McDonald's and Chick-fil-A Launch New Plan to Track Customers to Provide Hotter and Faster Food

Both McDonald's and Chick-fil-A have introduced new features in their mobile apps that will ensure meals are served more quickly and at a higher temperature for their app customers.

By incorporating geofencing technology into their mobile ordering platforms, the restaurants intend to enhance the user experience. This tech will monitor the whereabouts of customers, alerting staff when they are nearby.

Earlier this month, Chick-fil-A announced enhancements to the location services of their app. These improvements will notify their kitchen staff when customers are near the restaurant, allowing them to begin preparing the orders promptly.

Another innovative feature will provide app users with estimated preparation times for carryout, curbside, or dine-in orders. Chick-fil-A asserts these estimates are quite precise.

Geofencing employs GPS technology to create a virtual boundary around a particular location. When a device like a mobile phone crosses this boundary, an alert is triggered, notifying the restaurants of the device's presence.

In March, McDonald's introduced its new geofencing features termed "Ready on Arrival," as reported by Restaurant Business.

"Using existing location data, it allows our crew to start assembling a customer’s order prior to their arrival at the restaurant, ultimately delivering hot, fresh food when customers arrive to pick up their order," CFO Ian Borden explained during McDonald's Q1 2023 earnings call last month.

Borden reported that preliminary data indicates the location-tracking functionality is enhancing wait times and boosting customer satisfaction.

After testing its new geofencing features in 100 restaurants nationwide, Chick-fil-A reported improvements in restaurant operations. The average wait time for mobile-app customers was cut by one to two minutes. Moreover, the estimated wait times displayed on the app proved to be more than 90% accurate, as per Chick-fil-A's statement.

What do you think? Is this a good use of technology or an invasion of the customer's privacy?

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