At Smoothie King, we pride ourselves on keeping up with the latest and greatest technology. After all, it plays such a significant role in our lives. Our forward-thinking corporate team understands that brands that get too comfortable with their technology and aren’t willing to innovate will fall behind.
That’s why we’re taking our tech to the next level in 2022. We are piloting SMS (text) ordering in Chicago and Jacksonville, and we look forward to rolling it out nationwide later this year.
Unmatched Convenience for Guests
Allowing our guests to order their favorite Clean Blends with a few simple texts offers them the convenience they crave. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, convenience was a growing desire for consumers. The pandemic only elevated this trend by increasing demand for drive-thru, curbside pickup and delivery options.
Over time, the quick-service restaurant sector has seen increased mobile ordering. Throughout the past few years, our Healthy Rewards app has allowed our guests to customize and order their favorite smoothies straight from their smartphones. As more guests utilize this option, our text ordering will complement our already diverse ordering platform.
Through a partnership with HungerRush and its sophisticated platform OrderAI, we are making it easier than ever for our guests to order and enjoy their smoothies. Using a 4–5-digit code, Smoothie King fans in Chicago and Jacksonville can place and pay for their order with the nearest Smoothie King location via SMS text message and visit the store to pick up and enjoy their smoothie.
Our text ordering platform is run with Artificial Intelligence which is constantly learning and adapting to become even more efficient as it gets to know our guests. The use of AI means that smoothie lovers everywhere will only have to set up their local Smoothie King location, favorite smoothie, special requests or modifications and payment information once. Most of our guests have their “go-to” blend and Smoothie King location, which means that the next time they want to order via text, they can send us a code to place the same order automatically.
Easy Implementation for Franchisees
Not only is text ordering convenient for guests, but also for franchisees. Our SMS ordering platform is fully integrated with our Point-of-Sale system, meaning that orders will automatically pop up in our system just as they would when people order in-store or via our app.
Text ordering also eliminates the extra steps and management duties that franchisees and team members may have faced in the past, such as taking orders via the phone and then manually entering them into the POS system. This reduces the amount of time team members spend fielding phone orders and improves order accuracy by an estimated 99%.
“The more orders that are placed with Artificial Intelligence, the smarter it will get and the easier the process will become,” explained Chris Andrews, Smoothie King’s Chief Information Officer.
Whenever we roll out new technology throughout our system, we actively seek feedback from our franchisees. We carefully research and test each new idea before implementing it to ensure the smoothest possible transition. Of course, we regularly encourage franchisees to come to us with any questions, concerns or ideas to tweak our processes as necessary and continue to be a model QSR franchise.
Leading the Way for Smoothie Franchises
As time goes on, we’ll continue to invest in innovative technology that will help our locations run even more smoothly, give our guests what they want and make operations easier for franchisees.
Just as mobile ordering on our Healthy Rewards app has increased profitability at many locations, text ordering is expected to do the same. As we continue to roll out this initiative, we plan to market this new option through our social media channels and in-store displays.
While some smoothie franchises have researched AI and SMS ordering, few have implemented it. We’re proud to be a pioneer in technology, and time after time, our willingness to try something new has greatly benefited our guests, franchisees and brand as a whole.