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Wendy’s Uses Consumer-Facing Technology

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What’s consumer-facing technology?

In simple terms, “consumer-facing technology” is any system that’s used to deal with the customer directly. Examples of consumer-facing technology include having the ability to e-track orders or an application developed to place orders using smartphones.

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Customer-facing technology in US restaurants

As you can see in the above graph, according to NRA’s (National Restaurant Association) research estimates, almost 70% of customers in the restaurant industry used consumer-facing technology to place orders, search menu items, and make payments. This technology includes mobile interactive technology for menu search information, mobile ordering, and mobile payments.

Consumer-facing technology used by peers

Technology is becoming an increasingly critical part of the restaurant industry. According to Forbes, almost 11% of Starbucks’ (SBUX) sales volume comes through its own mobile wallet. According to reports by Crain Detroit Business in March 2015, Domino’s (DPZ) launched an application to place and track orders using smartwatches. Reports from the Chicago Tribune suggest that McDonald’s (MCD) started using kiosks that can customize orders. It also plan to introduce a mobile application.

Investors can assess companies in the fast food restaurant industry through ETFs like the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY). XLY holds about 0.91% of Chipotle’s (CMG) stock.

Wendy’s PoS system

As one of its initiatives to drive sales, Wendy’s (WEN) announced its plans to invest in consumer-facing technology. It developed a new common system-wide PoS (Point-of-Sale) system. This system is mainly for mobile ordering and mobile rewards. It includes consumer engagement. According to Mobile Commercial Daily reports, Wendy’s plans to install a standardized PoS system in more than 2,600 of its restaurants by the end of 2016.

In the next part of this series, we’ll discuss Wendy’s healthy menu options.

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