Smartphone Meets Carhop and Couponing
Participating Sonic Drive-Ins in Phoenix and OLO Online Ordering launched a very new offer through the coupon site Groupon. The drive-in burger chain will use Groupon to offer customers a discount on all orders made through Sonic’s mobile and online ordering site – the first ever restaurant Groupon exclusively for online orders.
SONIC franchise group, Mason-Harrison-Ratlif is the first operator in the country to launch such an offer, which allows users to purchase their Groupon, find a nearby Sonic location, place their order, and choose a desired pick-up time – all through Sonic’s mobile and online ordering platform, SonicOnTheGo.com, developed by OLO Online Ordering.
The transaction takes place exclusively through mobile phone or online -- except for order pick-up, of course. A carhop still delivers the SuperSONIC® Combo when the customer pulls in to the drive-in.
Mobile ordering also manages customer flow more effectively, which can mean the success or failure of a Groupon. In a recent report by Cornell’s Center for Hospitality Research (Restaurant Daily Deals: Customers’ Responses to Social Couponing, November 2011), displacement of regular customers was reported as one of the top perceived disadvantages of daily deals. Restaurateurs believed that the steep discounts usually included in daily deals would cause deal seekers to flood the restaurant, meaning full-paying regulars may have to wait during busy periods.
Through mobile and online ordering platforms like OLO, iPhones, Androids, BlackBerries, and laptops act as thousands of cashiers – without labor costs – sending orders efficiently to the back of the house. This is the first Groupon offered by the restaurant chain, and will be exclusive to its 30 Phoenix locations.