Wingstop Introduces Ordering Food Through Facebook and Twitter

Note: This article was initially published on the restaurant trade site Restaurant Social Media Index on 7/6/16.


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Insagram: @wingstop

Popular fast casual restaurant chain Wingstop isn’t chickening out when it comes to social media. A report by Nation’s Restaurant News said Wingstop is now allowing customers to order food through both Twitter and Facebook Messenger.

Users can send either “order” or “#order” to Wingstop’s Facebook page or Twitter handle to begin the process.

This new ordering platform was made possible by the restaurant’s four-month collaboration with Dallas software company Conversable, Inc.

“Conversable is basically a service layer that fits in between the messaging platform, like Twitter and Facebook, and our e-commerce system,” Wingstop Chief Information Officer Stacy Peterson said.

This new feature allows customers to easily order via their smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch, said a report by Globe News Wire.

Peterson said the software will walk the customer through the ordering process, providing them with menu options within the chat itself.

NRN explained that the software automatically provides responses to questions commonly asked by customers, such as the taste of certain flavors and allergy information.

As the chain does not deliver, users will be asked to provide their zip code and will be given a time to pick up their order at their nearest Wingstop location.

Peterson stresses that you do not have to be a past customer to use this software; first-time Wingstop eaters are welcome to order this way.

Wingstop is not the only restaurant chain to provide an ordering system of this nature. According to Computerworld, popular pizza delivery chain Domino’s unveiled the ability for customers to order via Twitter in their tweet-to-eat campaign. However, Domino’s has not yet tackled the Facebook messenger platform.

Although not many chains have attempted to release a system of this nature, this advancement opens the door for new possibilities. If Wingstop is successful in the implementation of Facebook and Twitter ordering, fast casual restaurants may view this as the future of the industry. This perspective will lead to Wingstop becoming a pioneer of a growing community rather than a lone entrepreneur.

Peterson announced plans to eventually expand this ordering system to more platforms, including Slack, text messaging, and Amazon Echo.

“It’s all about the convenience,” she said. “We want to be where our customers are.”Read More

How Rising Rent Rates Will Affect Your Fast Casual

Note: This article was initially published on the fast casual restaurant trade site The Chipotle Effect on 7/6/16.


downloadThe fast casual restaurant industry is booming. With big names such as Chipotle and Panera paving the way, it seems that a new fast casual chain is emerging every day. However, with the rising popularity of this trend comes a problem: realtors want to cash in, too.

A report by Nation’s Restaurant News revealed that rent prices for fast casual franchises are rising. This increase is mainly occurring with leasable spaces in strip malls, the most common location for fast casual.

According to NRN, Sahar Sander, the founder of the fast casual chain Naf Naf Grill, experienced this trend firsthand.

“When his chain first started growing, it paid about $30 per square foot. Now he can expect $70 to $80 per square foot and even higher,” the NRN report stated.

This issue has caused many chains to seek smaller spaces, hoping for equal efficiency and profits in such a compact location.

Naf Naf Grill itself is attempting to open its first location less than 2,000 square feet in size.

However, according to CNBC, this rent increase hasn’t dramatically deterred fast casual entrepreneurs. You can now expect to face the fiercest competition for space the industry has ever seen.

CNBC cites Vice President of Urban Works Kia Hartley’s advice to aspiring fast casual entrepreneurs. Despite the competition and expense, Kia said she believes opening a new restaurant is worth the risk.

She encourages a soft opening in a less popular neighborhood to test the waters before expanding. She also said some landlords will gamble for strong concepts.

CNBC wrote, “It’s the big landlords — the corporations, the ones you might expect to care more about money given how much they’ve made — who are most likely to take a chance on the independent restaurant.” Read More

Social Media App Use on a Decline

Note: This article was initially published on the digital marketing site DigitalCoCo on 7/6/16.


downloadSocial media has been one of the largest growing industries in the 21st century. While some giants, such as Facebook and Twitter, seem like they are here to stay, others have been lost to time. Does anyone remember MySpace?

Smartphones have also been a massive player in the technology industry. According to a report by Pew Research Center, they have become the third most-used method to access the internet behind desktop and laptop computers. Therefore, a social media decline is something that no one would expect to see, however, this drop is one of truth.

A June 6 report by CNBC revealed that social media mobile app use is declining, not growing. They used theresearch of marketing intelligence agency SimilarWeb to come to this conclusion.

“People are spending less time on social media apps, in some cases substantially less,” said the report.

The popular photo-sharing app Instagram took the biggest toll, losing roughly 24 percent of its usership. However, Twitter and Snapchat were shockingly close behind, declining roughly 23 percent and 16 percent respectively.

Despite larger declines in Instagram and Snapchat usage, Twitter received the least overall usage this year when compared to the most popular social media apps.

With social media also serving as a massive economic industry, the stock market was also affected by this usage drop. Twitter stock trading dropped by a whopping 34 percent.

In some countries, including the U.S. and England, installations of social media apps have been on a rise, which gives hope for the mobile sector of the industry.

It’s interesting that, in an age so dominated by social media and citizen journalism, mobile usage is dropping. This is a trend that should be kept an eye on, as it may re-shape our era once more. Read More