Detailed by Bloomberg earlier today, national fast food chain Burger King will soon upgrade registers at more than 7,000 locations around the country in order to start accepting payments sent from mobile devices like smartphones. Integrating the functionality into a mobile app, anyone interested in paying for their meal with their smartphone will fund a virtual card within the app. It’s very similar to the Starbucks mobile application or pretty much any application powered by Tillster, a company that’s developed a mobile platform for restaurants such as Applebee’s, Outback Steakhouse, Boston Market and Subway.
Burger King is also considering offering the customer the ability to place an order using a smartphone, then pick it up at a later time. Taco Bell is moving forward with a similar plan, basically allowing customers to place an order using a smartphone, then starting to cook the order when a GPS trigger tells the store that the customer is getting close to the location. Burger King will likely face a similar problem. Cooking an order and bagging it up too soon could trigger an elevated level of complaints if customers are unhappy with cold food.
In addition to mobile payment and ordering functionality, the mobile application will also offer coupons and deals to repeat customers as well as a full menu that lists all the nutritional data for each item. As of early December 2013, rival fast food chain McDonald’s also started testing a mobile application. Launching a beta test in the Northeast, customers can download the app called McD and receive a variety of special offers that include free food and discounts on specific menu items. However, McDonald’s isn’t currently offering the ability to make mobile payments through the application or place an order in advance of arriving at a particular location.