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California Tortilla Revamps Mobile App

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Rockville, Md.-based California Tortilla has revamped its digital ordering program.

The fast-casual Mexican-style brand launched its first mobile app in 2016, but its latest iteration integrates loyalty and online ordering.

“What we realized over the years last three years is that everyone is focusing on online ordering and digital strategy,” California Tortilla Director of Marketing Karen Dawit says. “People have less and less time to stand in line, order and wait for food.”

This redeveloped app caters to on-the-go guests, which is just about everyone these days, she explains.  “This app is for everyone from urban office employees to moms with three kids in the car. It’s all about that convenience factor.”

Digital sales account for 15- 20% of sales at some locations, she says. California Tortilla works with Paytronix for CMS, loyalty and contactless payment, and Olo and Olo Dispatch for online ordering and third-party marketplace orders, respectively. “It makes the customer experience seamless,” Dawit says. 

All online orders are fully integrated into the POS.  “It’s timed so that 10 minutes prior to pickup, the order is sent to the line printer,” she explains.

As off-premise sales, including online ordering and third-party marketplace orders, continue to increase, California Tortilla is among the brands that are changing their restaurant setups.

“We constantly have to evaluate our technology,” Dawit says.

This also includes changes to the physical restaurant structure.  The Mexican-style chain is adding second make lines and pickup shelves to some of its formats. It is also considering locations with smaller footprints.

California Tortilla is looking to adding pickup cubbies and packaging that are tamperproof.  “No one wants their order messed with,” Dawit says.

Throughout the customers' path to purchase, the restaurant is using personal data to make relevant suggested menu items to customers. “It’s all about personalization,” she says.

Later this year expect a new look and feel for its website. “We are looking at doing custom interface updates to our website to make it more visual," Dawit explains. "Highlight ingredients.  You eat with your eyes. We want our site to be colorful and visual.”

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