Survey: Fast food apps growing in popularity

(WPRI) – Technology is breeding competition between fast food chains now that at some restaurants you can order and pay for food right from your smartphone.

Popular chains such as Chipotle and Five Guys are seeing success with new mobile apps and other well-known restaurants are beginning to follow suit.

The Chipotle app has been downloaded 2.8 million times since it was launched in 2009, and is widely popular in many western states. Five Guys offers a similar app, which receives about 160,000 mobile orders each month.

Chains such as Taco Bell, Chick-Fil-A, and Starbucks, are now testing their own apps that will let you place and pay for an order in advance.

Libby Balsiger, a marketing strategist for Chipotle, said it’s just a part of the business to adapt to the changing times. “Well, the danger is that you’re going to not give your customers what they want! And they have enough options so they’re going to go somewhere else,” she said.

Younger customers appear to be the hungriest for these mobile apps. The National Restaurant Association says that about 75% of customers from ages 18 to 34 would use their smartphone to order their next meal.

According to a restaurant industry survey, 88% of restaurant operators believe that using smartphones to order fast food will become even more popular in the future.

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