Isn’t technology such an awesome thing? Our phones are miniature computers and cameras. We can snap, edit and share pictures as well as send emails. We can visit social networks to see what friends and family are up to. Oh, and they’re also good for making phone calls should we ever decide we want to.
Lately, I’ve been seeing more and more brick and mortar stores implement some type of integrated services that involves use of an app. As an example, you use the store’s branded app during a visit Walmart or Sam’s Club and you can expedite your check out process. Chick-fil-A incorporated an app a year or so ago, but we usually dine in so I’ve never bothered to use it.
But McDonald’s struck a nerve with their app. I’ve been using it since it was released, taking advantage of the coupons to receive free food with my order. Seriously, who can pass up buy one get one free Big Mac? Coupons in the app have ranged from a free order of fries to B1G1 signature sandwich and many items in between. BUT the most recent coupons are only available when you use the Mobile Order and Pay feature in their app.
So what did I do? I learned to use it. Begrudgingly, but I did. Unfortunately, it’s not a very intuitive app so I decided to give you a walk-thru of how to use it. I want to point out that you can place your order in advance of when you want it so don’t feel stressed out trying to do it in the parking lot. Location services identify when you are near McDonald’s then it triggers you to complete your order.
If you haven’t already, download the McDonald’s app and set up an account. The app includes four sections: Order, Deals, Locations and Nutrition. While you could go to the order page to start, if you plan to use a coupon, start there.
Only one deal is allowed per order so you’ll need to make sure you look at all of them before proceeding. You can also select directly from the Order drop down where it allows you to select from the entire menu, including whether you want a sandwich or a combo or if you want more than one.
Regardless whether you select the item via the Deals section or the Order section, you need to pay attention to what you’re ordering. As an example, McDonald’s runs a promotion where drinks are $1. The app defaults to a medium even though you could get a large (or small) for the same price. So use the various drop downs in every portion of your order to make sure you’re getting your meal exactly the way you love it. Prefer no ice in your drink? Done. Want extra salt on your fries? Customize it! Kiddo hate mustard? Request it the way they like it! Once you’ve gone through the entire order and gotten it exactly the way you like, you can submit it.
Whether you want to dine in or take it to go, you have three options for attaining your mobile order. Like normal, you can park, go inside and pick up your order. If you head through the drive-thru, give them the code on the screen to identify your order. But the coolest way is to pull up to the reserved parking spot and let them bring your order right to your window like a good ol’ fashioned carhop! (Minus the roller skates.)
Once you realize all the nuances of placing the order itself, it runs really smooth. It just took me 3 or 4 tries until I had it right. The first time, I forgot to complete and pay for the order when I pulled up. The second time, I couldn’t get it to work at all and the third time I didn’t realize you had to change the drink size to large. So if you’re in a hurry and want McDonald’s, place your order in the app and it will cut your wait time… and allow you to use the coupons. You can even save your favorite orders to make the process even quicker next time. Like fast food wasn’t fast enough, McDonald’s just made it a little faster.
Which brick and mortar retailer’s app do you use to expedite your shopping?