When I first saw this article, I thought “Oh, ‘Sonic’ must be a new online tool or technology company”. Nope. It’s THE Sonic; delicious, delicious Sonic. (Their burgers and cherry-limeades are to die for, but I digress…)
Sonic restaurants in the Phoenix area have teamed up with OLO Online Ordering and Groupon to offer Sonic lovers (like myself) and new customers a unique deal. The three have teamed up to offer Groupon’s first online-only restaurant voucher; a discounted deal exclusively for orders placed online.
Users can place their order on a computer or through their mobile app. Simply buy the Groupon, find a nearby-drive in location, select your food (the onion rings are also quite tasty…), select a pick-up time and you’re good to go. This is all done through Sonic’s mobile and online ordering platform, SonicOnTheGo.com.
The order and transaction process in completely through phone or online, perfect if you don’t have time to wait but still want a delicious strawberry-Oreo blast.
Noah Glass, founder of OLO (the creators of the SonicOnTheGo website), saw the opportunity for this platform in the fast-er food industry, which has been slower to adopt Groupon as a marketing strategy.
“By taking the transaction online, restaurants can simplify deal redemption and gain valuable customer details so the brand can track customer retention“.
It’s been reported that online ordering also streamlines the whole process, and helps businesses handle customer flow more effective. Cornell’s Center for Hospitality Research reports that one of the top concerns restaurants that run daily deals has, is that their regular customers may not get the service they’re used to, due to overwhelming demand. Restaurant owners believed that the steep discounts that daily deals offer, would cause deal seekers to flood the restaurant, meaning full-paying regulars may have to wait during busy periods.
Using an online ordering platform and sending that information straight to the kitchen, has potential to curb this perceived (or real?) problem.
Jim Prentice, director of Operations for the Mason-Harrison-Ratlif Sonic likes the partnership. “Our customers have embraced online ordering. We’re pleased to combine forces with OLO and Groupon to offer extra value and additional convenience to the Sonic experience.”
Sonic has 30 locations in the Phoenix area, where the deal will be run. Is this a potential national Groupon I smell? Maybe it’s just the onion rings…