Wendy’s is intensifying its efforts around digital order and delivery, announcing at an Investor Day call last Friday that it is aiming to make digital sales 10 percent of all orders by 2024. Right now, digital sales account for 2 percent of orders.
Earlier this year, the Dublin, OH-based chain said it was investing an incremental $25 million into building “a stronger foundation” across its digital platforms. So far, that move to play catch up to its competitors appears to be paying off. At Investor Day this past Friday, Wendy’s Chief Digital Experience Officer Laura Titas noted in a presentation that check sizes are now 20 percent larger with mobile orders. For delivery specifically, the chain now sees check sizes 50 to 60 percent larger.
Titas’ presentation also suggested delivery will be key towards helping Wendy’s reach its 2024 goal for digital sales. To that end, she outlined multiple initiatives around improving the delivery experience.
For starters, it’s adding more delivery services. Wendy’s has partnered with DoorDash since 2017. Next year, the chain will expand its reach with third-party delivery to include Uber Eats and Grubhub, too.
And as is the case with many chain restaurants, QSR or otherwise, Wendy’s isn’t focusing its delivery strategy solely on those third-party partnerships. Instead, it will also launch what Titas called “in-app delivery,” where, thanks to a POS integration, Wendy’s can also process orders directly through its own app. While she didn’t give too many details, Titas said she expects this direct integration to knock three to five minutes off the delivery process. Meanwhile, the arrangement will also allow Wendy’s to track customer data more precisely.
Geolocation capabilities, to improve delivery and help ensure that customers are ordering from the right (i.e., the closest) Wendy’s, voice-order via Google Assistant, and a long-needed loyalty program were all announced at the Investor Day event as well.
Wendy’s certainly has its work cut out when it comes to evolving into a tech-forward restaurant company. Between Burger King’s many publicity stunts to drive mobile orders and McDonald’s turning itself into a tech company, competition is only growing fiercer when it comes to retaining customer loyalty. But with 60 percent of all restaurant orders now off-premises, there’s also a lot of room for growth and new audiences to grasp for those who can make their reach wide enough.