By Tracey Dowdy
Because we live in a world where a Drive Thru is no longer fast enough, fast food restaurants have taken things to the next level, introducing apps to get you in and out more quickly without compromising customer satisfaction. It’s all about creating and maintaining that customer base, so alongside offering healthier food options and rewards programs, they’ve developed apps designed to save time and money and keep you coming back for more.
But not all apps are created equal. Depending on your priorities and preferences, some are definitely better than others.
The Burger King app is straightforward and user friendly with easy to find to find locations, nutrition information and plenty of coupons. Mobile payment is an option via PayPal, BK® Crown Card, or a Virtual Card, so you can order, prepay and pick up your order fuss-free. The downside to the app is that prices are not listed and Value Menu items are scattered throughout their respective categories, so eating on a budget or trying to stay under a specific dollar amount can be tricky.
The McDonald’s app lets you view the menu but lacks the option to order online. The biggest draw is the number of coupons. Once you’ve created an account and chosen your local “home base” restaurant, the app will send you offers like BOGO’s or dollar-off coupons which is convenient considering the app doesn’t list prices and, like Burger King, value menu items don’t have their own listing. Because you can’t order online, the app primarily functions as a handheld menu and coupon resource.
Taco Bell may not be everyone’s top choice but their app is one of the better options in the fast food game. Menu items are presented with prices and with photos, because really who can remember the difference between a gordita and a chalupa? Pre-payment is available via credit or gift cards and nutrition information is easily accessible. Perhaps the best feature is that once you check out, the app asks if you’re picking up in-store or via drive-thru. Once you’re within a specific distance of the location, check in and they then prepare your order. Walk in, wait for your name to be called, and voila! fast fast food.
Unlike some of the other fast food burger options, Wendy’s doesn’t ask you to create an account or choose a “home base” location but brings up menu options and nutrition information right away. The “Right Size” value menu is easy to find, another option McDonalds and BK fail to offer. One unique feature is the option to donate to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption from within the app. The biggest drawback with the Wendy’s app is that mobile ordering is limited to Phoenix, Portland, Austin and Columbus municipal areas only and mobile payment is limited to those participating locations.
Dominoes hands down has the best fast food app out there. Create an account at Dominoes.com and complete your profile with details like your favorite pizza, pick up or delivery, address and credit card information. This information creates your “Easy Order,” which is accessible from whatever digital platform you choose to order from, and that’s an extensive list. Users can order on their smartphone via SMS or by tweeting the pizza emoji to #Easyorder or to @Dominos and then confirming the order by Twitter direct message.
Users also have the option to order through Samsung Smart TVs, Ford Sync, Apple Wear, Android Wear or Pebble smartwatches, and Dominos own native mobile app. The app offers both national and local coupons and payment options include cash, credit, debit or Domino’s gift card.
All the fast food apps listed above are available for iPhone and Android.
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.