Wendy’s is rolling out a new program at its U.S. restaurants that will allow its customers to pay for their meals via their smartphones. A similar program was unveiled by fast-food chain Burger King last week.
The Associated Press reports that the Dublin, Ohio based fast food purveyor has been testing the mobile payment option over the past year, and the majority of its 5,800 locations in the United States are now ready to accept mobile payments.
The move is part of a push by fast-food chains to court their younger demographic, who are attached to their mobile devices.
“If they want to come in and give us business, we want to allow them to pay the way they want to pay,” Craig Bahner, chief marketing officer for Wendy’s, said in a phone interview with AP.
While Burger King announced last week that it would introduce a similar program in its U.S. restaurants in April, market leader McDonald’s Corp. is still in the testing phase of its mobile payments program.
Coffee chain Starbucks is pushing to get more customers to use their mobile app and sign up for the java pusher’s loyalty program. The chain says 14% of all purchases now come from mobile payments.
“You look at the numbers that Starbucks puts out, and it’s pretty amazing,” said Brandon Rhoten, vice president of digital at Wendy’s.
Rhoten notes that Wendy’s has seen promising trends in tests, including an increase in the frequency of visits.
Wendy’s app will pull up a six-digit number the user will tell the cashier in order to pay via the app. Burger King says its app will use a four-digit number.
The mobile payments rollout comes as Wendy’s works to revamp its image by offering more high-end items to set itself apart from the more traditional fast-food chains such as McDonalds, and Burger King. The push so far has involved remodeling of the chain’s restaurants, and the addition of premium menu items that command higher prices.
The Wendy’s mobile app is available free in the App Store. [DIRECT LINK]