Dunkin' Donuts unveils mobile app for payment and gifting

Aug. 16, 2012 | by Alicia Kelso

Dunkin' Donuts today unveiled a new mobile app for iPhone, iPod Touch and Android smartphones that includes payment and m-gifting platforms.

During a webinar this morning, CEO Nigel Travis said the new app will help franchisees run restaurants more efficiently.

"There are two big benefits to this from a franchisee point of view: The first is the speed of transactions, which helps the top of line. Also, it is much more cost effective for franchisees to use the app," Travis said.

In addition to being economically efficient for franchisees, the app also provides benefits for consumers and the Dunkin' Donuts brand, according to John Costello, chief global marketing and innovation officer.

"This provides real benefits by making it easier, faster and more convenient than ever before to pay for your business at Dunkin', and it also provides a gateway for us to increase our engagement with passionate Dunkin' fans," he said. "Over 50 percent of U.S. consumers have smartphones and of them, over 90 percent use apps. Dunkin' guests rely on mobile devices more than ever before and this will help them connect to our brand as never before."

How it works

Scott Hudler, vice president of consumer engagement, provided an online demonstration of how the new Dunkin' Donuts app works. To pay using the app, guests need to add or purchase a Dunkin' Donuts card in any amount between $2 and $100. This can be done directly from a smartphone. Once that amount is set, guests tap on the virtual card to pay, show their phone to a crew member to scan the QR code and tap "done." A balance will then appear on the phone's screen.

"You never have to let go of your phone and you won't have to fumble through your wallet or purse. You can use it in-store or at the drive-thru," Hudler said.

Cards can be reloaded and previous card transactions are accessible at any time. The Dunkin' mobile app supports American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and PayPal.

M-gifting, Hudler adds, is a unique feature within the app. Guests can send an m-gift in any amount from $2 to $100 with a selected card design ranging from "thank you" to "happy birthday" or "congratulations." Once the card information is entered, it can be sent through a text message, email or through Facebook.

"We are the only national coffee retailer that lets guests send an m-gift in three ways. We feel that our guests will get a lot of use from the m-gifting feature," Hudler said.

The Dunkin' Donuts app also includes a restaurant locator, and can filter out locations such as those with a drive-thru, 24 hours, Wi-Fi availability and other options. Once a location is chosen, the user is directed to that destination through Google Maps with car, transit or walking routes.

Product descriptions and nutritional information are featured on the app, as well. And, finally, the new app allows users to connect with Dunkin' Donuts' social media channels directly from their phone.

The Dunkin' App is currently available for free from the App Store and Google Play Store. It has been under development for about a year with a cross-functional team that included the marketing, IT, operations and training departments within Dunkin' Donuts, as well as mobile expert resources CoreFire, Sapient and Digitas.

To commemorate today's launch, Dunkin' Donuts hhas posted special content on its new digital billboard in New York City's Times Square, as well as on DunkinDonuts.com, and social media channels. On Twitter, Dunkin' Donuts will host "The Dunkin' App Twitter Sweepstakes," offering 20 fans a chance to win a $50 mGift for tweeting @DunkinDonuts with the hashtag #DunkinApp.

Read more about mobile applications.

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability , Coffee/Bakery/Donut , Customer Service / Experience , Marketing / Branding / Promotion , Online / Mobile / Social , Operations Management

Alicia Kelso / Alicia has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with FastCasual.com, QSRweb.com and PizzaMarketplace.com has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, Consumerist.com and Franchise Asia magazine.
View Alicia Kelso's profile on LinkedIn

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