- Adobe just announced a partnership with Panera.
- Adobe was brought on to improve the mobile ordering experience.
- Curbside pickup and drive-thrus have become more important over the past year.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Panera is working with Adobe to improve curbside pickup and mobile ordering through its app, the companies announced. Customers can order in the app or on kiosks inside stores.
Panera says its loyalty program has 40 million users, and Adobe will be key to connecting customers across the website, app, and in-store orders. Adobe will collect data to make a “more comprehensive view of the customer journey,” Panera said in a statement. The platform will be able to update in real-time to better fix areas where customers hit issues, and intelligently suggest re-ordering the same items or pickup options.
Personalization like this has become more widespread in quick-service restaurants over the past few years alongside the rise of drive-thrus and curbside pickup. Starbucks, where on-the-go orders made up 80% of all orders even before the pandemic, has been implementing personalized ordering options for years. In 2015, the company started rolling out Deep Brew AI on digital drive-thru screens that recommend orders based on time of day and weather. The screens are now in 3,800 stores.
As of August 2020 Panera had drive-thrus at about half of its 2,000 locations. “I’m a big believer that drive-thrus are going to continue to be very important,” CEO Niren Chaudhary told Insider at the time. Pick-up and drive-thru orders both increased in the high double digits, Panera’s chief brand and concept officer Eduardo Luz told Business Insider in October.
Panera also launched curbside pickup in May 2020 as restaurant chains began to realize that dining rooms could be closed for the foreseeable future. The chain even added grocery pickup when supply chain disruptions made certain grocery items difficult to find.
Panera’s new curbside service uses geofencing, a technology that alerts the restaurant when a customer is within range so they can bring them their order. The technology has exploded with the rise of curbside pickup and is used by major brands like Walmart, Target, and Chick-fil-A. The partnership with Adobe will allow Panera to use this information to make better recommendations.
“As we roll out new capabilities, our partnership with Adobe Experience Cloud will provide us an accurate pulse on
customer journeys, and enable us to orchestrate great experiences in the moments where it counts most” SVP and Chief Digital Officer George Hanson said in a statement.
Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at [email protected].