Burger King, Wingstop revive the chicken sandwich war

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It looks like the chicken sandwich war isn’t over yet.

In 2020 and 2021, noting the menu item’s popularity in online ordering marketplaces, dozens of major restaurant brands rushed to launch their own new or updated chicken sandwich offerings, boosting sales. digital.

While space has been quieter for some time, it looks like the war is picking up again. Burger King is testing three new versions of its chicken sandwich in select locations in New York and Virginia, Chew Boom reported Saturday, May 14. The offerings include a BK Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich, a BK Spicy Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich, and a BK Bacon and Swiss Cheese Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich.

Burger King isn’t the only brand looking to drive digital traffic with new versions of the familiar menu item. Wingstop announced Monday, May 16, that it was testing 11 flavors of its chicken sandwich at 60 restaurants in four states. Additionally, earlier in the month, Popeyes announced a limited-edition Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sandwich.

Such moves can be effective because when it comes to digital ordering, many consumers are driven more by specific menu items than by restaurant brands, preferring to weigh their options between brands rather than choosing from the restaurant menu. a restaurant.

“What their customers are looking for are products, because it turns out the savings are way bigger,” said Will Said, co-founder and CEO of MealMe, a company that offers a digital ordering search engine. for comparison shopping, to PYMNTS in an interview. “If you search for a certain coffee chain, you might get a few results. If you search for coffee, you get thousands of results… It turns out that not only is there a pretty big gap in delivery prices for the same store; there is a wide variation in the prices of items for exactly the same product.

Read more: Consumers are more attracted to products than brands when ordering online

Grubhub is overwhelmed during the free lunch promotion, leaving many unsatisfied

You’d think that Grubhub promising everyone in New York, a city of 8 million, a free meal within a three-hour window might cause capacity issues at a time when restaurants and delivery services are experiencing widespread labor issues. Sure enough, Grubhub’s free lunch offer in New York City on Tuesday, May 17, brought challenges.

See more : Grubhub Tells NYC There Actually Is Such A Thing As Free Lunch

“What this did to our entire platform obviously caused unintended consequences,” Dave Tovar, senior vice president of communications and government relations at Grubhub, told The Washington Post.

NPR reported that many people had their orders canceled or their food simply never arrived. At its peak, 6,000 orders per minute passed through the order market. The app reportedly crashed for many people, and some restaurants were overwhelmed with unprecedented volumes of orders they couldn’t hope to complete.

“To help businesses prepare for yesterday’s promotion, we provided advance notice to all restaurants in our network, which included multiple forms of email and platform communication,” said one. Grubhub spokesperson at TechCrunch. “Even with this preparation, no one could anticipate the level of demand, and unfortunately this has put a strain on some restaurants. We will undoubtedly learn a lot from this that can help us optimize and mitigate problems in the future. »

Schlotzsky’s enters the mobile drive-thru lane

Over the past two years, increased off-premises orders have led to drive-thru congestion, with long wait times proving frustrating for many consumers.

Many restaurants are adapting to these changes by revamping their drive-thru to process orders more efficiently through digital and in-person channels. For example, a range of brands have launched dual drive-thru concepts with dedicated lanes for digital controls.

Fast-food chain Schlotzsky’s, which has more than 300 restaurants in 24 states, announced on Monday the opening of the first location of its new prototype, which includes a dual drive-thru lane, a lane that can accommodate traditional orders and the other for picking up first and third party delivery orders.

“Over the past two years, we have allocated resources and redirected our efforts to develop prototypes that provide greater convenience and ease of use for our customers…” said Shelley Harris, Chief Brand Officer by Schlotzsky’s interim, in a statement. “We know consumers are asking for greater accessibility to their favorite Schlotzsky menu items, so this format, which is all about off-site access, gives consumers what they’re looking for and offers franchisees a more compact restaurant to be considered for development.”

Drive-thru and third-party delivery are in high demand among restaurant customers today. Research from PYMNTS’ 2022 Restaurant Friction Index, created in conjunction with Paytronix, found that 35% of consumers would be more likely to shop at restaurants that offer drive-thru pick-up.

Read more: Loyalty programs are the best way to get customers to spend more

Additionally, a study of the March/April edition of PYMNTS’ Digital Divide series, “The Digital Divide: Regional Variations in US Food Ordering Trends and Digital Adoption,” also created in conjunction with Paytronix, found that approximately one in three consumers order from delivery aggregators. each month.

See more : New research shows regional idiosyncrasies in dining matter in tailoring restaurant offerings

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