Wendy's new mobile app offers customized calorie counting

July 16, 2012

Wendy's new mobile application allows customers to personalize their meals based on the amount of calories they choose.

Customers can create meals in two ways: by selecting a calorie range suitable to their dietary needs that prompts a list of meal options, or by building a meal by choosing specific menu items to reach their calorie goals.

Customers can then personalize each menu item in the meal, from adding extra crinkle cut pickles on a Dave's Hot 'N Juicy Single cheeseburger to removing the creamy red jalapeno dressing on the Baja Chicken Salad.

Additional features include:

  • Additional nutrition information for each individual menu item selected;
  • A "favorites" section where customers can store their menu creations; and
  • Geo-location to locate nearby restaurants.

Wendy's worked with its team of registered dietitians to ensure calorie counts were accurate for assembled menu items and for each individual ingredient.

Resource Interactive, a digital marketing agency based in Columbus, Ohio, worked with Wendy's to develop the new app.

The first edition of the mobile app is available free on Apple App Store and Google Play and via Mobile Web at Wendys.com.

The app's release comes shortly after Craig Bahner, chief marketing officer, told the crowd at Wendy's Investor Day that the company plans to "explode" in the digital space.

"That means lead and win. We can lead and win because it's all new and we can start from an even playing field," he said.

The mobile platform, Bahner said, will take Wendy's to the next level, and will eventually enable digital couponing, loyalty programs, geographic targeting, mobile ordering and mobile payments. Future editions may also include expanded nutrition information, exclusive offers and other incentives.

A number of quick-service brands are developing mobile apps to fit their personality – as opposed to just offering a store locator and calorie counts.

Wendy's objective is to drive customer visits around the 'better tasting food and high quality food' equity. According to Bahner, the new mobile app's "breakthrough nutrition capacity" will be the top reason customers will use the function.

The launch comes just as the iTunes App Store quietly created a new Food & Drink category. According to MediaPost, this new organization will benefit restaurant chains that were previously featured in vast, "unfocused" categories such as Lifestyle and Entertainment.

Read more about mobile initiatives.

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability , Customer Service / Experience , Food & Beverage , Health & Nutrition , Marketing / Branding / Promotion , Online / Mobile / Social

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