Android Mobile Pay Apps Find Favor At Fast Food Chains

Quick service restaurants (QSRs) have become a sweet spot for mobile phone app users including those on the Android platform. As the following USA Today article reports, familiar QSR names top the list.

Mobile apps are becoming essential tools for many fast-food chains. Customers can place pickup or delivery orders, accumulate loyalty points and receive promotions with these apps.

SimilarWeb recently compared the daily active users on the Android apps of Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX), McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD), Dunkin’ Brands‘ (NASDAQ: DNKN) and Domino’s Pizza (NYSE: DPZ) and found that Starbucks easily led the pack.

That wasn’t surprising, since Starbucks launched one of the first fast-food mobile apps in 2009, and mobile orders accounted for 11 percent of the coffee specialist’s U.S. transactions last year. Starbucks’ app also was the most popular proximity mobile payments platform in America, with 20.7 million users last year, according to eMarketer.

McDonald’s arrived much later. It launched its mobile app in 2015, then added mobile ordering and payment features last year. Dunkin’ Donuts launched a mobile payments app in 2012, then added mobile orders in 2017 via a partnership with Waze. However, mobile transactions only accounted for 3 percent of Dunkin’s total orders last year.

Restaurants of all types should recognize that mobile is their new sales channel. The QSR category is especially geared for the frequent, quick-stop customer who is not only looking for fast food, but a quick order and pay experience. Throw in some loyalty points and marketing offers, and you can build a sizable customer base. While Starbucks is the established leader in volume, burger chains such as McDonald’s have been late to the party as 2018 represents the first full year of availability. In any case, let’s watch this active 3-way category competition among coffee, pizza, and burgers. Mobile pay app users will not go hungry.

Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Services at Mercator Advisory Group

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