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The #1 Mobile Ordering Mistake QSRs Make - Featured Image
By Mae Cichelli | September 15

The #1 Mobile Ordering Mistake QSRs Make

It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way

The only thing faster than a quick service restaurant (QSR) experience is an order ahead QSR experience. Less waiting. More personalized experiences. Fresher food.

The promise of a mobile order is alluring to customers and QSRs alike. Apps are cleverly designed for a seamless ordering process and messaging is strategically placed to guide customers through location permissions.  

Yet the actual customer experience can be quite a bit, well, slow...and often frustrating.


The Culprit

Requiring the customer to manually check in when they arrive at the restaurant.

Even apps with scheduled pick-up times still require more effort and planning for the customer - not to mention potentially cold or soggy food if the customer is delayed.

Sound Familiar?

As a customer, you place an order at a leading QSR via their mobile app. You turn location permissions on and make your way to the restaurant.

Once you arrive, you still have to pull out your phone, open the app, and click “I’m Here.” Only then does the QSR begin preparing your meal.

Meanwhile, you wait… and wait… Maybe you’re in line, maybe you’re just standing around wondering what to do. Maybe, you’re checking your app for an update while bribing hungry kids with stickers.

Some apps may give an estimated time or time frame when your order is expected to be ready. But that is certainly not guaranteed.



You have no idea when your order is actually ready or where it is. While some apps might send a notification when it’s fulfilled, most expect you to find the order on a shelf or counter

All alone - with no one to verify you’re grabbing the right order.

Hey little guy, how long have you been here?

Other times you have to listen - amid the hubbub of a busy restaurant at lunchtime - for a staff member to call your name or order number.

It’s cumbersome and frustrating, especially if you’re in a hurry or on-the-go with kids.


It Doesn’t Have to Be Like This

NEWS FLASH: The mobile order experience doesn’t have to be clunky and inefficient. By using accurate geofencing, QSRs can automate that final step when customers arrive - the mobile order check-in.

This is a golden opportunity since app users have likely already granted location permission.

QSR apps can use location and proximity detection to know when mobile order customers enter the parking lot. Kitchen tickets can be prioritized based on the customer’s pick-up method - whether curbside delivery, drive-thru, or in-store.

All this can be done without making customers manually check-in or wait for a predetermined time to be met. And without using hardware.

Sounds awesome, right? In fact, you might be wondering, why isn’t this more common?


Why the disconnect?

The majority of geofencing platforms simply lack confidence in their data - either because it’s inaccurate, inconsistent, or unclear.

Here’s what QSRs need to know to avoid making the #1 mistake of mobile orders:


Accuracy Matters

When it comes to automating check-ins, the level of geofencing accuracy can make or break the experience.

It’s the difference between knowing a customer entered your store or drive-thru lane versus estimating your customer is somewhere within a block or two of the store (100-200 meters away - potentially spanning more than one of your locations).


Accurate geofencing down to 10 meters allows QSRs to automate check-ins based on precise customer arrival. Don’t guess and don’t make them wait!



Consistency is Queen

Consistency is everything in food service. From the quality of food, to each cashier’s welcoming service. In location tech, inconsistency means false or late triggers (i.e. not detecting when a customer has crossed a geofence).

If a QSR isn't confident their geofences aren’t capturing customer check-ins, it’s understandable that they would ask customers to manually check-in.

Reliably accurate geofencing software mitigates this challenge and creates a consistent, frictionless experience for customers.


Make It Clear

When requesting location permission from app users, it’s vital to clearly describe the value your app will deliver with the data you’re requesting. Once you’ve created a seamless mobile order experience for users

While the tech that powers a seamless mobile order should stay behind the scenes, the explanation of its value shouldn’t. Give users a reason to opt in to location permissions. Show how location will provide the convenience (and speed) consumers crave.



Do it right.


Mobile location removes friction so customers simply order, grab, and go. Automated check-in for the win. Once you see this opportunity, you can never unsee it.

And now you never have to make the most common mobile order mistake again. Use location to make your app work harder so customers don’t have to.


Want to see how Bluedot’s geofencing software reliably delivers accurate and automated check-ins? Request a demo!