These brands are making mobile ordering even more convenient with dedicated areas meant for quick, effortless pickups

Mobile ordering changed the way that fast food and fast casual restaurants operate. Instead of waiting in line, customers can now just order ahead and pick up their orders once they're ready. But a new problem has now emerged—even if a consumer orders ahead, they might still have to wait in line to reach the register and pick up their food.

Leading brands like Little Caesars and Chipotle are moving beyond this pileup by dedicating portions of their restaurants to mobile orders. At these in-step pickup areas, customers can simply find their completed orders and walk out, skipping the line entirely. As PSFK researchers identified in a deep dive into how retailers can perfectly deliver on personal tastes, the following brands are using this innovative method to improve the customer experience:

Little Caesars
As one of the country's largest pizza chains, Little Caesars has to stand out from the competition one way or another. Part of their plan is the Pizza Portal, a new app and in-store locker that allows users to order and then pick up their pizzas only using their phones. The heated self-service pickup stations, located in stores across the U.S., unlock with a three-digit PIN or QR code, no human interaction necessary.

Dunkin'
Coffee and doughnut chain Dunkin’ has opened over 60 “Next Generation” stores across the country. These are tech-forward stores that feature drive-thrus designed exclusively for mobile ordering and in-step pickup shelves that allow customers to skip the line. Guests will also be able to track the status of their pickup orders via an in-store status board.

Dunkin'

Chipotle
On top of existing in-store areas for mobile pickups, Chipotle has unrolled a new program called Chipotlane. These drive-thru lanes are only open to customers who have ordered ahead on the fast casual chain's mobile app. Instead of ordering in line, this version of in-step pickup allows visitors to pick up their food without ever leaving their cars.

Brian Schulman/Chipotle

Sweetgreen x WeWork
Although Sweetgreen already features in-step pickups in its stores, the brand is now taking its ordering further. In a partnership with WeWork, the salad chain will deliver meals to the coworking brand's locations in five U.S. cities for free. Once their orders are ready, the workers only need to go to designated shelves to grab their salads without ever leaving the office.

Katelyn Perry/WeWork


Lead image: stock photos from Northfoto/Shutterstock

Mobile ordering changed the way that fast food and fast casual restaurants operate. Instead of waiting in line, customers can now just order ahead and pick up their orders once they're ready. But a new problem has now emerged—even if a consumer orders ahead, they might still have to wait in line to reach the register and pick up their food.

Leading brands like Little Caesars and Chipotle are moving beyond this pileup by dedicating portions of their restaurants to mobile orders. At these in-step pickup areas, customers can simply find their completed orders and walk out, skipping the line entirely. As PSFK researchers identified in a deep dive into how retailers can perfectly deliver on personal tastes, the following brands are using this innovative method to improve the customer experience: