Dutch Bros. doubles servers face to face

As foodservice brands turn to digital order taking and service technologies to minimize manpower in today’s challenging personnel market, Dutch Bros. chooses to keep human servers at the heart of the ordering experience. During a call with analysts Wednesday, Nov. 10 to discuss its first release of quarterly results since its IPO, the drive-thru chain of Grants Pass, Oregon, highlighted this face-to-face interaction as a key differentiator for the brand.

“Unlike most driving experiences which maybe start with a muffled speaker on a faceless menu board, every Dutch Bros. starts with a human connection in person, ”said the channel’s president and CEO. Joth ricci. “We attach great importance to quality, speed and service without neglecting the personality of our brand, the Broista. “

Meanwhile, other big restaurant chains have been looking for ways to remove the human server from the experience. More recently, in late October, McDonald’s announced its partnership with IBM to help it develop and implement automated order taking (AOT) capabilities with the goal of capitalizing on the popularity of the drive-thru channel while at the same time avoiding labor costs.

Read more: McDonald’s partners with IBM to develop large-scale lane-and-drive technology

Likewise, while other restaurant chains encourage consumers to embrace the mobile advance ordering channel, effectively outsourcing the order taking work to the customer, Dutch Bros. has been reluctant to push technologies that minimize contact with human servers.

“There is an operational opportunity to improve advance orders, walk-in windows, [but] Dutch Bros. style, because we’ll always maintain the service aspect of what we do, and we think that’s an important part of who we are – we never want to take that away, ”said Ricci.

He added that the improvements would focus on educating the barista with more information about each customer, using digital tools to improve human service rather than eliminating it. Given these concerns, as it stands, the app does not offer mobile advance ordering, although Ricci noted that the feature is “definitely on our radar,” indicating that the company would have news on this over the next three to six months.

Mobile advance ordering capabilities can go a long way in boosting sales for major restaurant brands. Search for the PYMNTS restaurant readiness index, created in collaboration with Paytronix, finds that 20% of quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain sales come from mobile advance orders, which is significantly more than the share coming from online delivery channels and twice as much as order-to-order. interior of the restaurant.

Read more: Late investment in QSR loyalty hurts innovation and sales

Yet even with an emphasis on face-to-face service, the company’s digital channels do a heavy job. Charley jemley, the company’s chief financial officer, said about 60% of tenders came from awards members. Research from the Index reveals that consumers rank the availability of a loyalty rewards program as the best way to get them to spend more on their food orders, above even the ability to order and pay in. line.

“We’re getting a higher average check from loyal customers, but you’d expect it to be because they’re loyal customers, so a lot of what we’re seeing is just good, solid growth. traffic, ”Jemley said. Ricci added that the implementation of this program and the mobile application were among the “first, two, three priorities related to the development of this company”.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: 2021 HOLIDAY SHOPPING OUTLOOK

On: It’s almost time for the holiday shopping season, and nearly 90% of American consumers plan to do at least some of their purchases online, up 13% from 2020. The 2021 Holiday Shopping Outlook, PYMNTS surveyed over 3,600 consumers to find out more about what drives online sales this holiday season and the impact of product availability and personalized rewards on merchant preferences.

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