Red Robin adds digital wallets and virtual branding
Red Robin leverages digital technologies to improve its payment acceptance capabilities, removing friction from the shopping experience.
Paul Murphy, CEO of the Greenwood Village, Colo.-based casual dining chain, which has more than 520 restaurants in the United States and Canada, told analysts on a call Thursday, March 10 to discuss the fourth quarter and the year 2021 of the chain. results that the company is adding new payment options as part of a broader push to ramp up its digital offerings.
“We view our digital assets as always ready for improvement and intend to make continuous improvements following these launches,” he said. “These will include geofencing, which will notify restaurants when the customer is nearby for pickup, as well as implementing additional payment options to improve convenience, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.”
According to data from PYMNTS’ Restaurant Friction Index, created in collaboration with Paytronix, based on a survey of more than 500 restaurant managers, six out of 10 restaurants offer the option of paying with digital wallets. Additionally, the study’s survey of a census-balanced panel of more than 2,100 U.S. adults found that 23% of consumers say they would be more likely to shop at restaurants that accept payment by digital wallet.
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Additionally, Murphy shared that the company’s three virtual brands generated $8.4 million in incremental sales, and Red Robin will launch another licensed virtual brand soon. However, despite the magnitude of these efforts, Murphy nonetheless adopted caution about the future of the virtual branding model.
“It’s still very early in the life cycle of virtual brands…So far so good, but we’d like to see, where does this part of third-party home delivery…go? I don’t think anyone is entirely sure about the long-term future of this.
Portillo’s boosts direct controls with digital drive-thru pickup lane
Additionally, in earnings news, Portillo executives shared in a call with analysts Thursday the restaurant’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2021 results indicating the brand is leveraging its service lanes at steering wheel to drive adoption of its direct order channels.
Specifically, the hot dog chain, which has 70 locations in nine states, is offering a third lane of two-location drive-thru for consumers who place their orders through the restaurant’s website or app.
“This dedicated third lane draws consumers to our direct order channels, website and app by providing a quick pick-up option for customers using these channels,” said Portillo President and CEO Michael Osanloo. .
The Restaurant Friction Index notes that 35% of consumers say they would be more likely to shop at restaurants that offer the ability to pick up drive-thru orders. Additionally, the study found that more than two-thirds of restaurants either already offer the option or plan to invest in offering drive-thru pickup in the future.
NYC ends Vax evidence warrant for indoor dining
On Monday, March 7, New York City lifted its requirement that restaurants and other covered establishments verify proof of vaccination. Many restaurants celebrated the change, which some health experts said was premature, while others maintained their vaccination requirements.
“Spring is in the air, and it couldn’t be a better time for us right now,” Rocco Sacramone, owner and chef of restaurant Astoria Trattoria L’incontro, told The New York Times. “We are back!”
Conversely, on a darker note, a restaurant in Greenwich Village that has maintained its mandate, a British-style seafood restaurant called Dame, was invaded by a group of dozens of anti-vaccine protesters on Tuesday March 8 , reported Eater.
“We support the right to peacefully protest outdoors,” co-owner Patricia Howard told the outlet. “But not in our tiny 450 square foot restaurant while customers try to take advantage of the reservation they’ve been waiting for weeks.”
Texas Roadhouse adds pay-at-the-table capabilities
Texas Roadhouse uses digital technologies to reduce its labor requirements, allowing customers to pay for their orders from their tables.
The Louisville, Kentucky-based restaurant chain, which has 660 restaurants in 49 U.S. states and 10 other countries, on Thursday announced a partnership with ordering and payment solutions provider Ziosk to provide at-the-table payment capabilities via table tops.
“Creating a memorable and consistent customer experience is what we strive for at Texas Roadhouse and our partnership with Ziosk has added the technology to achieve that goal,” Texas Roadhouse CEO Jerry Morgan said in a statement. “We believe Roadhouse Pay enhances our legendary service through a more efficient payment process for our customers.”
The company calls this payment method “Roadhouse Pay”. The move comes as table-service restaurants seek to balance the need to minimize labor in the face of industry-wide staffing challenges with customer expectations for service and quality. ‘hospitality.
“As the restaurant industry continues to see an increase in on-site dining, a resurgence of innovative technologies will be essential,” Ziosk co-founder Raymond Howard said in a statement, “both by offering a better customer experience and improve operational efficiency.