

The mobile ordering function will save consumers time instead of having them drive up to the drive-thru and wait for their order.

According to Sonic, the service is cost effective and all orders are prepaid and integrated into the company’s merchant accounts.

“With pilot programs like this, marketing channels are relatively constrained,” Mr. Glass said.
“Our clients tend to rely on in-store and digital marketing only.

“Email marketing, Facebook, Twitter and the restaurant Web site are all perfect channels for a targeted message to pilot-area customers,” he said.

Additionally, Mr. Glass believes that consumers will like the pilot program because mobile ordering is faster, easier and more accurate than ordering over the phone.

Consumers can pre-order, prepay and schedule their own pickup times so that their food is ready and waiting when they arrive.

“We take a thoughtful approach to mobile ordering,” Mr. Glass said. “OLO starts with text message ordering, to provide all customers with mobile phones with a simple yet powerful way of ordering and paying ahead.

“Next, the company launches a mobile Web site to enhance the mobile ordering experience,” he said. “We use analytics to measure the mobile operating systems that are accessing the mobile Web site and inform a mobile ordering app strategy.

“Lastly, OLO creates the mobile ordering apps that plug into the larger remote ordering program.”