QDOBA revamped their website, mobile app, rewards program and back-end technology.
QDOBA Mexican Eats became the latest fast-casual restaurant to temporarily shift to “limited-contact ordering” during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a move that is facilitated by a recent overhaul of its website, mobile app, loyalty platform and back-end technology.
Before the overhaul, QDOBA had “a highly customized system for online ordering,” explained Adam Fox, director of digital experience and media. “To make a simple change to the website required IT work.”
QDOBA’s previous rewards program was disjointed from its email service provider, a setup that stymied collecting data and actionable insights. “As we sought new program, we wanted to be able to access and analyze guest insights,” said Fox. “We wanted to make sure our new platform is flexible and nimble. Third-party delivery is changing the world we are operating in.”
The role of delivery is increasingly important states and cities mandate closures of sit-down restaurants and as consumers self isolate and practice social distancing. In response, numerous restaurants have pivoted to a carry-out and delivery-only model.
QDOBA uses Olo for third-party delivery and Paytronix for mobile app and CRM. Willowtree “holds it all together,” and built the frontend of the new website, he explains.
Before making a decision, QDOBA’s team was able to talk with other restaurants using the same combination. “The industry is a small world,” says Fox, and “we were able to talk about best practices and how to solve challenges around third-party delivery.”
Before adding Olo Rails, QDOBA had tablets, one for each delivery provider. Some locations would have two or three tablets plus two or three printers in the front of house. Employees had to manually re-enter orders into the POS, a time-consuming process that could lead to errors and detracted from servicing in-restaurant guests.
QDOBA began piloting the new platform in October and rolled it out system-wide Jan. 14.
Now with Olo Rails, third-party marketplace orders are automatically injected into the POS. It has been one of the features most critical to restaurant teams.
“It has been a huge win,” said Fox. “We realized as soon as we started piloting it, we were saving seconds on the line per customer.”
From the customers perspective, there’s a new mobile app and website. Online ordering is easier. Plus there’s a simpler way to manage rewards and find locations.
While QDOBA does work third-party delivery services, a priority is to grow sales through its own website and mobile app, he says. Currently there isn’t a delivery option for orders placed through directly through qdoba.com; it is something that may change in the future.